An interesting change to Google+ Local review process brings more innovation to the surface as Google zeros in on social and search. As the search engine giant announced updates to the requirements for posting local reviews, users will now have to have a Google+ profile with a picture in order to post a review. Similar to Yelp’s filtering criteria; Google is filtering out the non-human reviews to convey a more trustworthy review. The reviews aren’t filtered as extreme as Yelp though, but it’s strict enough to generate reviews from real people. If you take a look at the reviews below, you'll notice one review without a profile picture. WIth the new requirement, all Google+ Local reviews will appear with a profile image, like the two in the image.
The new Google+ Local requirements are a huge step in the social search for local businesses. We are emerging into an era where your business must have a demonstrated positive, social image in order to rank high in the most widely used search engines. It actually improves your search ranking if you have multiple, positive reviews.
“There is no question that positive reviews on Google+ Local directly impact your business’ ranking in search. If you want to rank in the top three spots on page one, your business will need reviews from real people with Google+ accounts leaving positive reviews,” said Jebez LeBret, Chief Innovation Officer at Getnoticedgetfound.com.
What does this mean? You need to do your best to provide the most memorable experience for every customer, and do your part to encourage them to review your business. “The best way to combat this barrier to leaving a review is to educate your customers on both the process of leaving a review and the importance of your business getting good reviews on Google+ Local,” saidLeBret.
An easy way to gain Google+ Local reviews is to send your customers an email a week or two after their stay, starting with a thank you. Follow up with a simple statement about reviews and how important they are for your business. Close with a call to action, such as a link to your Google+ Local page. This method can work for any social review website, but you can tailor it to Google+ users with targeted messaging and a handy email filter. It may not be easy to say “if you’re a Google+ user, please review our business,” so you can filter customers with Google email addresses and take the chance that they’re on Google+. Customers with an “@gmail.com” or “@googlemail.com” will more than likely have a Google+ profile. We put together some step by step instructions on seeking out the Google+ users you’ll want to target.
- Input all customer email addresses into a spreadsheet in Excel or Google Docs.
- Press Ctrl+F to find all Google addresses in your list.
- Input "@gmail.com or @googlemail.com" in the Find Box and press Enter.
- The results will show in the function bar of your spreadsheet. Copy (Ctrl+C) and Paste (Ctrl+V) the results in a new column.
- Save the document and create a Group List of the filtered results in your email client mailing list.
If you aren’t keeping an email list of your customers, now is the most important time to start. Our social networks are connected with email addresses, and what you do with that email is the action that will set you apart from your competitors. In the case of Google+ Local reviews, you can target your reviews with the email domains. Go ahead, start small by reaching out for Google+ Local reviews and watch that positivity turn into SEO as you sit at the top of Google Search Engine Results.
- Top 4 Review Sites for Social Travelers: Part 4 Google+ Local
- Google+ Adds Photo Reminder to Increase Engagement
About RezStream: RezStream is a Denver, Colorado based Internet marketing agency that specializes in local search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, email marketing & social media.