Google recently lowered its review threshold to a minimum of one-to-three reviews in order for brands to appear within the Local 3-Pack. Previously, local businesses were expected to have a minimum of five reviews in order to appear within the Local Pack, but evidence from Mike Blumenthal and Barry Schwartz suggests as little as one review will now be enough for brands to rank in the Local Pack. This can be both a good or bad thing for different store locations, depending on the quality of the reviews they currently have.
Reviews play a big role in the purchase decisions of today’s consumers. Over 70% of consumers ages 25-34 seek out reviews before making a decision to purchase, and almost 90% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. At the enterprise level, it can be difficult to make the most of reviews, let alone utilize them to garner visibility and brand awareness. Yet, reviews are an important facet of every marketing campaign, and brands with active reputation management strategies often surpass their competitors in visibility, satisfaction and loyalty. Learn five steps to successful reputation management, and find out how Brandify helped one enterprise drive 40% more website traffic through online reviews.
Since its initial release last December, we have covered and supported the exciting updates to the Google My Business (GMB) API roll out. The latest update in May enabled reading and responding to reviews, providing place identification, attribute support, photos and new location states to its list of capabilities. Now, Google has released more features for multi-location brands to distribute location information and gain visibility.
Recently, Google has made quite a few changes to local review guidelines. Last month, Google exposure with reviews to other customers. With nearly 90% of consumers stating that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, user-generated content has never been more important. Recently, Google launched Critic Reviews, which allow any publisher to apply to have their “critic reviews” displayed for a local business. Following critic reviews, Google made some updates to the guidelines for using schema markup reviews, advising that only reviews produced directly from a brand’s own site can utilize review markup. Now, Google has introduced Reviews from the Web, which pulls consumer reviews from third-party sites to the knowledge panel on a desktop and presented directly under NAP information on a smartphone.
As a big-name brand, it can be easy to feel invincible, but small, local competitors can beat enterprise brands who are failing to optimize for the local experience. The combination of personalized, local business have the potential to consume the market share for bigger brands over time. One area in which big brands are severely deficient is review moderation. Listening to your customers and responding to reviews helps build brand awareness, resolve customer issues and increase engagement, but this is one aspect of local optimization that big brands fail to achieve. Phil Rozek of the Local Visibility System discusses how big brands can master review moderation, with Mindy Weinstein of Market Mindshift and Kyle Eggleston of Walgreens, as panelists and Greg Sterling of the Local Search Association as moderator.
The tides of search algorithms are constantly changing, and marketers are beginning to notice how this is affecting review directories. We saw some turbulence in the past with several review directories’ presence declining on page 1 of Google. But even with these changes, it isn’t time to loosen the leash on your listings. We still see local data claiming on multiple reviews directories as an essential component of review management.
Last week we discussed the impact and influence of social media in business and marketing, and how technologies like Brandify help businesses engage with consumers on social platforms. This week we’re looking at another form of social engagement: Online reviews.
The first week of September marks Part 4 in our webinar series The 6 Pillars of Multi Location Optimization. In the past three weeks we’ve introduced you to the Six Pillars of Brandify and why they’re so essential to a brand’s overall digital marketing strategy. In the final instalment of our webinar series (and associated blog posts) we’ll be taking a look at how these six components work together to help create and manage a brand that people love, and get the most out of your digital marketing strategy. Here’s a quick review of some of the topics we’ve discussed so far:
Data Quality and Local Listings: We’ve talked about how important it is to make sure each location of your business has accurate NAP (name, address, and phone number) so customers can find your locations. No matter what you do, you should always start with the right set of data for all your online business listings. This also means claiming and syndication comes into play: It’s important for companies to take control of all the places online (Yelp, Google, etc) that their businesses are listed, and make sure they are accurate and in sync with the NAP that is listed on their company website. For businesses with multiple, hundreds, or thousands of locations Brandify can help streamline this process.
We’ve had an excellent two webinars so far as part of our four week-long series exploring Brandify and the Six Pillars of Multi-Location Optimization. During the week of August 25 we will continue with Part Three, where we’ll discuss the advantages of Local Advertising and how to manage your business’s online Reviews.