Thursday, July 28, 2016

From Angie’s List is Now Free – Impact on Business Reviews & SEO

Angie’s List is now free, removing the annual membership requirement to view full ratings and reviews.  Now consumers can access this service for free, opening the door to an audience even larger than its millions of current paid members.

In the past only paying customers could read Angie’s List reviews or leave their own, but now anyone can use a free membership to browse with the announcement of Angie’s List new free membership plan.  Why the change? In a March 2016 TechCrunch interview new CEO Scott Durchslag stated, “We get over 100 million visitors each month, but 90% of them have been bouncing because of the reviews paywall.” So they have removed the paywall and now offer a new membership tier structure that offers premium services like emergency services hotlines and handyman prequalification with paid subscriptions. Angie’s List looks to drastically increase its user base and compete with startups like Thumbtack, Handy, and Porch, which have free plans and tools consumers and contractors enjoy.

Angies List Tier MemberhsipAngie’s List Free Membership Press Release

Why You Should Claim Your Profile on Angie’s List

With over 700 categories (see Service Categories here) there is probably a category for your business on Angie’s List since it has expanded to include auto, health, pet and additional services beyond home services and contractors.  In fact, you may have a profile on Angie’s List created when a customer wanted to leave a review and not even know it. Everybody from Dentist to Dog Walkers and Midwives to Wedding Planners have a category on Angie’s List where you could be gathering reviews.

Angies List Categories

According to Angie’s List’s namesake and CMO Angie Hicks, her website is can credit its success to the fact that their members tend to give very detailed and meaty reviews.  These are the best kinds of reviews because they provide tons of keyword rich content that point to your business.

As a business owner, you can claim and control your profile on Angie’s list.  As a business on their platform, you can use free tools that let you communicate with customers, collect reviews, and gather leads.  With billions in revenue for its listed businesses every year, managing your Angie’s list profile effectively could result in getting your very small slice of that $315 billion pie they divvy out to business members.

Angie’s List Now Free – The Impact on Your Business, Customer Reviews, and SEO

As of this month, “Green” membership plans are now free for consumers.  This move to provide a freemium plan for internet users hungry for real-life customer reviews can have a huge impact on your business’s online reputation.  If you are in the home services market and managing your profile on Angie’s List you know the impact reviews on can have on your business, but even then less than one percent of the US population were members.  That meant that the vast majority of consumers couldn’t see the reviews posted to your profile. Moreover, a bad review meant a bad reputation on Angie’s List had a limited audience. Now everyone can see your reviews on Angie’s List, good or bad.

From an SEO standpoint, Angie’s List has always ranked well for your business name even though their publicly accessible pages only provide basic NAP (name, address, phone number) information.  With a strong domain authority and trusted name, adding more access to content-rich customer reviews should raise the rankings for business names (Angie’s List profile names) in search engine results pages. That will make Angie’s List a strong competitor for organic search results.

Angies List How It Works

Not Managing Reviews on Angie’s List? Time to Start

With the expected rise organic search results, your Angie’s List profile and reputation is something that needs to be claimed and managed. Claiming your profile will allow you to control and verify the content and categories, send happy customers to leave a review, get notified of new reviews, and respond to reviews.

Like other review sites, Angie’s list accepts and verifies both good and bad reviews, and won’t remove a review unless the member who posted the review asks that it be deleted.  Good reviews raise your Angie’s List cumulative “score” which raise you in the platform’s search results, and bad reviews push you lower.  With Reputation Loop you can deploy a strategy to get positive reviews posted that have the potential to be seen by millions not only on Angie’s List but in local search results.

Reputation Loop provides reputation management services that help you build a positive reputation with five-star reviews and protects your business by intercepting bad reviews before they are posted online.  Contact us for a free demo on how we can help you manage your reputation on Angie’s List and other review sites like Google, Yelp, and many more.

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

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