Thursday 9 March 2017

Winkworth's new site goes live - and that's just the beginning

Winkworth's brand new website went live this week. It includes HelpHound verified reviews - and that's not by chance.

The decision to completely revamp their website gave Winkworth the ideal opportunity to have a long hard look at their options with regard to reviews - and they were very thorough: HelpHound were invited to re-pitch alongside all the obvious contenders in the reviews arena.

So why did Winkworth choose HelpHound?

First let's get the financial aspect out of the way. HelpHound were not the cheapest. We cannot compete on price with the mass-market independent review sites - simply because professional review management is about so much more than just a piece of software. If you read the comments made by Nigel Field and Loran Absalom at Winkworth Kennington you will soon get a flavour of this.

Winkworth Plc's  requirements: 

1.  Independently verified reviews on their own site

On desktop...

And every other platform - here's mobile...

Feedback from their franchisees had indicated that contact was being made as a direct result of potential clients seeing reviews on the individual branch's website. They may have been encouraged to visit the site by seeing great reviews on Google, but it was the reviews - independently verified - on the Winkworth branch pages that were driving enquiries and business.

2.  The ability to get those reviews across to sites that matter in search 

Currently the No. 1 destination is Google. About this there was never any argument; the reviews that always show - in every search, for every business - are Google reviews. The independent sites rarely feature nowadays (except sometimes in the greyed-out links in the Knowledge box and in paid-for CPC). The point is: if an independent site is important for an individual branch HelpHound will advise accordingly.

3.  Ratings that show in Google search

There's no doubt that consumers' eyes are attracted to great star ratings. Winkworth knew this and so did HelpHound. Now their reviews - both score and number - show in natural search and link direct to the branch website.

4. Looking great in the Google 3-pack

Appearing in the Google 3-pack is currently down to SEO, but we are confidently predicting that Google will soon apply their 'Top Rated' filter to the 3-pack (it is already an option in many searches). Bear in mind that the 3-pack is a double-edged sword: if your review score is weak and you appear it will drive business away.

5.  Looking great in the Google Knowledge Panel 

A quadruple-whammy here: a great score, 41 reviews, a link direct to the branch site and their HelpHound reviews under 'Reviews from the web' and three great rich snippets.

6.  Full service

Reviews are so easy - you just ask for them and they miraculously appear. In our dreams they do! There is much more to review management than meets the eye - and it is not just about software. 

At HelpHound we have a deep understanding of everything review-related, and if we had any advantage when pitching to Winkworth it was being able to reassure them that they, and their staff and franchisees would be able to rely on HelpHound for advice, training and support.

7.  Flexibility and future-proofing

HelpHound are review managers, not a review site. This is important; our only loyalty is to our client. If the best advice is to get reviews to one of the independent review sites then that is the advice we will give. If one of those sites shows well in search, then Winkworth can rest assured that we will be advising them on a strategy to look good there (If you are not yet a HelpHound client and you are considering an independent review site you are strongly advised to read this recent article).

We have conformed to Winkworth's design requirements and advised them on the myriad ways that reviews can be used in their marketing.

You can read what they think about HelpHound here. Now - do you understand why Winkworth chose HelpHound? If you are not already aboard speak to Fiona or Karen today. 

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