Not on Angie’s List? Why Now May be the Time to Reconsider

How Angie’s List’s New Free Membership Could Impact Your Business

Read about Angie’s List decision to offer a new free membership and how it can help local business SEO…

Angie's List Business Owners page

Perhaps you have heard about Angie’s List and were not sure if it had much of an impact on your local business.

As a local business owner, you should know that many customers and potential customers have found the List to be a great place to read, and place, reviews on local businesses.

Like many review sites, a reviewer must join Angie’s List in order to place a review. Not only that, they have to be a member in order to read other reviews.

For many, both consumers and businesses, this was a small stumbling block.

While many people have joined, others have balked because there was a membership fee. Some found the fee to be worthwhile and others decided they would rather use one of the free review sites.

Since the fee did deter some people from using the site, you might have decide that Angie’s List was not that relevant to your business, so you didn’t bother to even claim your profile. (Yes, you might have a profile–and some reviews–there and not even know it, in this case!)

You could be on Angie’s List already and not even know it.

Angie’s List is a community where members and local providers can connect. Your profile is your first impression to members, so make it count! Build a robust profile that includes a business description, operating hours, areas of specialty, responsiveness, reviews and more. Members consider this information before deciding who contact.

After you interact with members, they submit reviews on their experiences. Reviews are given in the form of a letter grade, and are a great way to gain insights about how customers and patients view your services.

Angie’s List reviews are:

      • Never anonymous

      • Verified by BPA Worldwide’s certification process

      • Submitted online, through mail or over the phone

      • Easily accessible to read and respond

Well, hang on to your seats…because Angie’s List’s new CEO has decided to offer a free “green” membership.

This is great news for your local business because now even more people will be able to see your profile page and all your positive reviews–without having to pay ‘for admission.’

Angie's list graphic

We have long encouraged our clients to claim their profile on AL if their business was in one of the appropriate categories. Now, they have not only providing a free membership, they have also expanded the list of business categories, from Air Duct Cleaning to Welding!

Angie's List Categories

One of the benefits of claiming your business profile is that you can manage your reviews. Keeping on top of both positive and negative reviews is essential for your business.

On review sites, whether Google, Yelp, Brownbook, Angie’s List or others you want to be sure you are responding promptly to negative reviews. Your prompt response gives you the opportunity to rectify any situations that need to be fixed–and let the customer (and others) know how you have handled it. All good PR, and it should be SOP (standard operating procedure) for any business.

Angie’s List is one of the review sites that is also excellent from an local business SEO perspective–one of the other reasons we suggest claiming your business listing. AL is seen as a trusted site, which links out to your site–and you can link to theirs–and that all is good search engine “mojo.”

So what have you got to lose? If you haven’t already claimed your listing, this just might be the final push you needed to convince you that it is a good idea.

Build Your Brand: Why SEO is Important

Google Says Better to Hire SEO NOW…So Why Do So Many People Wait?

seo branding

For a lot of people, SEO is an afterthought.

It’s strange, as even Google says that IF you have to hire an SEO, you should do so early rather than late, like when you’re just planning to launch a new site.

Now, why would Google say that?

Because SEO isn’t a topping that you can just pour on top of your site. It’s a base ingredient.

Yes, this applies to websites–but to your brand, too. Don’t wait until later or you will miss out on much on a lot of good business $$$.

Why is SEO important…important enough for Google to tell you that it IS indeed important?

 
Google (and other search engines…but Google is still, at least for now, #1) rely on providing a good ‘user experience.’ They want the people who are using their search engine to be happy and to find what they are looking for.
 
After all, if they don’t, Google knows that they will start searching using some other tool. This is exactly what happened to the phone books, right? We all used to look things up on the phone book until Google made it so much easier to use the internet.
 
Google wants to have happy customers because if people find what they are looking for, then businesses will advertise on Google. It is all economics.
 
So what does Google want from you, your site, your brand? They want speed, a site that is easy for their robots to understand, that is mobile friendly, that has fresh content….
 
If you think SEO is not related to this, you would be wrong. SEO affects so many levels of the user experience.
 
Check out this diagram from Peter Morville. It gives a basic idea of what it feels like to be searching for something online.

user experience honeycomb tfE2pU

Think in these terms, they are the very foundation of a good user experience. Evaluate your website and brand based on them.

  • Useful: Your content should be useful and relevant.
  • Usable: Your site should be easy to navigate.
  • Desirable: Your design should appeal to your target audience.  
  • Findable: You should focus on content and make searching for information easy..
  • Accessible: Your site should be mindful of people with disabilities.
  • Credible: Your brand must show signs of authority and prompt trust.

Most of these attributes, like being useful, usable, findable, accessible and credible map directly to SEO. After all, search engines gauge the overall user experience and decide if your site is the best result to show.

If you haven’t already optimized your brand for the search engines, this is the best time to start, because you probably want to market to the MILLENNIALS. 

 The millennials are used to having information at their fingertips and making purchases IMMEDIATELY!

This is why it is so important that your business is able to be found online RIGHT NOW.

This is exactly what SEO does for you. It allows people who are looking for what you have to offer–right now–to find YOU as opposed to finding your competitor.

Most people today are purposefully searching online. They are not responding to spam-vertising. This is what we call, “in bound marketing” as compared to “interruption marketing” which would be like the old school type of advertising on the television or radio.

inbound marketing

 

One of the most important parts of branding, and marketing in general, is that you have to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective client.

No business can appeal to all buyers. Who is your ideal target market? Why are they looking for the service or product that you offer?

And consider HOW they are looking for you. This is an essential part of SEO. You and your colleagues may have specific terms or jargon that you use repeatedly, but that doesn’t mean people who are outside your industry–people who are prospective clients and customers–know that slang.

“Keywords” is a term that we use in the internet marketing space. Some people believe that keywords are dead. Well….they are and they aren’t.

The WAY in which keywords were used in the past is indeed dead. But keywords, the basic concept of them is very much alive. In essence a keyword is simple a word that a person might type into the search bar to find something…if you offer that something and have used SEO properly then that prospective customer will find you. Because of SEO and keywords.

That is a short summary of how SEO is important to your business and your brand.


Read more on the topic from Neil Patel Here: via How to Use SEO to Build Your Brand