Do you know what your customers are saying online? There are two main reasons your online reputation is important. One, more often than not, customers will buy from business with a positive online reputation. Two, customers search out positive customer experiences. Approximately 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much, if not more than a personal recommendation. What your potential customers see about your reputation online will affect their final buying decision. Increased sales come from trust and if you want to increase sale then begin by building a positive, trustworthy online brand.
There are two main ways to stay ahead of your online reputation.
1. Manage your local listings. Make sure your business information in consistent and accurate across all major local listings and review sites like Google, Bing and Yelp.
2. Manager your reviews. Constantly monitor your review sites and social media accounts. Respond to reviews as quickly as possible.
For Great Value Storage, the goal in its simplest form: increase information consistency, increase positive reviews, increase sales.
By making improvements to their online strategy, over a nine-month period, we yielded some very attractive results:
• Average organic ranking increased by 4 positions to an average of 5.4
• Web traffic increased 20% leading to more engaged customers
• Increased number of reviews year-over year by 367%
• Average reviews per location doubled to 16 and positive ratings increase over 5%
• Average star ratings across all locations is above 4 stars
• Same storage occupancy increased 5% on average when ranking increased 2+ positions and star rating 4 or above
So how did we achieve these results? We started by researching potential software solutions to help manage both local listings and reviews in real time. While we hoped to implement one software to cover all needs, we opted for a split approach implementing two different platforms specializing in each strategy.
For our local listings we learned that there were a number of unclaimed pages with inconsistent business information. We worked with our new partner to claim these listings and push out updated information. Through a number of API integrations with local listing sites consistent business information is pushed to all local listings on a monthly basis. This consistency across the web provided a much-needed boost in relevancy to increase overall organic rankings.
To increase positive reviews, we simply asked for reviews. Most people, when asked to leave a review, will actually leave a good review. We implemented an email program of following up with every new move-in and move-out. We didn’t filter who received the follow-ups. And we didn’t encourage good vs. bad reviews.
The increase in consistency put us out in front of more potential customers. The increase in star ratings gave customers a sense that we are a positive, trustworthy brand. By attracting more customers to our business, we had more opportunities in close the sale and therefore more opportunities to increase occupancy.