Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | December 29, 2018

The Latest In Local SEO and Review Management – What a Crazy Month!

Every week we hear a new story about the latest Google update, the newest industry study or the next big trend in consumer search habits. With hundreds of new stories being released every week it is tough to keep up with all of the important changes and happenings in the local SEO and Reputation Management industries.

For someone whose job doesn’t revolve around staying up-to-date with the industry, sifting through all of the stories to find the ones worth reading can be a cumbersome task. To help you stay “in-the-know” and to make your life a little easier, we have done the work for you.

Here are our “Must Reads” coming from the Reputation Management Industry over the past month:

1. Physicians experience the power of tech-savvy patients

The latest statistics found that 42% of patients are now viewing health-related consumer reviews to help them make health care related decisions. The American Medical Association has taken note of the increasing influence reviews and online resources are having on the healthcare industry and urged physicians to embrace the internet as a channel for reaching new patients. They continued by highlighting the need for physicians to take charge of their brands and improve the information that is available online.

“In this day and age, your reputation is whatever Google says it is”

– Dr. Deanna Attai, MD

In the past, the spread of customer experiences and opinions was largely restricted to how fast they could be passed along from person to person via word-of-mouth. However, with the rise of the internet, word-of-mouth quickly transitioned into internet searches, mouse clicks and keyboards – making it possible for customer experiences and opinions to become available to the world almost instantaneously.

This shift from traditional to digital word-of-mouth has had a major impact on the healthcare industry and is forcing physicians to think more carefully about the way they manage their online reputation. While the shift towards digital word-of-mouth has taken hold in some industries faster than others it is clear that no matter which industry you are in, online reputation management has become an essential component to running a successful business.

2. Crack the Code to Reputation Management

Featured in one of Martech Advisors recent articles, Collin Holmes, Founder and CEO at Chatmeter explains how businesses can leverage online reviews to win trust with their local customers.

In light of recent headlines and even a few lawsuits surrounding fake reviews, Chatmeter conducted research to determine whether or not consumers trust in reviews has actually fallen. While “fake reviews” turned out to be more of a catchy headline than an actual problem consumers are worried about, the study found that managing one’s reputation in a way that builds trust with online searchers continues to be more important than ever.

Continue reading to learn what our survey revealed about how brands can naturally increase loyalty and trust between themselves and customers through online reputation management.

3. The latest updates to your Google My Business account

Google holds as much as 95% of the market for mobile searches and an overwhelming majority of the market for local searches. This means that a large part of your online reputation and much of what consumers read about your business comes from your GMB listings. Staying up-to-date with the happenings around google and the important updates to your GMB pages is a necessity for anyone looking to stay relevant within the area of reputation management.

Here are the top three recent updates made to Google My Business:

  • Messaging Features – After experimenting with this feature since November 2016, Google has finally rolled out messaging capabilities to all businesses with Google My Business accounts. Businesses now have the option to allow their customers to communicate with them in real-time via SMS.
  • Posts by Google – Posts by Google is the latest update that helps businesses to attract more customers and stand out in the local search results. By allow for businesses to create and publish posts featuring timely information such as events, sales and specials, Google is giving you a way to connect and engage with your local customer base in a way that was never before possible.
  • Testing a New Dashboard (Updated 9/7/17) – As a way to get more business owners to update their data within Google My Business, some business owners are now seeing a miniature GMB dashboard when they do a search for their business name in Google. From this miniature dashboard, owners have the ability to quickly edit their listing information, add photos, read reviews and see their number of listing views from the past month.2017-09-07_14-26-13.jpg

4. More companies embrace technology to get a handle on the overwhelming amount of daily online comments and reviews

One of the largest news outlets in the world, The New York Times, was struggling with their ability to manage the thousands of reader’s comments being posted every day. Trying to consolidate and manage all of these comments in an efficient and effective manner was an impossible task. The New York Times had a team of people solely dedicated to moderating their comments, but even still, they were overwhelmed. It was only by embracing the ground breaking technology that is available to them today that they have been able to build an effective model for managing thousands of comments.

Many business today are facing similar problem as the one The New York Times was dealing with: An overwhelming amount of content coming in from customers and an inability to track and make sense of this information. While businesses may not be receiving over 12,000 comments every day, they are dealing with hundreds of reviews, social mentions and user photos. Moreover, these reviews, social mentions, and photos are scattered all over the web making it impossible for any business to track down and manage their business’ online reputation manually.

Whether you are a business with 10 locations or 10,000, without the right tools, managing your reputation will never cease to be overwhelming. As the online community continues to grow, more businesses will realize the need – just as The New York Times has – for tech based reputation management solutions.

While the Local SEO and Reputation Management industry may be constantly changing, one thing has remained constant: the growing need for local search optimization and online review management solutions. Schedule a FREE Demo with Chatmeter to learn how we can help you manage your online  reputation and drive more customers into your stores.