Here’s the latest news on Angie’s List: the local business reviews site will be taking down its paywall, making its ratings and reviews available to all online visitors, instead of just those with memberships. The site, which is mainly focused on the home services sector, announced its switch to a freemium model yesterday, according to USA Today. Angie’s List President and CEO, Scott Durchslag, said he expects the change to result in a dramatic surge in traffic and reviews on the site.
Under the new tiered structure, which will launch this summer, the free version will make Angie’s List’s reviews and ratings available to everyone and will show display ads. Users will also have the option to upgrade to a premium silver subscription at $24.99 or a gold subscription at $99.99, according to the USA Today article. These subscriptions will included added features, such as an emergency service hotline and fair price guarantees.
What Does This Mean for Your Business?
So what’s the big deal about Angie’s List doing away with the paywall, anyway? Well, no paywall means more people will be reading their reviews, which could include reviews for your services. Do you know what people are saying about your home service business on Angie’s List? Are you ready for that kind of exposure? If not, then it’s time start cracking down with a strategy for monitoring and managing your reviews, not only on Angie’s List, but on other sites as well. Online reputation management is an important part of your home services marketing.
As a contractor, plumber, roofer, or other type of home services provider, you have probably seen the power of online reviews. You may have seen how one glowing review posted about you online can bring in several new calls and appointments. Or you may have seen the opposite – how negative ratings and reviews can hurt your company’s reputation and drive potential customers away.
If you don’t think online reviews matter, just look at these stats from BrightLocal:
- 92% of consumers read online reviews.
- 80% of people who read online reviews trust them at the same level as personal recommendations (as long as the reviews meet a few basic requirements).
- 68% of consumers say they trust a business more when it has positive reviews.
Managing Your Online Reputation & Getting More Customers
You can improve your business’s online reputation by continually working at getting satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. Your strategy should also include a plan for addressing negative reviews in a way that minimizes damage to your business.
And here’s another point to consider—along with managing your online reviews, you should also make sure you have strong website in place. Another finding from BrightLocal’s survey was that 48% of people visit a business's website after reading a positive review for that business. If you do have positive reviews, you will want to keep the momentum going by having a site that will impress your visitors and convince them to call you over your competitors.
With the right strategy, you can turn online reviews into a money maker for your home service business. You just need to know the right steps for taking control of your online reputation.
Get some helpful tips by downloading our free Online Reviews Survival Guide!