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.

Demandforce Customers: Easy Ways to Collect Email Addresses

Collecting Email Addresses for Marketing

One of our best tools to convert current and prospective customers is our Email Campaign builder. Just like you experienced in your demo with your sales rep, you can segment your emails by products purchased and services received, or simply send appointment reminders and recall campaigns via email. But in order to get started, you have to collect email addresses from your audience. Don’t worry – there are easy ways to do this! Here are two options that the Demandforce portal offers you to help you collect email addresses.

Offline Form

Offline forms ask for the information necessary to send your customers emails and text messages. ‘Offline’ stands for customers who either don’t have an email address in your management system, or are simply not subscribed to your email communications.

The easiest way to tackle receiving email addresses from your current customers is by printing this form for the day they come in for their appointment. Go to your ‘Appointments’ drop down in your menu and click ‘Appointment Calendar’ to choose the day you would like to print your Offline Form. Then you can click the blue link ‘Print Patient Forms’ and choose if you want print forms for every patient that day, or a different audience listed in the drop down.

It’s recommended to add this to any other paperwork your customers are filling out, or have them fill it out quickly while they wait for their appointment to begin.

Email Finder

Email Finder is an add-on service we provide within your portal, and it’s a great option if you have little-to-no email addresses to start with, or your business is fairly new. It’s also helpful for a promotion or announcement that you want to extend your reach with.

This service searches through national opt-in databases using your customer’s name and physical mailing address. Once you start with Demandforce the Email Finder already begins searching, and let’s you know how many it has found. This happens every month and is no extra charge. Only once you click ‘Let’s do it’ are those emails purchased for $0.99 per valid email. The good news is – we give you 500 emails for free just to get you started! Be sure to take advantage of that deal no matter how big your email database is.

Outside of what Demandforce offers you, there are a variety of ways you can gather email addresses from current or prospective customers, including:

  • Business card fishbowl for a prize giveaway
  • Email signup field on your website
  • Social media ads

Just be sure to email your customers no more than once a week, and no less than around every three months to stay at the top of their mind.

LinkedIn on a Budget

Linkedin Strategy for Small Businesses

As a small business, it’s important to have tools that will help you recruit top talent, find peers, and curate helpful content for you at an inexpensive rate. LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, is a great option to help your business fulfill those needs. Although there are paid options on the platform, with strategic time and effort you can get your recruiting, networking and educational needs fulfilled from LinkedIn for free. Here are some easy-to-implement tactics.

Recruiting:

  • Posting jobs as updates

Instead of paying for Linkedin Recruiter, you can post about open positions on your feed for all of your followers to see. In your post, encourage your followers to tag someone that may be a good fit for the position. This will give you immediate leads, and expand the reach of your post to that follower’s feed as well.

  • LinkedIn Salary

One of the hardest parts of recruiting is establishing a fair pay rate for you and the candidate. LinkedIn offers a salary estimate tool that assesses the job title and years of experience needed for the role so you can stay competitive when hiring.

  • Search bar – people

Outside of posting your open positions on your feed, you can also be proactive and search for the specific role and location you need a new hire in. For example, ‘graphic designer los angeles’ brings more than 43,000 results. You can also use the filter to narrow down by school or previous companies worked for. When you find some top candidates send them a message, or use the introduction box when requesting to connect to explain why you’re reaching out.

Networking:

  • Search bar – companies

Being a small-business owner can be hard when you need advice, or just reassurance that you’re on the right track. Instead of paying money to attend networking events or conferences, search for those companies and look for peers you want to connect with. People are often surprised how open others are to network on LinkedIn and trade tips. Make sure to leave a note in the introduction box when requesting to connect.

  • LinkedIn Groups

Another great way to find like-minded individuals is by joining LinkedIn groups that are pertinent to your industry. Groups often post relevant articles and engage with posts to start a conversation.

Learning:

  • Educational content

Sometimes it’s helpful to get out of your ‘publication rut’ and read articles from thought-leaders or blogs you’ve not heard of before. Start by following companies, media agencies or people who inspire you in your industry that post content. What they post will show up on your feed, as well as content that they ‘liked’ or commented on, which will help expand your learning horizons.

  • LinkedIn Learning

If there is ever a new skill you want to learn, or a strategic tactic you need inspiration on, take advantage of the free 1-month trial of LinkedIn Learning. They have topics from that span across business, creative and technology. There are also Learning Paths for specialities like becoming a manager, or an excel expert.

LinkedIn has a lot to offer business owners who are looking to expand their team, network or expertise for no cost. It’s truly the sophisticated social media channel that can help you achieve your goals without breaking your budget!

7 Text Messaging Stats that Will Make You Wonder Why You’re Not Texting Customers

Text Messaging Statistics that will make you want to text your customers

Text messaging is more than a communications tool – it’s a retention tool. From faster responses to more referrals, if you’re not texting your customers – here are 7 stats that will make you wonder why.

1. 97% of Americans use text messaging.

2. 75% of millennials think that text is a helpful way to receive appointment reminders.

3. 19% of millennials don’t check their voicemails.

4. It only takes 90 seconds for a response to an average text message.

5. 77% of consumers aged 18-34 will have a more positive perception of a company that has text messaging capabilities.

6. Customers are 28% more likely to recommend a company to friends if it offers a text messaging capability.

7. The response rate to a text message is 8x higher than the response rate to an email.

So if you’re looking for a quick way to get a customer to gain a follower on social media, redeem a coupon, or learn about a promotion – send them a text message. Make sure timing is in line with your hours of operation, but not late at night like 9PM when some people’s evenings may be winding down.

After you’ve sent your text campaigns, make sure to look at your opt-out rates for each message to know what works for your audience. If your opt-out rate is high, you may want to consider trying new messaging.

http://www.offthecusp.com/texting-your-patients-statistics/

Simple communications that will drive revenue to your auto shop

Auto Shop Communications Driving Revenue

Your customers are most likely driving their car everyday, and all that truly matters to them is the vehicle takes them to point A and point B when they need it to. It’s up to your auto shop to keep them informed on what their vehicle’s make and model needs to keep moving, and remind them when the time has come. Customers are more likely to want to receive communications from their auto shop than some may realize!

Research indicates 67% of vehicle owners are open to receiving text updates.

These days most people have their phone in their hand, or nearby, at all times. All you need to do is have their consent to send their number text messages recorded in your business management software. One way to receive consent is a checkbox on a new customer sign in form.

Using a simple software, your shop can easily send maintenance or service reminders pulling from the Mitchell database so they are specific to your customer’s vehicle. You can also segment these texts by active and lost customers in order to personalize the message. For lost customers, you may consider including an incentive in the reminder to further persuade them to bring their car into your shop for maintenance.

 

Cox Automative reported 45% of customers who did not take advantage of online scheduling did not know it was an option.

Don’t let your shop miss an opportunity to get an appointment scheduled, whether it’s from a new customer or current one. An online scheduling widget can bring in substantial appointments when placed on your website, or a popular social media channel like Instagram. According to WardsAuto.com, 23% of online customers schedule their visits outside of the business hours of a dealership. If you’re not offering online scheduling, your competitors may be getting those appointments.

When you are proactive and consistent in communicating with your customers, you can ensure that you are always driving revenue to your auto shop. Make it easy for them to choose your business, and then wow them with your high-quality services.

 

http://wardsauto.com/fixed-ops/car-dealership-vehicle-sales-down-now-what

Success Story: Advance German Car

Demandforce Success Story - Auto Shop

About Advance German Car

Rudy Brandes has been a professional in the auto industry for more than four decades. He has been a customer of Demandforce since 2011. Brandes opened his shop, Advance German Car in 1983, specializing in German automobiles such as Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes Benz.

We were excited to read about Rudy’s experience with Demandforce in his success story. Here are top highlights from Rudy’s experience that any auto shop can benefit from by using Demandforce:

Keeping in Touch to Keep Customers Coming Back

After years of sending communications with customers manually, Brandes has saved time, energy and increased revenue by having the ability to communicate with his customers instantly using our text and email features.

“It has allowed us to get more business, as well as communicate better with our customers,” Brandes says.

More Time to Serve More Customers

By using Demandforce, Brandes estimates that he has increased his customer base by 15 percent, and has seen an increase of loyal customers and referrals.

“It’s totally freed up my time,” Brandes says.

Ready to learn more? Request a demo from one of our experts and they will get back to you shortly.

 

Now trending: The New Demandforce

New Demandforce Products

The Demandforce team has been in the product lab and can’t wait to show you what updates we have coming up. Our software is raising the bar with new product rollouts and upgraded features for the rest of the year! The New Demandforce will continue to advance with new technology for a greater impact and more enhanced experience. Be a part of the change!

Upcoming Products

Newest feature: SimpleNav

For our current customers – get excited! This week of 5/28/2018 your Demandforce portal will be even better with an enhanced navigation menu! You will be able to easily view your SimpleNav on the left side of your portal. Each link will have a dropdown menu offering more options to get you started. Learn more about the enhancement on the Demandforce Help Center.

Patient Portal  Coming soon

Quick Text Review – Coming soon

Campaign Builder – Coming soon

 

Schedule a demo with a sales rep today and learn about upcoming features. Upgrade your business with The New Demandforce.

Don’t be afraid of customer surveys

Don't be afraid of customer surveys

Customer satisfaction is the most important aspect of your business because without loyal customers your bottom line will suffer. The strategy behind keeping your customers coming back is ensuring that each touch-point in their journey is positive. Your business can track their satisfaction with customer surveys, a method that may make you nervous. But don’t be afraid of customer surveys. They can expose issues you may be unaware of like long hold times for phone calls.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid of customer surveys.

Your online reputation will be protected

As customers are checking out at the end of their visit, have your front desk hand them a customer survey. Keep it short with 5 questions or less to ensure they complete it before they leave. This will give them the opportunity to critique any part of their visit that didn’t go well, and most likely prevent them from complaining about it on social media since they already got it off their chest.

For customers whose satisfaction surveys are positive, your front office can utilize that to boost your business’s online reputation. The strategy is simple: send a daily or weekly email to happy customers asking them to leave you a review on Yelp, Google or any review site that is important to your business. Link directly to that site within the body of the email to make it as easy for the customer to complete as possible. This can be done more efficiently with an automation software.

The feedback can help your business

Surveys can expose process or team issues, as well as highlight an employee’s exceptional performance. Review your customer surveys once every quarter and meet with your team to go over good and bad experiences that stood out. It could serve as a training session in ‘what to do’ in situations that have arised, or may arise in the future.

At the end of the year you can also recognize an employee who handled a difficult situation well, or helped pave the way for a more efficient process that needed adjusting.

Customer surveys are a way to empower you and your staff with information on what your customers are truly expecting. Spend time perfecting the questions you will ask, and consider leaving the last question as a free form field so that the customer can be specific in what worked or what didn’t.