The Local Brand Report: Reputation’s Role in Retail and Restaurants

 

At Chatmeter we are always thinking about what comes next. We relentlessly educate ourselves and our brands so they can be prepared for the next shift in consumer behavior. Right now, our biggest focus is preparing our brands to be ready for the voice search revolution. When it comes to local voice search, there is only one result that matters– the first result.

In order to see how prepared brands are for search, we took 12 of America’s biggest restaurant and retail brands and put them head-to-head, over a 3-month span, to see which companies are most prepared for voice. What we found was astonishing. Not only are these brands not prepared for voice at all, but they are failing to maintain a positive and interactive online reputation among their customers.

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Head-to-Head Brand Battles:

Restaurants

Starbucks vs. Dunkin’

Jack in the Box vs. Wendy’s

A&W Restaurants vs. Dairy Queen

Retail

TJ Maxx vs. Ross Stores

Target vs. Walmart

Apple vs. Best Buy

Our Findings From The Report:

Local Brand Visibility

We found that the brands chosen in this report fell well below our scoring system for a healthy brand. Our Local Brand Visibility (LBV) score is an aggregate of the most important metrics tied to reputation, social media activity, and local SEO. Customer activity levels, listing accuracy, rankings, customer ratings, and local competitors all factor into the score.

Not a single brand ranked as “Industry Leader” according to our scoring system. Because of this, we took a deeper look at why this may be? We found that these brands were scoring the lowest in reviews and local social media management. It is because of this, not a single one of the brands in this report are optimized for voice search.

Local Business Listings

One area, we found that all 12 brands are excelling at is in Local Listing Management. We ran a local listing management report using the Chatmeter platform to see the accuracy and presence of each brand’s listings. We found that across all 12 companies, the average listing accuracy is 90.75%.

We found that every brand in this report sees the value in listing management which is why they all scored high when it came to listing accuracy. An accurate listing must have the business name, address, and phone number. However, it’s becoming more and more apparent that a complete and accurate listing needs more than just NAP presence. In order to truly succeed with listings, businesses now need to have NAPWCHD accuracy which stands for Name, Address, Phone Number, Website, Category, Hours of Operation, Description. All 12 brands succeeded in NAPWCHD accuracy as well.

Review Management

We found that review management is one of the biggest areas all 12 of these brands must improve in. The average number of reviews received by each location in the report was 28. Each of these brands has 100s if not 1,000s of locations and yet the average response rate of 1.4% with eight out of the twelve brands not responding to reviews at all.

In addition to reviews, consumers turn to a store’s star rating when making a decision about a company. Research shows that the optimal rating for a brand is around a 4.7. Each and every one of these brands has a chance to improve their ratings and should start by responding to their reviews.

Recommendations For All Brands

Based on Chatmeter’s findings in this report, we found 3 key areas that each brand can improve in if they want to be prepared for voice search.

1. Respond to Reviews – Reviews without responses can negatively affect a brand’s rankings.

2. Post to Local Social Pages – It is time to transition from national social media campaigns to campaigns that have a more local focus.

3. Develop an Unbranded Keyword Strategy – In order to reach new customers, bring more visitors to a business, and rank higher in more searches, brands need to be optimizing for unbranded keywords.

Optimizing for voice search should be a brand’s biggest priority in 2019. When it comes to local search, it’s not about creating voice skills or apps, it’s about doing everything you can to rank first. This means optimizing for the right keywords, managing your online reputation effectively, and keeping all of your listings accurate. The voice search revolution is among us, will America’s biggest brands be able to keep up?

To see the full findings, download the Local Brand Report.

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