Steven Wyer

Steven Wyer’s career as a businessman and entrepreneur has spanned more than thirty years. As managing director of Reputation Advocate, Steven C. Wyer helps professionals and businesses reclaim their online reputations. He is the author of Violated Online, a book that offers more than 50 specific tips on how the reader can better prepare for an unexpected online attack.

Steven Wyer Discusses Angie’s List Decision to Eliminate Annual Fee

Posted by admin | Posted in Steven Wyer | Posted on 01-08-2016

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In March  2016, home services reviews platform Angie’s List announced it would remove the $40 annual membership fee, says Steven Wyer. They made good on that promise in a late June commercial broadcast, featuring company namesake Angie Hicks. In the following Q & A, Steven Wyer answers questions about the possible implications of this decision.

Q: What prompted the move to become a free public site? 

Steven Wyer: The $40 annual fee was thwarting company growth. Angie’s List projects that removing the fee will ultimately more than double its revenue by 2020.

Q: How does this affect business owners in the home services sector?

Steven Wyer: It gives more potential customers access to verified reviews, good or bad. It also means that business owners need to pay more attention to Angie’s List content when it comes time to plan online marketing strategies for the coming years.

Q: Why is that?

Steven Wyer: Angie’s List is a strong site, despite providing the public with nothing more than NAP information on contractors since its inception.

Q: What is NAP information?

Steven Wyer: Name, Address, and Phone number.

Q: Does transitioning to a free site change what people see when they search for a business through Google?

Steven Wyer: All reviews are publicly available, and that means there is a higher probability of that business’ Angie’s List profile being displayed in the first pages of search results.

Q: Does pagerank typically affect consumer behavior toward a company?

Steven Wyer: Absolutely… In fact, most Google users look only at the top three or four search results. People tend to trust higher-ranking results and give very little credence to anything beyond page one.

Q: What makes Angie’s List such a visible site?

Steven Wyer: It’s the content. Now when most people think of “content,” they think blog posts, pics, and such. But reviews are a very valuable asset in the world of SEO and Angie’s List has them by the thousands.

Q: How should business owners face this potentially game-changing public release of Angie’s List reviews?

Steven Wyer: Companies need to understand the three main ways this could affect their bottom lines. The change will have an effect on page rankings. Online review monitoring might not work, and Angie’s List will probably expand into new categories, so other business categories might want to start paying attention.

Q: Why will monitoring tools have trouble with the site? 

Steven Wyer: The developers built the site so the reviews would be hidden.

Q: How do reviews on Angie’s List differ from those on other similar sites?

Steven Wyer: Historically, people have paid to be members of the site and want to feel they are contributing to their “community” of fellow subscribers. Most of the reviews tend to have lots of detail and great information.

Q: Will they remove that structure now that it’s free?

Steven Wyer: Possibly, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Q: How can a business owner find out about new reviews posted?

Steven Wyer: By claiming their profile. Then they will get a notification when anything new is posted.

Q: Does Angie’s List allow a business owner to respond?

Steven Wyer: Yes.

Q: Why would Angie’s List target other markets now?

Steven Wyer: Angie’s List is a trusted name for consumers researching home services. Adding other areas such as private schools, doctors, and hairstylists, would theoretically draw in many more free users.

Q: How will the site continue to earn revenue?

Steven Wyer: There is some talk about adding emergency services and other premium features only available to paid members.

Q: Is Angie’s List hurting financially?

Steven Wyer: Seeing as how they are projected to earn upwards of $355 million by years’ end, I’d say they are in good shape. However, it was time for a change to allow the company to grow exponentially.

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