Generating Reviews For Remodelers

Easy Ways To Generate Reviews For Remodelers

How Important are Online Reviews For Remodelers?  Very Important.

Actually, very very very very important.  That’s just how important online reviews for your remodeling or home improvement company.  If you’re a remodeler and not getting online reviews, you’re missing out.

Home-improvement-company-customer-reviews

At The Marketing Corner, one of the biggest things we tell our clients to help give their home improvement website a boost and move them up in Google page rankings is to get online reviews. For obvious reasons we tell our clients to claim their Google Place Page and their Yahoo Local Page.  Even only a handful of reviews on various sites will do wonders for your Google page rank. Not only does Google search your site for keywords and content, but it also searches the rest of the web for your home improvement company.   If your remodeling company is mentioned a lot, your home improvement website will move up in the rankings.  One of the best ways to get your home improvement company’s name out there is by using online reviews.

How Can Remodelers Get More Online Reviews?

Just Ask.

Many home improvement companies that we work with are already collecting reviews from very satisfied customers.  In fact, many remodelers have great customer testimonials that are collected on comment cards or even hand wrote letters.  Unfortunately, this is a problem.

90% of all adult consumers look to online reviews before making a purchase.  If you have a binder full of glowing customer testimonials–when can you show this to your potential home improvement leads?  The answer… you can’t.  Yes, you might show them all these customer reviews once you’ve already sat your customer down at the kitchen table and done your sales pitch.  But you can’t do it before when they are shopping your remodeling business or home improvement company online.  That is why online reviews about your home improvement company and remodeling business are so important.

So how can remodelers be effective when collecting these online reviews? Just Ask!

Ask your clients or customers to do a review for your home improvement company online.  Any satisfied customer should be happy to do this for your remodeling company, so make it as easy as possible for them.  Send your home improvement customers an email with direct links to the review sites to make it easier.  These review sites could be things like Google Local, Yelp, Houzz, Angie’s List, etc.  Additionally, you can give them incentives like special discounts or acknowledgment after they write a quality review on your home improvement company.  Once your remodeling business gets these reviews, have them placed on your website on a designated testimonial or review page.

It is no surprise that 96% of people trust recommendations from people they know; however, what is even more interesting is that almost 70% of people trust recommendations from people they don’t know.  Getting quality reviews for your remodeling company will help you gain more home improvement leads.  How does your home improvement company  look online?  Download our free template to grade your home improvement company’s online reviews.

The Big No-Nos for Getting Your Remodeling Company Reviews.  

There are some practices that will actually hurt your remodeling company’s Google ranking if you’re not aware or careful.  So if you are a remodeling company that cares about your Google rank online, don’t do the following:

Don’t post a review yourself or have anyone from your home improvement company do so—This will not only negatively affect your home improvement website’s Google rank–(The thing that makes it appear in Google on page 1)– but if anyone finds out you or your remodeling company posted your own review, you’ll be a prime target for negative word-of-mouth.
Don’t have someone who shares your business owner’s last name post a review.   Google isn’t a fan of nepotism.  (However, it does take into account common names like Smith or Jones).
Don’t have more than one person post a review for your remodeling business from the same computer or device—Google likens posting multiple reviews from the same computer to ballot stuffing and that’s a major no-no. It will both hurt your home improvement company’s website page rank and your remodeling company’s reputation.
Don’t get all of your home improvement reviews in one shot. Keep reviews about your remodeling company coming on a consistent basis over time.  Google looks for content updates on a continual basis and getting new home improvement reviews each and every month is a great way to make that happen.

So go get those great remodeling reviews to help your home improvement website’s page ranking and bring in more home improvement leads!

Ready to get started?  Download our FREE guide to monitor and improve your Home Improvement Reviews online!  Are you looking for more online reviews?  Contact us today to learn how our software can help your company get more reviews today!

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5 Home Improvement Website Tips

5 Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of Your Home Improvement Website

At The Marketing Corner, we are often approached by remodeling companies who know they need a good home improvement website for lead generation, but who know nothing about what this actually entails or what to expect from a website company. We have even had the occasional home improvement professional come to us after being sold the world by another web company--and being charged for it too!--receive a below average product or even a disastrous project!

home-improvement-website-tipsThese remodeling companies and home improvement professionals tend to agree that they would have fared way better had they been better informed before approaching a company to build their home improvement website.  At The Marketing Corner we constantly believe in educating remodeling professionals--so that you can make better decisions regarding your marketing.  The Marketing Corner has put together a list of the most important things to remodeling professionals need to know before building a home improvement website.We're not trying to teach you to build the site yourself here--thats our job--but we want to give home improvement industry professionals some idea of the things you should know and the kind of information you need to have a great home improvement website for lead generation.

1. Figure out your home improvement website's objectives, sitemaps and content

As home improvement industry professionals, we all know before starting any project there needs to a plan.  The same goes for getting an entire home improvement website built that will generate you leads.  Even though remodeling professionals are outsourcing the technical stuff--like the actual code of the website-- you still need to be prepared with a solid gameplan.  This will help you tremendously when you start out with your home improvement website company because you will know exactly what you want and expect from a good website.So here's what you need to do: 

Define your goals for your home improvement website

Spend a little time thinking about what you want from your home improvement website and the best way to target your remodeling customers.
What are you building a website for? Is it just meant to be a simple brochure-type display of your remodeling services for your company, or do you want it to be an information resource that you update regularly?  Do you want to generate home improvement leads from your website, or just use it as a source of information?
Do you want to have a blog on your site that you can use for news and views?  At The Marketing Corner we highly recommend you do!  (Here's why blogging can generate more home improvement leads.
Do you want to have social media links that send people to your social accounts?

Draw up a rough sitemap for your home improvement website

A home improvement website sitemap is simply a list of the pages you want your remodeling company's website to display. An example of a simple, common sitemap we use for our home improvement clients is as follows:
Home
About Us
Services
Service 1
Service 2
Service 3
Gallery
Contact us
You can add in anything that you feel your home improvement website needs for better lead generation. Some other commonly used examples are:
News
Blog
Resources

Gather your content for your home improvement website

At The Marketing Corner, we can not stress enough how important of a step content gathering is to the entire process of a home improvement website.  When we work with our clients to build a home improvement website we assist them with gathering and writing content.  If your remodeling company chooses to work with a web company that is going to help you with your content then it doesn't need to be perfect, but you need to have some basic stuff information gathered.  Look though brochures, flyers, product information of your company to try to gather as much useful information as possible for your home improvement website.  Again, we always suggest to work with a website company that can help build and write useful content on your home improvement website.  Never under estimate the value of good copy for lead generation.
Having information related to your remodeling company ready and set out when you get together with a company that will build your home improvement website will save you money and help your project along more quickly.
Remember – your content for your home improvement website doesn't have to be perfect (and a good home improvement marketing company can help you with that) but you know your remodeling business better than anyone so you will be able to say it right!

2. Hosting and a domain for your home improvement website

You've probably heard both of these terms before--but many remodeling industry professionals don't know what they mean, or how they effect your home improvement website and lead generation.  Web hosting and a domain are vital for your home improvement website.  A good home improvement marketing website company should manage this all for you, but again, we want to provide you enough information so you know what they are talking about!Your domain is the address of your home improvement website. For example, www.themarketingcorner.com is our domain. If you don't already have one, you should decide what you want yours to be and ask the home improvement website company who is working on your site to find out if it is available.  In general, at The Marketing Corner, we recommend your domain name should be your company/service name or at least something closely relating to it. An unrelated domain name will just confuse potential home improvement leads. Additionally, if you are an American company, it is nice to keep a .com address so people can identify you as a company, where as if you are a Canadian company a .ca address might suffice.Hosting is the place all of the the files for your home improvement website sit. When someone types in your home improvement website's domain (the address for your website), these files are accessed so that the visitor can see them. Hosting packages come in different sizes for different needs, and the costs depend very much on the size of your site and the company that hosts it. 

3. The different kinds of home improvement websites (Custom coded vs. CMS - Joomla/Wordpress)

There are really two different kinds of home improvement website available to remodeling companies both with certain pros and cons.A custom coded home improvement website is a site that is created by using a specific kind language (code) that can only be changed by someone who knows how to write and update the code. This was how all home improvement websites were created before the advent of CMS systems.

CMS (Content Management System) home improvement websites, for example WordPress, are home improvement websites that are built on a predesigned system. They have a user-friendly 'back-end' that you as the owner can get into to update your own content.  At The Marketing Corner, we find this type of website extremely useful if you plan to do regular updates like blogging or news on your home improvement website.

Most of our remodeling clients have a mixture of both of these types of home improvement websites.  Pages that aren't updated regularly we tend to custom build for our clients due to the specificity of their needs.  However, since we always encourage blogging to keep website content fresh--we use a CMS for all of their home improvement blogs.

4. What a home improvement website should cost

Answering the question of how much a home improvement website should cost---is almost as extensive as asking how much should building a house cost?  

Obviously as builders and remodeling professionals we know that this one question has a million follow up questions--such as how many rooms, how many bathrooms, what materials are being used, where are we building the house, how high end of finishes do we want in the house... the list goes on.  

A good home improvement website company will never just give you a quote without explaining all the pieces that are involved in building the website for optimal home improvement lead generation.  For example questions that The Marketing Corner asks are-- how large of a site do you want, how much capability to change the site is necessary, how much content are we writing vs being provided?  These questions can help us determine what exactly your home improvement website should look for to generate enough business for your remodeling company.  Its true, one size never fits all--and it couldn't be more true when building a home improvement website for your company.

We'd love to talk to you about your upcoming website, and give you a few pointers.  Additionally if you're looking to update your website--contact us here for our very affordable priced options that will bring you free home improvement leads.

5. What to look for when choosing a home improvement website company

There are two different kinds of companies that build home improvement websites. Marketing companies (like The Marketing Corner) and development houses. If you are a remodeling company looking for a really big website (like-- Amazon) then a development house is the way to go. In our experience, we have found that many of our clients require much smaller and less intense websites then Amazon.  For smaller home improvement websites development houses are not suited because they don't deal much in design and content.  They will not be able to help remodelers with your home improvement website content and advise you on best practices for design etc.  Marketing companies, like The Marketing Corner deal more in front-end home improvement website design.  That is, they build smaller sites but focus on the design, functionality, lead generation capabilities, and content.  A good home improvement website company will be able to help you to put all of your ideas into your website and advise on best practices for your content and how to get the maximum value for home improvement lead generation.  Questions to ask your potential home improvement website company:

Are you going to design something for me or use a pre-made template?
Ideally you want someone who is going to design a home improvement website to your specifications for your remodeling company – you want to be happy with it!
Are you able to help me with my sitemap and suggest some ideas?
While your remodeling company have already created your own home improvement website sitemap, you should definitely be able to discuss it with your website design company to see if they have any thoughts or suggestions for the best layout.
Are you able to source images for me – or will I have to get my own?
Copyrighted images are increasingly becoming a major problem on the Internet.  If you don't already have your own pictures for your website, you definitely need to find a home improvement website that can help you source these images.
Do you have copy editors to help me with my content?
We always suggest having your copy reviewed by a copy editor.  A good home improvement website company will be able to advise you on your content and adjust it for best practices on your site for the best lead generation.
Do you include SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as part of your service?
This is a huge--again this is huge!  Many times we see contractors who have paid a lot of money for a home improvement website with no SEO built into it!  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of coding your home improvement website so that it gets found when a potential home improvement lead looks for your company on Google.  Minimum search engine optimization must done for your home improvement website or you have no chance of Google and other search engines finding you! A good home improvement website company should include at least the minimum in their cost, but having SEO as a service will obviously cost you a lot more---but in our opinion is worth it!

Anything else you still want to know about getting a home improvement website built? Feel free to ask us – we'll do our best to give you all the advice that you need to make the most informed decision.

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The Marketing Corner: A Home Improvement Brand Is Much More Than Just A Logo

Logo design is a part of brand design. But, a brand is not just a logo design. When does a logo become part of a brand?

Well-Known World Brand Logotypes

To answer this question, let’s first define what a logo is and what a brand is:

What is a logo? A logo is a unique, meaningful design that’s paired with your company name in an interesting and cohesive way. The logo also has a color palette assigned to it. It must be scalable, able to be reproduced consistently in all of your marketing, and timeless — so that it doesn’t get stale or look old too soon.

What is a brand? A brand is “The collection of perceptions that your customer has about your business”. Note that the brand lives in your customer’s mind — and the ideas that they have about your business.

This doesn’t mean that the brand is out of your control. You can control your customer’s idea of your brand by defining your brand and designing eye-catching, stand-out graphics to communicate that message. Then, use those graphics consistently throughout your marketing materials. That’s all there is to helping your clients get the right idea about your brand.

Aspects of your brand that you have complete control over include:

  • The story that you’re telling about your business. The first step in branding is to figure out who you are, what you do, what makes you different and who your best clients are. And, to put that all together in a simple, easy-to-say and easy-to-understand brand story. Use that as the foundation for all of your visual communications, business and marketing writing, and your marketing design and strategy.
  • Your logo. Your logo should be designed to visually tell your brand story and to be attractive to your target customers (best clients).
  • Your Visual Vocabulary. Your logo is just one piece of your visual communication tools. If your marketing materials just had your logo and text on white paper, that would be a big start, but you’d be missing some big opportunities to making your designs more eye-catching. Your visual vocabulary is all of your additional graphics — like background colors or patterns, header designs, stock photos, your headshot, borders, special treatments for buttons or special offers, images of your products (like a product shot of your ebook), and your font styles and color palette. This gives you more tools to create stunning designs for your brand.
  • Specific marketing material designs. The design of your business card, letterhead, brochure, ebook cover, website, blog, ezine, and even your Twitter page are all a crucial part of your brand. These materials should reinforce each other and match without blending together too much.

So, a brand is much more than a logo — it’s the consistent story that you tell through your unique graphics (and all the other ways that you talk and write about your business).

That story gets into your customers’ minds and — if you’ve created a stand-out brand — it will stick there!

Once you create this stickiness, also called memorability, your clients will all be “on the same page” about your brand. This means that their comments and buzz about your company can reinforce their ideas about you — and the ideas that you want them to have about your business.

 

[Via Elf Design]