A Change in How Service Companies Are Found in Google

The EGIA Contractor Marketplace boasts a number of partner companies, each offering exclusive discounts on some of the products, services and equipment successful contracting companies use every day. That includes ReviewBuzz, who has partnered with EGIA to offer contractors some insight into online review services and how they can impact your business's search engine results.

THE CHANGE THAT IS TAKING PLACE
There is a change taking place in the service industry. Review sites now dominate the first page of Google when customers are searching for home services, according to Local Blitz Marketing. It is no longer company websites. This is in response to consumers’ increased usage of review sites, which is now at 91% and climbing, as proven by BrightLocal surveys.

WHY REVIEW SITES NOW DOMINATE THE 1ST PAGE OF GOOGLE
Google tries to give consumers what they want. 91% of consumers will read a review before making a buying decision. This explains why review sites now dominate the first page of Google when consumers search for Home Services companies. This is incredibly important because Google now accounts for over 76% of all global desktop search traffic, and over 94% of all mobile/tablet search traffic globally according to BrightLocal.

STAYING AHEAD OF THE CHANGE
EGIA member Mike Hameister has been in the HVAC and plumbing business for almost 30 years. He has seen huge changes in how customers find and choose home services companies, and has kept up with technology. When asked about the ongoing change and the domination of review sites, he pointed out that this change makes it easier to compete against larger companies that have bigger budgets. Implementing a system to consistently get more reviews is not expensive, but it may create the same amount of online exposure as an expensive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign.

To stay ahead of this change, Hameister uses ReviewBuzz to get frequent and consistent reviews from his best customers on the sites that rank high in Google searches such as Yellow Pages, Google, Facebook, BBB etc. The more reviews a company gets on these sites, the better the chances of ranking higher up in Google searches.

IGNORING IT DOESN'T MAKE IT GO AWAY
Companies have review pages and customers leaving reviews even if they didn’t create them. It is common for review sites such as Google and Yelp to generate a review page for a business without the business knowing about it. Customers can leave reviews on sites that are not seen or managed by the company. Whether we like it or not, these review sites are either working for us or against us. Managing them is going to be crucial to obtaining future business.

THE FUTURE OF HVAC
When consumers need a service, they often go to Google and type in what they want followed by their location. For example: “Air Conditioning Cincinnati OH.” Of the organic results, Google Maps accounts for 41% of Internet users worldwide documented by GPS Business News. One aspect that determines the ranking of the sites on Google Maps is recent and relevant reviews. Consumers continue to use review sites more and more. The use of review sites jumped from 71% to 91% in just 6 years as shown by BrightLocal surveys, and it is still climbing.

CONCLUSION - THIS IS GOOD NEWS FOR THE LITTLE GUY
This gives small companies an opportunity to compete for business on the internet and go up against large companies that have huge marketing budgets. Because of review sites, a large budget is no longer needed to get on the first page of Google provided the company has a strategy for getting customer reviews. There is no way a small company’s website could outrank the website of their competitor if the competitor is spending 20k a month on SEO for their website. However by simply getting constant reviews from their best customers on the major review sites, small companies can have a huge presence on the first page of Google. Companies like ReviewBuzz, an EGIA Contractor Marketplace partner, can simplify and streamline the practice of getting customer reviews without costing a company significant time or money.

In the future, service companies will either be staying ahead of this change, or risk slowly being left behind. Technology is changing and the time to keep up with it isn’t 6 months from now. The time to keep up with technology is now.

To learn more about ReviewBuzz, and their exclusive offer for EGIA members, visit their page on the EGIA Contractor Marketplace.
BrightLocal 2016 (and 2010) Residential Service "Why Reviews Matter" Survey Summary