Because Google Says So

Where do the star ratings on Google search results come from? Yelp? Facebook? Wherever Google feels like?

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100% of star ratings and reviews shown on local Google search results come from reviews and ratings customers have posted on a local Google listing. [Tweet this]

Customers are leaving reviews and star ratings on your local Google pages, and whether or not you’re responding to positive and negative reviews, affects your in-store traffic, sales and SEO rankings.

Why?

Because Google says so. 

Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.

There’s no way to request or pay for a better local ranking on Google. – Google Support

The more you respond to positive and negative reviews, the more credibility and trust you’re going to build with your customers, and potential customers.

Quality reviews from your customers will improve your visibility — don’t be afraid to ask (not pressure) for a review.

The ability for customers to leave reviews about any kind of businesses (it’s not primarily restaurants anymore), really emphasizes the importance of the era of word of mouth, and reputation management that we live in.

Where do you start?

  • Claim your local listings
  • Update address, phone number, and hours
  • Add photos
  • Manage and respond to reviews on a daily basis

Don’t be scared, this is an exciting time, and a great way for you to establish trust, build credibility & resolve problems, all from your smartphone or computer. But remember, your Google, Facebook, and Yelp local pages aren’t going anywhere, and impact your bottom line.

Sound overwhelming?  Stellar Digital helps brands manage their local pages, at scale, while providing actionable insights and trends.  Our team has years of experience helping multi-unit and franchised brands and understands reputation management, marketing opportunities and operational challenges that come along with maintaining 1 to thousands of online properties.

Contact us to learn more!

info@stellardigital.marketing

913-535-1404

Voice Assistants are Impacting Local Search

The adoption of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana will only increase the ever-growing importance of managing local pages. Mobile voice search is three times more likely to be local-based than text search.

Ever ask Siri for restaurant suggestions? How about Alexa, Cortana or Google Now? Do you know where their recommendations are coming from?

img_3135If you’ve got an Amazon Echo in your home or office, Alexa makes recommendations based on Yelp listings. Ford announced in January that it will be putting Alexa in new cars. This means when someone is driving a new Ford and looking for a place to eat, there’s a good chance Yelp will influence their decision. Beyond Ford owners, think about rental cars. When someone rents a Ford in an area they’re not familiar with they’re even more likely to ask Alexa for suggestions.

Siri also leverages Yelp in its recommendations. In 2016 Apple began allowing third party apps to leverage Siri. Apps like Lyft, and many GPS apps have leveraged Siri. If those third party apps happen to be making dining suggestions they could potentially be coming from Yelp.

Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana is built into their Edge web browser helping users make reservations and find discounts when shopping online. Cortana leverages Yelp and Trip Advisor for recommendations.

Google Now on the other hand makes recommendations from it’s own knowledge graph. Restaurants are getting more than twice as many reviews on local Google pages than they are on Yelp.

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Source: Moz.com

When information on local pages is incorrect, users don’t realize that many brands do not manage their pages and they blame the brand.   If your ratings and reviews are negative it will negatively impact your search ranking however responding to reviews can have a positive impact on search ranking.

Keep in mind these are people with intent, looking to find a restaurant like yours. If you are not managing your local pages, it will be increasingly difficult for you to win traffic and thus sales away from brands that are.

You may think you’ve got search covered through paid results but have you factored voice assistants into your search strategy?

Stellar Digital helps brands manage local pages at scale.  Contact us to learn more!

info@stellardigital.marketing

913-535-1404