Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | December 29, 2018

Is Your Reputation Ready for Google’s Latest Local Search Update?

A business’s reviews are one of the fastest and most reliable ways for customers to determine whether a business is good or bad. Reviews are so efficient and reliable that 91% of people now regularly or occasionally read reviews when deciding on which business they should visit.

Google knows that one of the first things their users do when searching for a local businesses is to read their reviews. Knowing this, and understanding just how influential reviews are, they have now made it even easier for users to find them.

As the top search engine, Google is constantly making updates to enhance and simplify the user experience, and their latest update has done just that. With the new update to Google’s local panel in the mobile search results, users can now quickly and easily navigate to see all of a business’s reviews.

             New Google Update1.png          New Google Update2.png   

Customers want more readily available information to help them make a fast and accurate decision

Previously, there was no tab separation between a business’s “Overview” information and their “Reviews”. In order to find and read a business’s reviews, users would have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the panel. That may be fine for users searching on a desktop, but in general, people searching on their mobile device are on-the-go and want this critical information to be easily accessible.

The ability to quickly jump between reviews and overview information gives customers exactly what they want: easy and immediate access to your online reputation. This update highlights just how important reviews are to a customer’s decision making process and places a business’s reputation on center stage for everyone to see.

There is no avoiding it, customers are going to read your reviews. Updates like these highlight the importance of managing your online reputation and ensuring that your reviews outshine your local competitors‘.

Google’s new update and the growth of mobile and “On-the-go” searches creates more opportunities for businesses

The latest statistics show that nearly 3 out of 5 searches (58%) are now made from mobile devices, compared to only 29% in 2014, and of these mobile searches, one third of them are made with local intent. This increasing volume of local-mobile searches represents an enormous opportunity for brick and mortar businesses to grow their customer base and increase their revenue.

How does more people searching on their mobile devices equate to such a great opportunity for businesses? For the most part, these people only know what type of business they need, they have no bias towards any specific brand; all they want is a business they can trust and a business that can meet their needs. This gives you the opportunity to show them your brand is the one they want!

Customers are leaving it up to search engines and review sites to give them a narrowed down list of the most trustworthy and relevant businesses in their area. From there, they will take a few minutes to read and compare the reviews for those top suggestions and within a matter of minutes they will have made their decision.

That means, as a business looking to capitalize on this opportunity, it is your job to become one of the top local businesses that Google recommends. How can you do this?  By managing your reputation, generating positive reviews and taking the necessary steps to improve your local search rankings.

For a business with multiple locations, this can be an overwhelming and difficult task to accomplish. How are you supposed to manage each location’s reputation, monitor hundreds of reviews and optimize each store’s listing to compete in their own local market? The solution is simple: you partner with a Local Brand Management Platform with Enterprise Capabilities!

Schedule your Free Demo with Chatmeter to learn how we can help you manage your reputation and compete on the local level to win more customers!