No doubt 2016 has been a year for the books and we’re only half way through! Google has implemented huge changes recently that are affecting a storefront’s organic and local search results in a number of ways. Here are the changes Google has implemented, how they will affect your local business, and what to expect in the future.
Pokémon Go fever is at an all-time high, with users falling off cliffs and crashing cars in pursuit of being the very best. Mass amounts of citizens are taking to the streets with high hopes to catch the next Charizard and Pikachu in their communities, and there is a veritable gold mine waiting for businesses that are looking to cash in on this rapidly expanding user network. Every person walking around with their phone in their face is a potential customer for your business...so long as they don’t walk into oncoming traffic on their way to you! What does this mean for your business? Marketing opportunities, foot traffic, revenues, and money! See below on how to capitalize on this craze that’s taking the world by storm.
We hear businesses on a daily basis assume that the majority of reviews online are a result of customers having negative experiences. The truth is, only about 20% of customerswill post a review after a negative experience, and about the same would submit a review after a positive experience. The majority of negative shopping experiences are actually never recorded and fall on deaf employee ears. While this is good news to most storefronts, the problem is that negative feedback, in fact, helps a business improve operations, retain customers, and avoid repeated mistakes. Without knowing what is turning customers away, the result could be more, negatively, powerful than having 5 stars for all of your locations.
Google has recently updated its Place pages by removing third party online reviews. There are a variety of reasons for this, but one significant reason is likely due to an ongoing anti trust suit filed against Google. One of the issues was that Google places used reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor, and other review sites which helped Google provide more value for the places product. But the bigger issue was when Google then started showing Google Places higher up in the rankings over these same sites they were pulling content from. In addition, the recent explosion in review generation on google directly is a contributing factor (“we don’t need your stinkin’ reviews!”). Not anymore anyway.
Topics: Google, Google Places, Local SEO, Local Business, local search ranking, Local Search Rankings, Missing Reviews, Monitoring Online Reviews, Online Reviews, Reputation Management, Reputation Monitoring, Review Management, Reviews
Today Google launched a new feature in Google Places (formerly Local Business Center) that enables verified business owners with local business listings to publicly respond to customer's online reviews. Two thumps up! This is definitely a nice feature because it encourages business owners to engage in a two-way conversation with customers. By responding to online feedback, it shows your customers that you care about their opinion and are willing to go the extra mile to maintain a positive online reputation. Feedback, whether positive or negative, is always an opportunity to win new business!
According to local search marketing experts like David Mihm, there are dozens of factors that effect local search rankings. For many small business owners, this may sound overwhelming. Don’t fret. We’ve outlined the most important factors that determine your local search rankings in the Google 7-pack, Yahoo’s local business listings, and Bing’s local business listings. The Most Important Local Search Ranking Factors:
Google Maps, formerly Local Business Center, is offering a free 30 day trial for its local business advertising tags. The service helps your local business listing stand out by adding an eye-catching yellow tag that can allow your potential customers to print out a coupon. This offer expires July 23rd, so act fast or you may lose out on this opportunity.
I was surprised at first when I read this, but given the proliferation of Smartphones, it's actually not that hard to believe. Even my 64 year old father uses a Blackberry and my 10 year old nephew has an Iphone. Yelp has become the trusted go-to resource for anyone searching for local businesses. In June 2010, Yelp announced that every 5 seconds, someone uses their mobile phone app to call a local business. During the month of May, Yelp for iPhone had over 1.4 million visitors.