Here is an example of how the Google Local Search changes are working:The new local search result for an auto repair company.
This company actually has 25 reviews in Customer Lobby which will eventually be picked up in the link at the bottom of their listing above. On the actual Places Page, these third party reviews have moved to the footer at the bottom of the page.
Our Recommended Immediate Actions to Business Owners Are:
- Keep working to get Google reviews. Make it easy for your customers to go to your Places Page and write a review. Beg them, entice them, but by all means ASK, it’s critical to your business marketing in the future
- Keep using Customer Lobby, Yelp, or other review systems. There is a competitive war going on for these reviews and we don’t know how it’s going to end up. We DO KNOW that reviews are empowering local businesses to be found more easily and customers are making choices based on reviews.
- Don’t forget the key advantage of review systems like Customer Lobby. You control the reviews, you can fully integrate them as you see fit into your website, landing pages, and offline marketing materials. Some independence from Google is a must!
- Put a link in your Places Page description to your Customer Lobby (or other) review page on your website. Make it easy to help potential customers see those reviews you better control.
- Keep working your Places Page and Local Search Optimization. We a working this hard for several clients with good results. Google is constantly changing this, it’s no longer a one shot update and be finished. Here’s an example of that:
- We hear that the next step is Google + Business Profiles, coming in 2-3 months according to Vic Gundotra of Google. It’s an effort to make Google Places look more like Facebook Pages/Places. We expect that reviews will be a part of this and that all review providers, including Customer Lobby and others, will be able to integrate into Places this way, yet another change.