A few days ago, I reported on Mark Paskell’s observations about the potential business-damaging practices of some of the well-known lead generation services, where, if you are not careful, you can end up paying lead fees your actual repeat/referral customers — who are also sent directly to your competitors.
Michael Stone, marketing consultant Mike Jeffries and search engine optimization consultant Brian Javeline (of Miami-based myonlinetoolbox.com) provide some additional observations in Stone’s LinkedIn Construction Business Owners Group.
Jeffries specifically outlines the value of gathering and posting testimonials on your own websites, taking the lead rather than following the review-rating sites. He writes:
We recommend that our clients get as many testimonials as possible for marketing tools – this includes their website, social media sites and materials they show to a prospect. It can be challenging enough to get a testimonial and to then be faced with the issue of not being to use it if it is posted on a ratings site is not good from a marketing standpoint.
I have offered a tool in the past to readers of this forum – Customer Satisfaction Survey and many have taken me up on it. This is a great tool to collect your testimonials for your own use. This will also provide a way to capture a testimonials for posting online and using in marketing tools.
If you would like the tool you can send me an email Mike@ClosingSuccessSystem.com – with the subject line Customer Satisfaction Survey-CMI Blog.
If you have a client that provides a positive online review – ask them to create one for your use and the form will provide a handy way to capture that. When you ask for the testimonial you can also let them know that as much as you appreciate the plug on the ratings service that you get more mileage from your own website. As a precaution, I would compare what they give you with what they post so you don’t run into issues with the ratings service.
My point is testimonials are very powerful and you don’t want to give them up so do everything you can to capture them yourself.
Javeline, meanwhile, puts the testimonial concept in SEO perspective:
Mike, you are correct, and there are many ways to positively have this impact SEO to drive traffic to one’s website. For example, I guide my customers to have certain keywords hyper-linked to the services pages of their site, another hyper-linked to their service locations, and even others hyper-linked to Before-After pictures and for those who decide to just beat everyone then also have their video optimized. While it all may sound hard, it really isn’t after you get the knack down. But to go back to Mike’s point, you need to have testimonials on your website and then you can optimize the content (testimonials) for leads.
The point here is that if you are relying or responding in fear to public lead generation services, you should reconsider your marketing focus. You’ll probably be able to acquire/retain clients at a lower cost-per-lead (with much greater long-term business value) if you take charge of your own website/search engine strategy — and most importantly, capture, and share your satisfied clients’ testimonials directly.
(And if you cannot collect/earn these testimonials, you have another business problem, that transcends the lead-generation challenges here.)