August 6, 2018
Why does this matter?
Every day on Google people search for products and services they need and want, your brand can be the one they choose to go with and if so that’s more customers for you and growth for your business. But there are a tidal wave of third party sites working hard to outrank you in the same search terms you want to show up for. Think Angie’s List (for home services) or Avvo (for attorneys). These sites have the end goal if making money by simply reselling traffic in your keywords back to you for a fee.
83% of consumers read reviews on a business before deciding to work with them, this means your reviews need to be top-notch, but it also means you need to keep the reviews about your business where you want them. And that’s not on 3rd party review sites. When you recommend a user review you on a 3rd party site you give that site a lot of authority over your brand and you lose control of that reviews ability to drive traffic to your brand directly.
Local search matters most
Customers who are looking for a local business are using search first when a potential customer search “plumber near me” Google knows that the searcher is using a term with “local intent”, which just means they want someone locally who can help them with their needs. Now the question is how do you show up top and not someone else? Google is the dominant search engine so we’ll use them for this example, but Bing and Yahoo also apply here as well. The logic is simple Google wants to return the best result for the query. They are going to use a combination of factors, but increasingly they are going to use their internal data set and then if they can’t satisfy the request with internal data they will turn to 3rd party sites to finish the search results.
The solution to lowering the dominance of these third party sites is to give the data directly to Google. So what does that mean exactly? Google has been working hard to increase the information it has on local businesses, this includes actual facts like business hours, services offered, etc. but it also includes data that helps Google rank a business, this means reviews. Just like Amazon Google now collects reviews from consumers directly and uses this data to display results for searches.
Going back to our example above, “plumber near me”, if you wanted to rank for this term you need to cover a few bases:
By doing these 3 things you will be able to give Google enough information to show your direct business listing to customers when they are searching. The big advantage here is Google isn’t directing those searches to some 3rd party site, they are directing those searches directly to your website, booking page, or phone number.
By using these techniques you can rank higher and disarm the third part sites that exist to try to claim searches for your business so they can use them as a way to sell you on expensive advertising packages down the road. Hopefully, we’ve given you some insight today. If you’re interested in how to automate the above 3 steps we’re happy to help!