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.

mobile-personal-assistants

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

 

YOUR LOCAL PAGES AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE. NOW WHAT?

Chelsea.jpgBy Chelsea Bradley

For every physical location your brand has, there is a Facebook, Google and Yelp page for that specific location.

Three Pack.pngMany marketers and operators choose to ignore local pages and focus on the brand page so posts and comments are in one place.

Makes sense, right?

Not really.

Whether you like it or not, your guests are reading and writing reviews, commenting and making purchase decisions based on the information they find on your brand’s local pages.

72% of consumers who conduct a local search on Google choose from the top three local results.

The number of posts, reviews and ratings customers post to a brand’s local pages factor into their SEO ranking. Google favors brands who engage with posts, and respond to reviews.

By replying to reviews, brands encourage positive ratings, and are able to recover guests who leave negative reviews.

According to Forrester, reviews are viewed as more trustworthy than organic search engine results, and promotional posts on social media.

Can you guess which brand responds to all local page star-reviews?

Over the past six months, Brand B has responded to 99% of reviews while Brand A hasn’t responded at all. Star ratings increase as a brand’s engagement and customer service increases.Star.png

A brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is, it is what consumers tell each other it is, but we have the ability to control the conversation, build relationships, recover guests, and gather actionable data.

You’re ready to manage your local pages, now what?

Before you dive in with posting content, and responding to reviews, you need to:

  • Claim your brand’s local pages on Facebook, Google and Yelp
  • Update, and verify all listings are accurate (website, geo-coordinates, phone number, hours of operation)
  • Remove duplicate listings

Sound overwhelming?  Stellar Digital helps brands manage their local pages at scale while providing actionable insights and trends.  Contact us to learn more!

info@stellardigital.marketing

913-535-1404

MOBILE MOMENTS

Have you mapped out your consumer’s mobile moments? Have you thought about the relevance of your brand in those moments during a consumer’s journey when they consult the device they look at an average of 150 times a day?

Google has begun testing its mobile-first index, which will primarily look at the mobile version of your website for its ranking signals and fall back on the desktop version when there is no mobile version. Many brands have a mobile-optimized version of t92heir website and consider this box checked.

The significance of Google’s shift to mobile-first reaches far beyond the importance of having a mobile optimized website. Research conducted by MomentFeed found that a company’s website, especially restaurants, accounted for less than 10% of their online traffic. They are seeing 10x more activity on Google, FB and Yelp.

Google found that there has been a 2x increase in “near me” searches in the past year. Local Google, Facebook and Yelp properties are often what consumers use to find a location’s address, directions, phone number, and hours of operation. They also use them for something brands have less control over, ratings and reviews.

Restaurant brands tend to think of Yelp when they think of ratings and reviews. Today the largest number of restaurant reviews, are left on Google, followed by Facebook and Yelp trails them both.

88Local properties are often ignored by multi-location brands because managing them doesn’t seem scalable. A brand with 500 locations typically gets more than 100 reviews a day and that number continues to grow, signaling new behavioral norms.

Local page management is in fact scalable. Software like MomentFeed enables brands to manage local pages and the reviews on them all in one place. For brands that aren’t resourced to manage, experienced community managers at Stellar Digital adopt the brand’s tone and persona to help manage their pages while providing actionable insights back to the brand. Responding to negative reviews shows guests that you care and can lead to them changing their review.

If you’ve got a mobile optimized website, you’re in good shape. Let us help with all of the other mobile properties consumers with intent interact with on a journey that we want to ensure leads to a visit.

info@stellardigital.marketing
913-535-1404