Just when you thought your search rankings were safe…Google’s latest update has slashed the local results display from seven business listings to only three! By eliminating over half the number of businesses on the traditional map layout, this recent change has increased the importance of search engine optimization by tenfold.
“This is a very significant update, as the margin for error on local SEO is now razor-thin,” said Chris Ramaglia, BroadBased executive vice president. “In addition to showing just three results instead of seven, the new format now makes the user click through to get the business phone number. The bottom line is that organic SEO has never been more integral to successfully marketing your business online.”
Another key component of this change is the added prominence of user reviews. With the phone number removed from the display, the five star icons that appear underneath the business name are now the “star” of the show. This means that for a company to stand out, it needs to have a favorable star count as well as a high number of reviews.
“Online reviews have always been a bit of a moving target for our Internet marketing campaigns, but now it’s critical to have high quality reviews in addition to high quantity,” Ramaglia said. “Studies have shown that up to 90 percent of buying decisions online are influenced by user reviews, so we’ve made this a key part of our clients’ digital strategy.”
A review strategy consists of two parts: customer outreach and real-time monitoring. The outreach can come in the form of postcards displayed in common areas at a business, mailed to customers or sent via email blast. Other options include phone outreach or an item on the company’s website.
Monitoring can be done automatically with tools that alert key personnel the instant a review is posted and allow for immediate response to all reviews, whether positive or negative. As reviews are compiled, reports crunch the data and lend insight into what’s working and what needs a course-correction to elicit more positive reviews.
If your company doesn’t make the top-three cut in a Google search of your main keywords, it’s time to give BroadBased a call. We can help push you past your competitors to the top of the new display. Give Chris a call at 904-398-7279, ext. 17, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to talk.