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5 Top Reasons Consumers Choose One Local Business Over Another

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5 Top Reasons Consumers Choose One Local Business Over Another


This post was sponsored by ReviewInc. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Every day, across America and around the world, people turn to search engines to find answers for their most pressing needs.

Where can the kids get their hair cut? 

Which plumber is our best choice to fix that broken pipe?

Is there a financial services advisor serving this region that I can trust?

For local service providers, getting found online is essential. But simply being seen doesn’t put money in the bank.

What is it that inspires a local consumer to choose one local service provider over another?

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Connecting with consumers is all about emotion, reputation, and visibility.

Let’s take a look at the top reasons local consumers choose one service provider over another when evaluating their options in local search results.

1. You Have An Excellent Reputation

Online reviews are essential, as people now spend more time reading reviews than ever before.

In the past, service providers depended on word of mouth and recommendations from friends to generate referrals and more business.

Now, online reviews reign supreme.

ReviewInc has surveyed U.S. consumers for the last 10 years and each year, customers continue to choose online reviews from sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, and industry-specific websites as the most important factor in their decision-making process.

In fact, in 2022, our survey showed that 43% of consumers chose reviews over online ads, Yellow Pages, the company’s website, and other sources.

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Results from ReviewInc Google Survey, January 2022

Still, consumers assume an excellent reputation is demonstrated, rightly or wrongly, by a company’s online reviews since they often reflect the quality of customer service.

2. You Deliver Great Customer Service

Consumers crave excellent customer service, no matter the industry.

Service providers who are quick to respond, friendly, accessible, and knowledgeable will naturally build a good reputation.

A business with a knowledgeable and helpful staff is key to gaining new customers.

Companies that prioritize these values will find that customers will come back year after year and bring their family, friends, and colleagues with them.

In today’s predominantly online world, excellent customer service has evolved into live support via live chat, social media, text, and phone as instant ways of providing help.

Consumer expectations have skyrocketed, and even the slightest unpleasant experience or lack of response can result in bad reviews.

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That means that poor customer service equals bad business and can significantly impact your business’s success and discourage consumers from coming back and providing referrals.

Excellent customer service will reflect in the reviews of your business, which is the real reason consumers choose a local service provider.

3. They Can Find You Online

Web presence is a given. Essentially, your business does not exist online if it does not rank on page one of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Companies must work on their SEO or pay to be visible on the SERPs through paid search.

With mobile devices so commonly used for search, showing up in Google’s 3-Pack for your top keywords is imperative. You can’t win the clicks and leads if you’re not there.

Not surprisingly, the number one reason for showing in the 3-Pack is the number of reviews and rating quality.

Investing time and money in SEO is vital to any business that wants more consumers to find them online.

Keyword analysis, research, content creation, social media, backlinks, PPC ads, email marketing, online reviews, ratings, and more are all factors that affect your business reputation.

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All of these activities help improve your local visibility.

And according to Kyruus’s Patient Access Journey Report, 91% of patients conduct research online even after receiving a referral for a medical provider.

That means you need SEO to seal the deal even if word of mouth is already working to get you the referral.

4. Your Price Is Right

Price is not the only factor when selecting a business, but it is undeniably crucial.

Although not always the case, most consumers are price-conscious.

Even if you do not have the lowest prices, consumers want to know they got a deal.

Pricing psychology is an entirely separate topic; we know that consumers will often pay more when they perceive better value or prestige.

It is best to have competitive pricing over lower pricing because competitors can always negotiate lower pricing.

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So, it is essential that your pricing matches the consumers’ perceived value of the service provided.

Make sure consumers know the breakdown of what they receive for the price paid.

It is also good to keep pricing to an agreed amount depending on the services offered if the consumer chooses to stay.

A business that is increasing prices can justify doing so through a more compelling web presence, including their reputation, testimonials, video walk-throughs, and of course, positive reviews.

People will often pay more for better customer service, which shows in the reviews they leave for local service providers.

5. Your Business Provides Quality Service & Consumers’ Values Align With Your Brand’s

People value quality, especially when choosing a company.

Quality and fantastic customer service for most intelligent business owners mean building ongoing long-term relationships.

Lifetime value is associated with having a long-term horizon when growing a business.

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Providing excellent customer service and a deal with great value will incentivize your customers to spend more money over time and refer their friends.

If your business has core values that appeal to consumers, they will choose you over the competition.

In your marketing strategy on your website or promotional materials, be sure to focus on your core values around quality.

For example, a healthcare provider can emphasize the importance of improved patient health through quality care, longevity, fitness, and overall patient satisfaction.

The quality of your service and core values should come up as sentiment themes in reviews of your company, attracting more new consumers.

Key Takeaways

Managing your online reputation and reviews is essential.

Reputation management software can help streamline the feedback process and help boost a company’s reputation.

Always provide the best customer service possible.

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Leverage automation such as live chat, social, text, phone, or however you can quickly contact your customers as needed.

Web visibility is imperative.

Investing in digital marketing services such as SEO, PPC, social media, reviews, and ratings is critical to ensuring that consumers find your business via the search engines.

Make sure you have a clear pricing strategy in place that aligns with the perceived value of the services you offer.

Always provide quality service so that consumers return and refer their friends. Utilize your core values to tell a story that attracts like-minded customers.


Image Credits

Featured Image: perfectlab/Shutterstock

In-post Image: Image by ReviewInc. Used with permission.

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Here’s How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing

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Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing

But how much money does the average affiliate marketer make, really? Is it actually a good business model?

Today, I answer these questions and talk about how you can get your hands on some of this affiliate money too.

How do affiliate marketers make money?

Affiliate marketers make money by getting paid a commission to promote other people’s products or services.

For example, if you have an affiliate link on your blog that sends people to purchase a product from Amazon, you’ll make a percentage of every sale that happens as a result of clicks on your link. Here’s what the dashboard looks like:

Amazon affiliate dashboard

However, it doesn’t have to only be physical products. 

You can also earn money as an affiliate for online courses or software. You may have seen videos on YouTube that are “sponsored by Skillshare” or “sponsored by Fiverr.” These platforms also have affiliate programs.

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Alternatively, you can also make money as an affiliate marketing manager of a company. I’ll touch on how much employed managers make as well.

How much do affiliate marketers make?

The average salary of an affiliate marketer, according to Glassdoor, is $59,060 per year. It ranges from $58K to $158K, including “additional pay” options like cash bonus, commission, tips, or profit sharing.

However, this is for a salaried employee. What about a freelancer or business owner doing their own affiliate marketing?

According to a survey done by the Influencer Marketing Hub, here’s the breakdown:

Affiliate annual revenue chart

In other words, more than half of all affiliate marketers make $10K or less per year, while only about 33% make $10K or more per year.

That’s… not great. Certainly not enough to live on in most countries. But I believe this is because the majority of respondents don’t do affiliate marketing full time.

Being in the affiliate space myself and connecting with hundreds of other affiliate marketers give me a gut feeling that the majority of full-time affiliate marketers make less than $100K per year—likely around $30K–$50K annually.

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That said, this is from my own personal experience, not a survey or research study, so take that with a grain of salt.

Revenue vs. net profit

When it comes to answering how much money affiliate marketers make, you have to take into account actual net profit numbers—not just revenue.

Revenue is how much money a business makes before expenses are taken out. Net profit is how much it makes after expenses are accounted for.

So profit is your actual take-home amount that your business produced for the year.

That’s why I say most affiliate marketers make between $30K–$50K annually. This means profits after expenses.

How to get started on affiliate marketing

If those numbers sound good and you’re ready to start affiliate marketing, here’s how you can get started:

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  1. Choose a niche
  2. Decide on a content channel
  3. Produce and promote your content

Step 1. Choose a niche

Your niche is the thing you talk about. It could be a hobby, a lifestyle, a wacky science theory, or just about anything else. So long as there are products, services, or courses to promote, you can make money from it.

To find your niche, ask yourself:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I like doing?
  • What am I curious about?
  • What do other people tell me I’m good at?

The overlap of those four questions is often a great choice for a niche. Or at the very least, it will get your head thinking about ideas.

For example, my answers may look like this:

  • I’m good at video games, writing, traveling, and playing music.
  • I like doing all of those things, as well as journaling, hiking, and chillin’ in hammocks.
  • I’m curious about silversmithing, fire dancing, and motorcycles.
  • Other people tell me I’m a great salesman and that I give great massages.

Based on my answers, I have tons of niche options: traveling, hiking, video games, sales, entrepreneurship, and even hammocks. It’s a fun little exercise to quickly come up with ideas.

If you’re still having trouble or want to learn more, check out our guide to finding an affiliate niche here. It walks you through how to find affiliate niches while searching for things on Google in your everyday life.

Google SERP overview

As you can see in the above screenshot, Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar will display information about every keyword you search for, such as how many people search for it per month and how difficult it would be to rank for.

Step 2. Decide on a content channel

Once you’ve chosen a niche, you need to pick how you’re going to promote your affiliate links. You can create a niche website, a YouTube channel, social media accounts, or an email list.

My personal favorite method is building a website and using search engine optimization (SEO) to rank the website on Google. This lets you gain recurring, organic traffic (and sales).

Check out these Amazon affiliate websites to get an idea of what that may look like. 

For example, one of my websites is monetized by Amazon affiliates, and I write review posts like the one below on camping mattresses:

Amazon affiliate review post

If this style interests you, a niche website may be the way to go.

However, just because you build a website doesn’t mean you can’t also be on social media and YouTube. I’ve just found it helpful in my own career to focus on and master one thing at a time before moving on to the next thing. 

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Step 3. Produce and promote your content

Finally, you need to learn how to create amazing content and promote that content to get eyeballs on it. 

Affiliate marketing is a content-focused business. Without mastering content creation, you won’t succeed. Whether that means writing blog content, creating videos, or taking pictures, you need to learn how to do it better than most.

But creating awesome content alone isn’t enough. You also need to learn how to promote your work, whether that’s to build backlinks to your articles for SEO or just to get views on your videos so the YouTube algorithm shows them to more people.

How to maximize your affiliate profits

Now you know the basics of how to become an affiliate marketer. But how do you ensure you make the most possible money on that spectrum I shared earlier?

Here’s how:

  • Start by finding the best affiliate programs
  • Improve your conversion rates
  • Go for quick SEO wins
  • Negotiate for better rates

Let’s break these down.

Find the best affiliate programs

Amazon is great for beginners, but with a 1–3% commission rate, it is far from the best.

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The easiest and quickest way to increase your affiliate profits is by finding better affiliate programs that give 5%, 10%, and even 50% commissions on sales.

The most common range you’re likely to find is 5–10%. These are still almost triple what Amazon pays, so don’t let that discourage you.

Improve your conversion rates

Beyond simply promoting better affiliate deals, the next quickest way to maximize profits is by focusing on conversion rate optimization. 

Meaning, you should make small improvements to your website that get more of your visitors to click your links and buy your recommendations.

In general, some things you can do to help conversions include:

  • Using high-quality images.
  • Creating call to action (CTA) boxes for your recommended products.
  • Displaying comparison tables so your readers can quickly see differences.
  • Making the #1 product stand out.
  • Building your brand and focusing on E-A-T (expertise, authority, trust).

Example: Here’s a page that converts really well, thanks to these custom recommended product boxes:

Recommended affiliate product boxes

You can have a developer make these for you or use an editor like Elementor or Thrive Architect. 

As for building your brand and establishing E-A-T, Wirecutter does an excellent job of this. It displays where it’s getting its information and, thus, establishing trust. We wrote a full case study on how Wirecutter does that here.

Go for quick SEO wins

Most tasks in SEO take time to give you results, whether that’s creating great content or building links. But there are lots of low-hanging fruits in SEO that can show results much faster if you know what you’re doing.

These include:

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And more.

For example, when I refreshed the content in one of my guides, my rankings shot up from position #3 to position #1 for the keyword “how to start a blog and get paid.” My overall traffic to the page increased by 35% almost immediately.

Organic keywords report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Check out our guide to quick SEO wins to learn how to do all of these tactics.

Negotiate for better rates

Finally, the quickest and easiest way to maximize your affiliate profits is by negotiating a better rate from your current affiliate partners.

This won’t work for generic programs like Amazon and Walmart, but it absolutely works for smaller brands. More often than not, if you’re already sending your partners a good amount of traffic, it’s a no-brainer for them to increase your commission a bit.

Phrase it in a way that shows them you will use the extra profits to reinvest and promote them even more—it’s a win-win.

This is best done over the phone, but even a well-worded email can increase your commission by a percentage or two.

Final thoughts

So now you know that most good affiliate marketers are making under $100K per year. But there are plenty making much more than that.

And you have options—you can either become an affiliate marketing business owner or an affiliate manager for another company.

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Both are lucrative options. One of my favorite affiliate program partners has an affiliate manager making almost six figures per year—plus they gave him ownership in the company for profit sharing.

Either way, affiliate marketing is an amazing career. Want to learn more? Check out these other guides:

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