Washington’s Top Rated Local® Businesses: 2019

Scenic and inviting, Washington is home to many happy people and the thriving businesses that support them. Only the best of the best Washington businesses can become Top Rated Local® award winners, and we are thrilled to announce who made the cut this year!

The total number of verified review sites, the average overall star rating a business has on those sites, and the total number of ratings/reviews they have posted on those sites all play a role in the overall Rating Score™ calculation. The more ratings/reviews a business has posted on verified review sites, as well as the higher the average overall star rating, the higher the Rating Score. The highest possible Rating Score is 100.

These stand-out businesses have worked hard to ensure that the people they serve are given the very best service. With more than 608,956 small businesses, the competition is tight. That’s what makes our award winners so undeniably impressive. They have an excellent average Rating Score of 96.76 and an average star rating of 4.87 on verified sites.

We’d like to extend a special shoutout to Amai Day Spa, our number one business in Washington for 2019. They’ve earned a perfect 100.00 Rating Score® and a fabulous 4.91 average star rating on verified sites!

Congratulations to all of our Washington award winners, and thank you for your continued work and support for your community!

California’s Top Rated Local® Businesses: 2019

The Golden State has a rich history of entrepreneurship, and it is certainly still going strong. Only a select few have risen to the highest level of customer service and quality, and that’s what makes us so proud to announce our 2019 award winners!

The total number of verified review sites, the average overall star rating a business has on those sites, and the total number of ratings/reviews they have posted on those sites all play a role in the overall Rating Score™ calculation. The more ratings/reviews a business has posted on verified review sites, as well as the higher the average overall star rating, the higher the Rating Score. The highest possible Rating Score is 100.

These business owners and their phenomenal employees have worked tirelessly to ensure that they are successful and that their customers are happy. With nearly 3,321,000 small businesses in the state, our California winners have accomplished quite the feat. They have an average rating score of 100.00 and an average star rating on verified review sites of 4.98.

We’d like to give a very special shoutout to The Inn on First, our number one business in the state of California. They’ve earned both a perfect 100.00 Rating Score and a perfect 5.00 average star rating on verified sites.

Congratulations to all of our California award winners, and thank you for your continued work and support for your community!

Wyoming’s Top Rated Local® Businesses: 2019

The Equality State is truly unique in how wonderfully its small businesses serve the community. Because of that, we are proud to announce our Wyoming award winners for 2019!

The total number of verified review sites, the average overall star rating a business has on those sites, and the total number of ratings/reviews they have posted on those sites all play a role in the overall Rating Score™ calculation. The more ratings/reviews a business has posted on verified review sites, as well as the higher the average overall star rating, the higher the Rating Score. The highest possible Rating Score is 100.

These outstanding businesses have worked incredibly hard to do right by the wonderful people they serve. With more than 65,000 small businesses, the competition is fierce. That’s what makes our award winners so outstanding. They have an excellent average Rating Score of 97.19 and an average star rating of 4.90 on verified sites.

We’d like to extend a very special shoutout to AA Super Klean, who earned a perfect 100.00 Rating Score and a 5.00 average rating on verified sites.

Congratulations to all of our Utah award winners, and thank you for your continued work and support for your community!

The Monsters Of Reputation Management

It’s Creepy and It’s Kooky, It’s Altogether Spooky: Reputation Management

Happy spooky month! In the spirit of the month, we thought we’d give you some tips to keep your online reputation less than spooky. Online reviews can be scary business if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are so many different spooky situations that can arise, you’d think you were in the middle of a Goosebumps book. From competitors attacking your reputation to poorly crafted listings, negative reviews, and beyond, the thought of managing your business’ reputation can be haunting. However, with the right tools at your disposal, you can slay any creepy crawly, ghoul, or ghost that comes your way — At least when it comes to making your business look good online.  

The Werewolves Are Attacking

Your business is thriving. Your online reputation has never been better. But, when the full moon rises, the werewolves come out. Suddenly, all of your listings are under attack! Bad reviews everywhere, from people you’ve never even met. Chances are, your competitors were bit by jealousy and unfortunately, they are now werewolves, trying to come after your business’ hard-earned online reputation when the moon of your success is full. They’re running full-fledged attacks on your online reputation and it’s time for you to act.

The only surefire way to fix this is to double down on your reputation management efforts. You need to be strong enough to fight off the werewolf. That means you need to ask for reviews, getting your online listings sorted out, and utilize Top Rated Local. It is absolutely vital that you focus on reputation as a major part of your business’ online marketing strategy. If your online reputation is impenetrable, the werewolves will have to walk away with their tails between their legs.

 Your Listings Look Like Frankenstein’s Monster

“IT’S ALIVE!” Except not, because an ugly listing is as good as dead. Chances are, if your listings on online review sites look bad, you’re not getting any conversions from them. Think of your poorly cultivated listing as Frankenstein’s monster, the only difference being that the townspeople run away from it instead of toward it. The good news is, you don’t have to be a mad scientist to give it a bit of a facelift. 

A few simple steps can make your listing look clean and professional. First, make sure your address and all other contact information is uniform and accurate throughout all of your online listings. Professional-looking, attractive photos that showcase your business are a great next step. These will not only draw the eye of your potential customers, but it will give them information that will help them to determine whether or not your business is the right fit for their needs — not only drawing in more sales, but better sales.

A Disgruntled Former Employee Turns Into A Zombie

It’s a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a hand bursts out from underground. It starts typing furiously. Is it…? Could it be…? Yes! It’s an angry former employee posting all over the internet about how terrible they think your company is! Thankfully, this isn’t an apocalyptic situation. You know exactly how to handle this. 

If a disgruntled former employee is posting about you all over employer review sites, you need to focus hard on your employer reputation. The first thing you should do is respond politely and with the genuine intention to accept and grow from feedback. Understand that your former employees likely hold no ill will toward you, and they aren’t actually trying to eat your brains. And even if they are, responding correctly will help you show current and potential customers and employees that your team really does care.

You’re Being Haunted By A Bad Review

If you feel a sudden chill and hear things go bump in the night, you know there’s something strange in your neighborhood. But, don’t call Ghostbusters quite yet! It’s probably just a bad review on one of your review sites. As spooky as this may seem, you can pretty easily turn this scary apparition into Casper, The Friendly Ghost with a little bit of work and some old fashioned customer service. 

If you’ve ever seen a horror movie, you know that ignoring your ghost problem won’t make it go away. You need to do like Jennifer Love Hewitt and work with the ghosts to reach a resolution. Reply to the review with an apology and try to move the conversation off of a public review site and move it to some form of one-on-one communication as soon as possible. Pro-tip: for this conversation, avoid ouija boards and stick to email.

A Vampire Got a Hold of Your Online Reputation

Uh oh, your reputation got bit by a vampire, and now it sucks. No one thing is particularly bad, it’s just… not great. That’s okay, though. It can be fixed — no garlic or wooden stakes necessary. Making reputation management a fundamental part of your business’ online marketing strategy is the only truly effective way to solve this problem. Think of comprehensive reputation management as your silver bullet.

Making sure your listing looks good, asking for reviews, and being proactive about responding to reviews are all excellent ways to keep your online reputation in tip-top shape. Review your online listings often. In other words, make sure to check your reflection in the mirror often. Do these things and restrategize when necessary if you don’t want to end up as a character in Twilight.


Try Top Rated Local®

By using Top Rated Local, you can master your online reputation. With our unique proprietary Rating Score® system and data from tons of verified review sites, you can get a good look into what exactly your business’ online reputation looks like, without having to manually find all of your listings. Beyond that, Top Rated local has a groundbreaking awards program that offers awards to the best of the best in more than 60 industries. Sign up today and see what Top Rated Local can do for you.

 

The Entrepreneurs at Top Rated Local®: Blake

Top Rated Local® employees are full of entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, so much so that many of them have their own businesses outside of their day job! Last month, we talked to Brandon; now, it’s time to move on to Blake!

Blake has been at Top Rated Local for around two and a half years. Before Blake worked at Top Rated Local, he was particularly interested in graphic design and video implementation, but the more heavily marketing-focused roles called to him. Blake is a senior marketing consultant, which means he works with our clients on initial strategy development. He works to effectively diagnose the hurdles businesses are overcoming and pair it with a solution moving forward. He focuses on fostering long-term relationships with our clients and strives to “put heart in it.”

Blake started in photography while working for his dad, who owned a promotional products company when Blake was a child. He asked Blake if he was interested in graphic design work, and Blake helped him out with whatever he could. By the time he was nine or 10 on, he was already working with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Battlecreek Photography has been in business for about 12 years or so. It started as a favor Blake was doing for his friend, and then, once his passion for photography was ignited, the business grew. At the time, Blake was working a lower-paying job. So, once he had a really good sales month, he pounced on the opportunity to buy all the photography equipment he would need to really dive in. It started as a hobby, but in his words, “The more people actually started asking me to take their pictures, the more I realized it was for me. Ten years ago, this wasn’t really a thing like it is now.”

Although Battlecreek Photography started out with simple portraits, it has become centered around what Blake really wants to do, like weddings, senior photography, and family photography.

When it comes to reputation management, Blake focuses on asking for feedback and recommendations. He told us, “I always try to do something above and beyond. Like, if I shoot a wedding, even if I get out of there at 12:00 or 1:00 in the morning, I still try to send them 10 or so edited images by that night.” He added that, after weddings, in particular, his social media pages seem to get a sizeable number of new views.

When asked about his reputation management strategy, Blake said, “The way I approach it is very transparent… One thing that business owners could really benefit from is a higher degree of transparency.”

Thank you so much for your time, Blake, and thank you for being such an integral part of the Top Rated Local family!

Want to see what Top Rated Local can do for your business? Sign up here today.

Idaho’s Top Rated Local® Businesses: 2019

More than just potatoes and more than 72 types of precious gems, Idaho is hopme to tons of outstanding local businesses. Of these businesses, only the most elite can make the cut as Top Rated Local® award winners. We are thrilled to announce which businesses made the cut, becoming our 2019 Top Rated Local award winners!

The total number of verified review sites, the average overall star rating a business has on those sites, and the total number of ratings/reviews they have posted on those sites all play a role in the overall Rating Score™ calculation. The more ratings/reviews a business has posted on verified review sites, as well as the higher the average overall star rating, the higher the Rating Score. The highest possible Rating Score is 100.

Each and every one of these businesses has worked tirelessly to serve the people in their communities. Idaho has more than 131,663 small businesses, making the competition stiff. But, these businesses have risen above and been phenomenal assets to the community. Our award winners in the state have an average Rating Score of 98.19 and an average star rating of 4.91 on verified sites, both of which are higher than the national average for our award winners.

We would like to extend a special shoutout to Woodland Family Dental, our number one business in Idaho for 2019!

Congratulations to all of our Utah award winners, and thank you for your continued work and support for your community!

Why Business Photos Are Important On Review Sites (And How To Take Good Ones)

Your Listing Needs Photos

If your business is going to stand out among the stiff competition online, your potential customers need some great visuals to draw them in. As experts in online reputation management, we know all about what it takes to make your business’ photos dynamic and effective. Today, we’ll teach you all about what it takes to make a business look great on any online review site and beyond. After all, the whole goal is to stand out and show your potential customers that you are the right company for the job and the competition is no match.

Why You Need Them

It makes sense that photos may not already be your first priority when it comes to cultivating your business’ listings on online review platforms. But, curating a solid selection of photos to display on those listings can be a true asset to your business’ overall online reputation.

Speeds Up Processing

A good, clear photograph is an extremely effective way of ensuring that anyone viewing your online listing absorbs as much information as possible, as quickly as possible. That means they can easily process your team’s friendly faces, the beautiful work you do, and the ambiance you provide in-house. You want your potential customers to make quick decisions based on the fact that you are the obvious choice for what they need. The only way they can do that is if you provide the type of clear information that can truly only be portrayed through visuals.

Conveys Professionalism

By choosing well-composed, attractive, and clear photos for your business’ online review site listing, you show visitors how much you care about your business. Think about it, if you were to come across two HVAC companies, one with a blurry or pixelated logo as their only picture and another with a wide variety of professional-looking photos that give a clear idea as to what they do best, which would you choose? Certainly, your answer is “the one with the better photos.” Why? Because marketing is all about how you present yourself, and online reputation management is marketing.

Gets Attention

You know how birds are particularly attracted to shiny objects they find on the ground while looking for materials with which to build their nest? People are like that, too. If we are presented with multiple options of stimuli, our brains will almost always choose the more pleasant one. For our purposes, that means choosing the best looking photos on the best looking listing on a review site. Your potential customers are far more likely to choose you if you provide them with something, well, pretty to look at.

Drives Sales 

At the end of the day, anything you do to market your company is in an effort to drive sales and boost conversions. That includes curating an engaging library of photos on all of your business’ online listings for all of the reasons above. By pulling your potential customers in visually, you’ll likely see a notable increase in conversions.

How To Take Them

There’s no doubt that photos are an integral part of your online reputation management, but in order to know how to implement that information, you need to know how to take them. Of course, you could hire a professional, which is a good choice if it is in your budget and you have a trusted photographer. But, you can also do it yourself, effectively and easily.

Use A Good Camera (Even If It’s Attached To A Smartphone)

There is only so much that can be done to make a picture look good after the fact. Even with all the editing magic in the world, a grainy or pixelated photo may be beyond repair. Utilize the best camera at your disposal to capture clear and effective photos to display on your business’ various online listings. By doing that, you can ensure that you are starting out with an image of excellent quality that can fit in on a wide variety of review sites. 

Capture The Right Things

You don’t want to overwhelm your listing’s visitors with unnecessary photos, so be selective. For example, if you run a restaurant, people want to see the food, the atmosphere, and the smiling faces of your team members. Focus on the things that make your business stand out and look its best. Use your common sense. Plumbers, no need to post before-and-after photos. Interior designers, definitely do post before and after photos. You know your industry best, so you’re the authority on what your clients do and do not want to see.

Timing Is Everything

When does your business look its best? Ok, now when does your business look its best on camera? Not only does timing come into play when it comes to lighting, but also cleanliness, traffic, and all-over aesthetic appeal. Firstly, try to take your pictures on a nice day, during the golden hour. Then, also consider what you want to portray in these photos. If you want to show that your business is a lively spot and a local favorite, ask customers to come in and participate in a special photoshoot where they essentially just hang out at your business.

Keep It Cohesive 

Branding is incredibly important when marketing any business. Make sure that any images displayed on your online listing reflect your overall brand. These photos should also look good together so that it is clear your visual presence on online review sites is intentional. It cannot be stressed enough how vital this is to your listing standing out.

 

Try Top Rated Local®

Beyond just curating your online review site listings to attract new customers, there are tons of ways to keep up with your online reputation. Top Rated Local is one of the best among them. Using our proprietary Rating Score® system, we collect reviews from a wide variety of review sites, across the internet. You’ll get your very own Rating Score, which uses all of this data and gives you unique insight into your business’ all-over online reputation — making Top Rated Local and invaluable resource to any business.

Utah’s Top Rated Local® Businesses: 2019

The beautiful state of Utah is home to so many phenomenal, service-focused businesses, but only a select few can rise to the caliber of a Top Rated Local® award-winning business. Because of that, we are thrilled to announce our Utah award winners for 2019!

The total number of verified review sites, the average overall star rating a business has on those sites, and the total number of ratings/reviews they have posted on those sites all play a role in the overall Rating Score™ calculation. The more ratings/reviews a business has posted on verified review sites, as well as the higher the average overall star rating, the higher the Rating Score. The highest possible Rating Score is 100.

These outstanding businesses have worked tirelessly to ensure that the people they serve are given the very best service. With more than 203,000 small businesses, the competition is fierce. That’s what makes our award winners so incredibly impressive. They have an excellent average Rating Score of 96.76 and an average star rating of 4.87 on verified sites.

We’d like to extend a special shoutout to Thompson Orthodontics, who earned a perfect 100.00 Rating Score and a 4.94 average rating on verified sites.

Congratulations to all of our Utah award winners, and thank you for your continued work and support for your community!

How To Use Negative Reviews To Your Advantage

Turning A Negative Into A Positive

When you come across a negative review for your business, it can be really jarring. So much so that it may even appear to be an emergency situation. But, you can turn off the alarms, because a negative review can be turned around to actually help your business. In this blog, we’ll explore negative reviews, why they happen, and how you can make them a good thing.

Why Do People Leave Negative Reviews?

In order to understand the benefit of negative reviews, we first need to understand why people leave them in the first place. Of course, there are tons of reasons a person would feel the need to do so, but you can almost always bet it’s for the sake of others to receive financial reimbursement, or to get some sort of response from the business owners.

To Protect Others

Often, people believe that the entire purpose of leaving reviews is to help others decide whether or not they want to give a business their money. This drives people to leave negative reviews, sometimes even for minor issues, if they feel they didn’t get their money’s worth from whatever service you provided. 

For Financial Reimbursement

Speaking of getting your money’s worth, lots of people will leave reviews because they feel that it will get your attention and result in financial reimbursement. Whether or not that’s something they should actually get should obviously be taken on a case-by-case basis.

To Get a Response

Whether it be the aforementioned financial reimbursement or simply an apology, many people won’t be satisfied until they get a response to their negative review. We have talked about it before, and we’ll touch on it later, but responding properly to a review can make all the difference when it comes to customer retention and reviews.

What Makes Them A Good Thing?

Criticism can always be constructive, whether it starts out that way or you have to twist it into positive change. A negative review doesn’t have to be a death sentence and it can absolutely be turned into a positive thing for your business. From showing potential customers that the worst that could happen isn’t all that bad, to giving you an opportunity to improve your business, they can be a tremendous force for good regarding your business’ reputation.

They Represent The Worst-Case Scenario

One thing that is often taken for granted about bad reviews is that they give your customers a glimpse into what it means for the worst to happen with your business. Knowing those possibilities can put your customers at ease and also demonstrate how easily fixable they are. If your worst is better than that of your competitors, you come out on top.

They Lead To Informed Purchasing Choices

If your customers get to see both the good and bad of your business, they become empowered to make the best purchasing decisions. If they’re making the best purchasing decision by choosing your business the first time, they are more likely to come back to you time and time again.

They Legitimize You

Too many positive reviews can seem suspicious and come across as fake. Because we know that buying fake reviews is a bad idea, it’s simple logic and safe to assume that when legitimate reviews come across as fake, it’s bad news. By letting your customers see that everything isn’t perfect all the time, you build trust with your customers.

They Provide Opportunity

“Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.” That’s a quote from novelist, Joseph Conrad. This is great advice when it comes to responding to reviews. It is vital to always respond to negative reviews not only so that people can see how dedicated your team is to doing right by your customers, but so that you can hopefully retain the customer who left the negative review. Beyond that, any criticism your business receives can help your business to improve.

How To Approach it

So, what’s next after receiving a bad review? Well, you aren’t going to be surprised by what we have to say — it’s all about reputation management. By carving out a good reputation management plan for your business, you can overcome any bad review.

Come Up With A Gameplan

The best thing you can do when receiving a negative review is to analyze the situation, figure out a course of action, and decide how to approach the same situation going forward. If there is a way to respond to your poor review with a solution, focus on that. If there isn’t, make sure that being apologetic and genuine is at the forefront of your mind. In times like these, think “the customer is always right, but maybe we can reach a middle ground.” It is okay to defend your business, as long as you approach it with customer service in mind and the focus falls on correcting information and not fighting, you are completely within your right to challenge any negative reviews that come your way. 

Focus On Reputation Management

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… over and over again. Offense is the best defense. By creating an impenetrable reputation, you can effectively shield your business from the negative effects of bad reviews while still enjoying the positive. Give your happy customers just as much attention as you would give the unhappy ones. Focus on your business’ social media presence and make sure to encourage your customers to leave reviews. If you need more advice on reputation management, browse through our blog. We’ve got lots of information for you.

Try Top Rated Local®

With our proprietary Rating Score™ system, you can get an accurate look into where your business stands online… negative reviews and all. This allows you to truly take charge of your business’ reputation management and create a reputation that can weather any bad review. Sign up today and see what Top Rated Local can do to elevate your business.

Arizona’s Top Rated Local® Businesses: 2019

Home to 13 species of rattlesnake and the saguaro cactus, Arizona is much, much more than just a vast desert. It’s also home to fabulous small and medium-sized local businesses. That’s what makes us so excited to announce the Top Rated Local® award winners in Arizona for 2019!

The total number of verified review sites, the average overall star rating a business has on those sites, and the total number of ratings/reviews they have posted on those sites all play a role in the overall Rating Score™ calculation. The more ratings/reviews a business has posted on verified review sites, as well as the higher the average overall star rating, the higher the Rating Score. The highest possible Rating Score is 100.

The employees and owners of these businesses have worked hard to stand out from the crowd and serve their communities well, and that’s paying off tenfold. With nearly 397,000 small businesses in Arizona, they’ve beat out stiff competition. These award-winning businesses have earned an average Rating Score™ of 98.17 and an average rating of 4.91 on verified review sites.

We’d like to give a special shoutout to the number one business in Arizona for 2019, Ironwood Dermatology. They’ve earned a perfect 100.00 Rating Score and a 4.98 average star rating by serving their clients well.

Congratulations to all of these stellar businesses on your 2019 Top Rated Local awards!