At Chatmeter, we know brand success means focusing on the future. That’s why we are relentlessly educating ourselves about the next big shifts and trends in online visibility, local search, reputation management, and consumer behavior. Then we want to share those findings with multi-location businesses across industries.
Recently, we took a deep focus specifically on brands in the retail and restaurant industries. We took 12 of America’s biggest restaurant and retail brands and put them head-to-head over three months to see which companies are on top of the trends, which are falling behind.
We found many fascinating insights regarding listings, reputation, online visibility, and more. However, the most surprising findings involved the number of brands who are not prepared for voice search and optimizing their strategies to capture the right customers wherever they are looking.
Right now, brands need to remember the top place they need to be found — on the first result on the search engine results page (SERP). And today, that means being ready for local voice search.
Read the Local Brand Report: Reputation’s Role in Retail and Restaurants:
Head-to-Head Brand Battles
Starbucks vs. Dunkin’
Jack in the Box vs. Wendy’s
A&W Restaurants vs. Dairy Queen
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 is 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 that 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 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 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:
- Phone Number
- Hours of Operation
All 12 brands succeeded in NAPWCHD accuracy.
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 optimized 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.