Are you asking customers for reviews? You should be.

Asking customers for online reviews

Today, 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, which means your business’ reputation is important.* The success of your business is connected to your online reputation, so getting online reviews is key. One of the easiest ways to get reviews for your business is to simply ask your customers. Asking for reviews helps give you the power to control the conversation about your business. Online reviews provide powerful benefits to including an increase in sales, visibility and credibility.

Online Reviews Boost Sales

Online reviews give potential customers additional insight into your business and influences their decision to purchase a product or service. Studies show that when a business has recent, relevant online reviews, conversions are increased. In fact, according to Shopify, 63% of customers are likely to complete a sale if a business has online reviews. Ask customers to leave a review directly on your website or other popular review sites to see an increase in sales for your business.

Online Reviews Increase Visibility

Similar to the way Demandforce Local increases your business’ online visibility, online reviews can benefit your search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines prioritize content that is uniquely worded, relevant and updated frequently –– content like online reviews. With more customer reviews your business will rank for more search keywords, resulting in increased visibility for your products and services.

Online Reviews Establish Credibility

The old phrase “the only thing worse than bad press is no press” can be applied to a business’ online reputation. Potential customers want to see what other people are saying about your business. If your reviews are scarce or non-existent, this can cause them to doubt your credibility. A good amount of customer reviews, even negative reviews, help to establish your business as credible. Businesses with a credible online presence can improve their online reputation and reach new customers online.

Online Reviews Build a Presence

As you begin to request reviews from customers, be sure to point them to different review sites that help establish your reputation. For example, Yelp could be where you have most of your reviews, while Facebook is bare and needs more attention. There are communications tools that can automate review request emails, pointing customers to a variety of online review sites while focusing only on the ones you choose.

*https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/#recommendations

The benefits of using social media tools

The benefits of social media tools

Managing social media pages can be overwhelming for small businesses, especially when first starting. Once you create a profile your staff has to carve out time to think about content – both copy and images – while also taking part in social conversations, and answering client questions. Though the rewards may sometimes take long to reap, or even hard to pinpoint, the work that goes into social can bring in more clients. But what can your staff do to make social media easier to manage? Bring on a tool that does the groundwork for you.

Consistent branding

Compelling images are probably the hardest to attain as a small business with limited resources. Some social management tools, however, will also offer professionally designed profile images across all of the main channels. This will help your online presence look consistent so current and potential clients know they found the right business.

Reduce content creation time

If you’re looking for true value, find a tool that can offer you pre-written content that’s specific to your industry. This feature can act as a hired writer but without the cost of training, computer equipment, experience, etc. You will also be able to have the post scheduled in advance so your team can plan ahead.

More time on engagement

With your posts being taken care of your team will have time to spend on what’s most important: engaging your audience. Your audience includes people who follow you, as well as people who don’t.

For those who do follow you, they may predominantly be clients who are already loyal to you with a mix of potential clients. Both will use the channel to ask customer service questions. Research has shown that more than 80 percent of customers expect responses from businesses within 24 hours, with almost half anticipating a reply in less than an hour.*

For those who do not follow you, the best acquisition strategy to look for industry-specific conversations and take part in them. This will grow your following, and in turn expand your online presence to find new clients.

 

Social media is a must for your business, so it’s a great idea to find a tool that will save you time, and keep your staff focused on their main roles.

*https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/need-quicker-response-times-social-media/

Demandforce Customers: Sending Email Campaigns

Demandforce Customers Sending Email Campaigns

Email marketing is one of the most effective methods to reach and engage with your clients. Pew Research data shows that 92% of adults in the United States use email, with 61% of these users using it on an average day. It is also one of the simplest ways to market your small business, gain appointment requests and alert clients to upcoming promotions. Demandforce makes it easy for you to create email campaigns, whether your goal is to gain appointment requests or referrals for new customers.

1-Click Campaigns

Our 1-click campaigns are beneficial to small businesses because they can be created in minutes, which saves you valuable time and money. Creating an email campaign is as easy as click, edit and send! Select the campaign that aligns with your goals, customize it for your business and send or schedule the campaign for a future date. Demandforce creates new 1-click campaigns each season, providing a wide range of email campaigns all year long.

Email campaigns are not only useful for special offers and promotions, they also help keep your business front of mind with clients. Many clients neglect to schedule regular maintenance appointments, resulting in fewer visits over time. Frequent emails from your business help encourage the occurrence of repeat business and increased revenue.

Create Your Own Campaign

Demandforce also provides you with the freedom to create your own email campaigns. Customize all of your content from the email copy to your business’s unique images and branding. Customized campaigns can include newsletters, promotions or thank you emails that show your appreciation to valued clients. Creating your own email campaign gives you the added flexibility of incorporating a call-to-action that links to your own custom URL.

Email campaigns help build brand awareness, loyalty and trust in your business. With the growing popularity of mobile devices, your email campaigns can reach clients immediately, whether they’re at work or in line at a grocery store. Email campaigns are both convenient for your on-the-go clients and vital to your business’s bottom line.

3 ways having an optimized website can bring in more cash flow

3 ways your website can bring in more cash flow

Cash flow is the lifeblood of every optometry practice, and your website may play a bigger role in having consistent cash flowing in than you think. Yes, direct mailers with coupons will always be one of the strong contenders in your traditional marketing strategy. But patients, both current and prospective, are now also responding to digital marketing because it feeds their need for instant information, and offers them the convenience they require to be satisfied. Your website can play a big part in that. Here are 3 ways having a website can bring in more cash flow.

1. Online Booking

Usually when a patient’s day dies down is when they remember to catch up on personal tasks like scheduling their doctor appointments. The catch is your practice is most likely closed at this time. Because life is so fast-paced, it’s important for both your practice and your patients to have options outside of making a phone call during office hours to book an appointment. This is where having an ‘Online Booking’ feature on your website is imperative.

Not only does it keep your current patients coming back to your office, but it also gives potential patients the option to try your services. If a prospect is scrolling through your website they are already showing interest in having their eyes checked at your practice. That is the most optimal time to try and generate new visits – by offering them a prominent ‘Schedule Online’ button.

2. Content Marketing

Content is king – even Google says it when referring to the power it has on SEO. 59% of patients are saying they access health information more frequently. With the flood of both accurate and inaccurate health information on the web, your practice can take the lead in engaging your current and prospective audience with interesting articles or email newsletters focused on eyes and eye health. If your content has quality ideas and is done consistently, you can retain your patients with loyalty while bringing in new patients who are persuaded by your thought-leadership. There are also marketing solutions that offer a robust collection of industry-specific content.

Your website is also a great place to list your specialties, services and the different insurance you accept. Though this may not directly point to more cash flow, it will reduce the phone calls your office receives and gives them more personal time with patients to offer a positive experience.

3. Optimization and Reputation

As mentioned earlier, content is an effective tactic in the strategy to enhance your SEO. But managing and expanding your online presence is just as important. First things first, build a profile on the main review sites like Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades. Then, implement some ways you can easily direct your happy patients there to leave a review. Some ways could include ‘Thank You’ emails with a ‘Review Us’ link, or simple requests via text message to leave your practice a review. Your staff can even ask verbally if the moment is right. The more positive (4+ star) reviews and visibility your practice has, the more inclined new patients are to try your services.

Another opportunity for visibility and an optimized online presence is online business listings. There are hundreds of data-aggregating listing sites that pull your information – whether it’s correct or not – and post it. These need to be managed and completely filled out just in case a prospect finds you on one of those listing sites. If the site offers an online booking link be sure to use it. You never want to pass up an opportunity to acquire someone new.

Seize your cash flow opportunities to protect your bottom line, and when you can, implement tools that will fulfill this need for your staff.

Why does Google remove some reviews?

Why Google removes some online reviews

Google reviews can help a small business expand their reach to more prospects. But at the end of the day, Google controls the content that lands on their social network, Google Plus. This has left many of us wondering, ‘Why did Google remove that review?” According to their review policy, there are nine types of review content that they consider ‘prohibited and restricted.’ But what they could explain more is why they classify some reviews as ‘spam or fake.’ The answer is: the IP address.

Customers sharing the same IP address

Your internet service provider assigns the computer you connect to the internet with an IP address. If your customer brings a family member in, and they go home and both decide to leave a review for business on their shared computer, Google considers this a duplicate. In the world wide web, duplicate is another word for spam. So there goes their nice gesture and your chance to keep these two new reviews.

Customers reviewing with your WiFi

It’s no surprise that you have logged into your business’ Google Plus from your business WiFi. However, if you offer this same WiFi to customers and a happy customer decides to leave you a review while they wait, you’ve run into the IP address issue again. Another problematic scenario is if they simply log in to their Google Plus from your WiFi and leave the review later at home. The fact that they were on your IP has already left a trail.

Happy employees leaving reviews at work

Whether you asked your employees to give your business a Google Plus review, or they took it upon themselves, this is actually against Google’s guidelines. This is also another case where the search engine giant can sniff this out through the IP address. The employee is either leaving the review at work with the company WiFi, or they’ve signed into Google Plus under the WiFi and then left the review in another location like at home. Since this removal can be prevented, it’s probably best to ask your employees not to leave reviews.

Another option outside of the IP address is customers deleting the review themselves. This happens often with incentives. If you extend your offers or giveaways to a wide range of customers in exchange for a review, you may see reviews removed once they redeem their prize. Consider cherry-picking the customers you offer the incentive to in order to avoid this.

As we saw in the review policy, there are many other reasons why Google may remove a review from your listing. Because it’s almost like the luck of the draw, just remember the big picture which is to have an overall positive online reputation. As long as you have enough 4+ star reviews to keep you competitive against others in your industry, you’re in good standing.

https://whitespark.ca/blog/google-remove-reviews/

Summer-Inspired Marketing Campaigns for your Industry

Summer Inspired Email Campaigns

One of the tricks to successful marketing is making it relevant to your audience and what they are interested in at that moment. Since the Summer season is full of road trips, vacation, and hot weather – your campaigns should be too! Here are summer-inspired email campaigns for your industry.

Medical email campaign ideas

Summer time is a great time to nurture the relationships you have with your patients. Remind them why they chose your practice with these newsletters:

  • 4 reasons why you should protect your eyes from the sun
  • How to fight the flu before school starts
  • 3 ways to ease your back at your desk job

Dental email campaign ideas

If your young patients haven’t been brought in for their annual visit yet, segment your emails with these ideas to bring them in before school starts.

  • Back to school special: come in by 8/31
  • 25% off bright smiles for the new school semester
  • New patient special: schedule by 8/31

Veterinary email campaign ideas

If your patients could bark the words, they’d let you know that summer may not be their favorite season. Let your clients know why with these newsletters:

  • Summertime pests to protect your furry friend from
  • 3 natural products that will protect your dog from ticks
  • How to protect your pet from the heat

Salon and spa email campaign ideas

The summer heat and blazing sun can be detrimental to healthy hair. Be there for your clients with these emails:

  • Summer special: 25% off deep conditioning
  • 3 at-home remedies for dry hair
  • Come in before 8/31 and get a free hair mask!

Auto shop email campaign ideas

‘Tis the season for selling! Most of your customers have no idea how the summer heat can affect their A/C, or how to prepare for that upcoming road trip. Generate revenue with these emails:

  • $10 off your oil change + free A/C check
  • 10% off tire rotation – offer ends 8/31
  • Free brake check before your road trip

How to Measure the Value of Your Website with Google Analytics

How to measure the value of your website with Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is an analytics tool that can help you understand how powerful your website is in your marketing strategy. You can measure how many returning visitors you get versus new visitors, what website pages are the most popular, and so much more. Because it offers a lot of measuring opportunities, sometimes GA can seem overwhelming. To get you started, here are some essential metrics to measure the value of your website to your business.

Turning it on

First things first – you have to open an analytics account and add GA to your website. The tool is free, so all you need is simple information like your website URL to get your GA code snippet. Highlight and copy the entire snippet of code once you are ready to add it to your website. You can access this snippet of code anytime in your GA settings.

If you have a Business Plan website with WordPress.com, adding this code is simple. Just install the Google Analytics plugin created by MonsterInsights, as that is the plugin trusted by WordPress. Once installed, go to the settings of this plugin on your WordPress dashboard and add your snippet of code.

You can also add GA to WiX, Squarespace and most templated websites. If your business has a custom website built by code from a developer, you should contact your developer or IT professional. It may take a day or two for your website to start recording data. You won’t be able to gather any data from the time period that you did not have GA.

Behavior: Popular Pages

Now for the fun part: measuring! Right off the bat you’re going to want to know what pages are working for you. Your homepage will always be the most popular by default, so it’s better to pay attention to the top three to five pages on the list. On your left hand menu in GA, click Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Once you arrive make sure you adjust the time frame on the upper right corner of the page so you can be specific on what day or days you want to measure.

Now that you are looking at your top pages, pay attention to some of these details:

  • Pageviews and unique pageviews: it’s interesting to see how many of those views are unique.
  • Average time on page: you want to see something above 1 minute and 30 seconds so you know users are truly reading.
  • Bounce rate: how often are they on the page for only 0 seconds? This percentage should be lower – ideally under 50 percent.

On your popular pages, don’t make too many content updates because clearly something is working. Make sure you have strong CTAs and feel free to add testimonials to these pages since they have a good chance of being viewed.

Acquisition: Where are Visitors Coming From

With this data there is no more guessing what social network works best for your brand. You can also learn about other channels bringing traffic to your website like paid search if you’re running Google Ads, referral websites if other websites are linking to yours, or email if you’re sending email campaigns.

On your navigation click Acquisitions > All Traffic > Channels. Right off the bat you’ll see what channels are bringing the most traffic to your site. If you click on a specific channel like Social, you can track what specific networks are bringing you the most traffic, and decide which ones to stop posting on every week. And remember – take the bounce rate into consideration when you’re deciphering which channel is working the best for your brand.

Audience: Know Your Visitors

This is a great tool to help you pinpoint who your website audience is. If you click Audience > Behavior > New vs Returning on your navigation, you can easily see who you’re content should be catered to. Maybe your website is mostly returning users, while your social media pages are where new customers find you.

While staying in the Audience tab, explore the Demographics, Interests, and Geo subtabs to really get to know your users. This information is great for inspiration on sales, promotions or incentives you hold.

Marketing only has meaning to your business when it is measured. Although there are many ways to analyze the different marketing channels you use, Google Analytics is one of the best for understanding the power of your website, who is visiting it, and where they came from.