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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So what are you going to do different next year regarding collecting/using customer reviews/testimonials?

There are plenty of things to be thankful for this holiday season, and one of them better be your clients or customers. And I hope that by serving them with good quality work at a fair price you have been able to get yourself some great testimonials and reviews.

But which one is better for your business, testimonials or Reviews?

If you are just starting out with your contracting company you would be happy with either right? But there is a difference, and if you actively solicit testimonials and reviews (and you should), then let me suggest why testimonials should be your first choice.

Testimonials are a reward for your good work, and a testimonial acts just like a job recommendation. Reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Places, Merchant Circle or any of the IYP’s help bring in business and move your site up the search engine rankings, but the trouble with reviews is they can be gamed.


More here.......

(link expires 12/31)
 

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Chris, you always stay current. Awesome and thank you for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a google places page, but didn't know you could set it up like that.
If by "like that" you mean having the reviews from your website (that you entered) appear in your Places page, it appears to me that Google is taking the content from your site and putting it on your Places page.

Hopefully Yaros will pop in, he knows more about this than I.

As far as changing your Places Page, you can add photos, details, coupons etc.
There is also a link to add your Angies List info.
 

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If by "like that" you mean having the reviews from your website (that you entered) appear in your Places page, it appears to me that Google is taking the content from your site and putting it on your Places page.

Hopefully Yaros will pop in, he knows more about this than I.

As far as changing your Places Page, you can add photos, details, coupons etc.
There is also a link to add your Angies List info.
Ya know.....you could get a nice little side business going from us guys who are too busy (or lazy, or stupid, just fill in the blank.). :thumbsup:
 

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If by "like that" you mean having the reviews from your website (that you entered) appear in your Places page, it appears to me that Google is taking the content from your site and putting it on your Places page.

Hopefully Yaros will pop in, he knows more about this than I.

As far as changing your Places Page, you can add photos, details, coupons etc.
There is also a link to add your Angies List info.
In order for that to happen, you have to mark them up in a certain way in the back-end code on your website (it's called microformat markup an example of which is something like hCard markup). It basically lets the search engine know that this piece of information is indeed a review and this piece is the first line of an address and this isn't just a random string of 10 numbers but rather a phone numbers, etc.

This idea of pulling of testimonials from your website and into your place page when they are marked up using microformat on your website is very new...google announced it only in September I think.

As of now, none of the folks that work in the local space that I keep up with have seen it happening yet. Google only pulls in those markedup reviews that are on other authority directories (like insiderpages, yelp, citysearch) and so far, they have not been pulling them from folks' personal websites.

I think the fear is that you have control over your own website and can stuff it full of fake markedup reviews to be pushed to place pages.
 

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We have about 200 testimonials in the website.
That is our second most popular landing page, even with search terms
I never thought of, but I promote it as the Toronto's Best Painters page.
I don't want to change that as it is a major marketing and sales tool now.

Of course now, we need to ask our clients to write a review the way Google likes them.
Maybe then get some reviews at some review and consumer sites.
Then they can have our lawn signs, tell their neighbours, friends etc.
I forgot they have to follow us, like us, be our friends.

It can be a lot of work to be a customer after all.

I keep coming to the following conclusion:
Do what you do for your visitors, your customers, your prospects, your fans.
Don't do it for Google and Google will eventually reward you for it.
 

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As of now, none of the folks that work in the local space that I keep up with have seen it happening yet. Google only pulls in those markedup reviews that are on other authority directories (like insiderpages, yelp, citysearch) and so far, they have not been pulling them from folks' personal websites.
Well, check that....someone on CT posted a link to a place page that is already pulling reviews into the place page from their website.

So yeah, this will be interesting to watch...I predict the fake reviews business growing in double digits :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Another option is to use "Customer Stories". I have had good luck with these.

Create Trust Quicker with Customer Stories

So how do you overcome their doubts and gain their trust quicker?

One way is with customer stories. These are more than just testimonials. These are actual “happy homeowner stories” told by your homeowners. They are usually accompanied with before and after photos to help illustrate your capabilities.

Customer stories show impact on people ― a positive transformation that’s occurred as a result of purchasing your products or services. The goal of customer stories is to create trust quicker, shorten the buying cycle and ultimately influence the customer to buy from you.
 

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Dubin,

You have to mark them up on your page with a special code.

But even then, the link that RC provided of that one place page is the only place page where I have seen Google pulling reviews from regular business' websites (ie not yelp/citysearch/etc type places). I've emailed that link to a prominent guy who works with multi-location large businesses to promote their Google place pages and this is the first time he's seen reviews being pulled from a regular business website.

Most times, google will only pull them from larger directories/yellow pages/etc.

It all happens automatically.
 

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Dubin,

You have to mark them up on your page with a special code.

But even then, the link that RC provided of that one place page is the only place page where I have seen Google pulling reviews from regular business' websites (ie not yelp/citysearch/etc type places). I've emailed that link to a prominent guy who works with multi-location large businesses to promote their Google place pages and this is the first time he's seen reviews being pulled from a regular business website.

Most times, google will only pull them from larger directories/yellow pages/etc.

It all happens automatically.
I have a couple reviews on MerchantCircle and Kudzu would those be considered major sites they would pull from? I'm not to good with HTML code or anything like that......:eek:
 
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