Google is constantly evolving. 10 years ago, when you made a search in Google, it would provide you with ~10 links and in some cases, there would be 1 or 2 simple text-based ads.
Fast forward today, there is a plethora of ways that Google will provide you with results to your search query. The list is quite lengthy but to name a few:
- Google My Business listings
- Shopping Ads
- Related Videos
- Local Services Ads
- Rich Snippets
Topping that list are Google My Business listings, commonly referred to as Google Maps Listings. These profiles have gone from being a convenient novelty to now being one of the most important tools for users, which presents a huge opportunity for local business looking to take advantage.
Let me explain why these listings are so important in today’s world of Google.
1. Google is becoming more and more greedy!
The growing trend with Google is that they are trying to keep all of the website traffic within Google and avoid sending users to companies’ websites. Some examples of this are with the Google My Business listings, Local Service Ads & Rich Snippets, which is essentially plagiarized text right from websites.
In the case of Google My Business Listings, the user can find all of the preliminary information needed about the business (hours, services, reviews, contact info, etc) and can reach out them directly from Google.
Anytime a user is able to find the information they need without visiting a website this is called a “No Click Search” and they are without a doubt affecting local businesses and overall website traffic.
Fun fact: No Click Searches now account for 47% of ALL search queries and over 60% on mobile devices.
This means that means that pretty much half of the searches for your business are not even making it to your website, or any one else’s for that manner. So, if you want to make the most of those no click searches, it is essential that you put a focus on your Google My Business profile!
2. Reviews play a MAJOR role in where your Google My Business listing is ranked.
There are 5 major factors that go into how Google decides which Google My Business listing to show for a search query
- Proximity to business – How close is the searcher to the location of the business. If you are searching for a hardware store and there is one right across the street from where you are searching from, Google will rank that one first.
- Total Volume of Reviews – How many reviews does your business listing have?
- Review Score – Out of all of those reviews, what is the average score (4.5 stars for example)
- Recency of Reviews – Google much prefers to see a steady stream of new reviews rather than seeing 50 reviews in the span of a week and nothing for another year.
- GMB Content – Google will look at all of the information within the listing and see how well it matches to what the user is searching for
Naturally, you can’t control where the user is searching from but the remaining 4 factors are all in your control! You will also notice that 3 of the 5 factors revolve around reviews, and this is the place where most businesses fall short.
3. Reviews are the #1 influencer today for consumer purchasing decisions
According to a Dimensional Research survey, 90% of customers say that reviews are often a deciding factor when making a purchase.
But maybe you’re a well-established business that relies on referrals, you say?
While that used to carry a lot of weight, nowadays 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as or more than they trust personal recommendations.
Whatever your situation, reviews are important. That’s a fact.
This represents a huge opportunity for the businesses that are consistently getting high quality reviews online as these businesses:
- Rank higher on Google
- Attract more traffic
- Generate more sales
That’s the power of a strong review presence!
If all this is not enough…
Google Reviews are the #1 SEO Ranking Factor for Local Businesses!
If you are eager to crank your Google My Business listing into overdrive feel free to check out our Review Management Service that has proven track record of helping local businesses dominate their competitors.
If your review game is already a well-oiled machine and just need some advice on how to optimize your content within it. Don’t hesitate to reach out as we are happy to help.