WordJack exists entirely for the purpose of helping local businesses with their web marketing. We understand local business marketing is specialized, and what may be important for a big national company when it comes to search engine optimization may be totally different for local businesses.
A quick way to the top?
Often when buyers search for a local service provider on Google, they are presented with a subset of results with a map beside them. This is known as the Google local pack. Often appearing prominently in the Google local pack can be even more beneficial than appearing highly ranked in organic Google search.
Do whatever it takes to claim your local listing
For a long time, WordJack has been a strong believer in the value of an updated, accurate, and complete Google local business listing. In my personal life, friends who run local businesses often ask what the single most important thing for them to do from an online marketing perspective is. I often say that if you’re just going to do one thing, you should make sure that your Google local listing is published as completely and accurately as you can possibly make it.
Google’s “Get your business online” campaign
Last year, Google embarked on a concerted campaign to get as many local businesses to add, update, and claim their local listings. The program was called “Get Your Business Online”, or GYBO. This was just a new name on a Google feature that’s been available for years. Since the GYBO launch, WordJack has helped dozens of local businesses “get online”, and last week we qualified to add the Google Official City Partner badge to our website.
But getting an up-to-date and claimed listing on Google is only part of the work. Often only a few businesses are shown in the Google local pack results. The first challenge is to be included in that top 3 when someone does a search. The second challenge is to be the business that people select and contact when they are searching for a service like yours.
Firstly, get online. Secondly, get endorsed!
WordJack has always believed in the value of good reviews on your Google local listing, not only to help you reach the top 3, but also to beat the other two business listings and be the one customers call when they need your services. I read a recent article that drew on over 6,000 searches to compare the difference in click-through rate between local pack listings with no ratings vs. those with ratings, and furthermore how did the number of stars impact the chances of being selected?
The study showed interesting findings, including that listings with 5 stars had 69% of the clicks from the local pack.
It also showed that having 1 or 2 stars was worse than having no stars at all. So moving up from a 3-star rating to a 5-star rating could get a business 25% more clicks from the Google local pack.
“Listings with 5 stars got 69% of the clicks from the Google Local Pack.”
Good reviews are more important than top rankings
When users were asked why they picked the business they selected from the Google local pack, the top answer was that it had positive reviews and star ratings – a massive 56% of cases. Interestingly, only 9% of respondents said they picked a listing because it was ranked first.
Clearly the challenge for local businesses is: How can I get more reviews on my Google local listing? And just as importantly: How can I ensure I get positive reviews (besides providing excellent customer service of course)?
How can WordJack help? (We like to help)
Last year, WordJack launched a product called “Client Voice”. This is a service that makes it easy for local businesses to invite their customers to send them feedback. If a customer is especially happy with the service they received, they are invited to go one step further and leave a review on the company’s Google local listing itself. Here’s a short video explaining how that works and how it can result in benefits for local businesses.
The Client Voice service is included as part of being a WordJack client, and we utilize this wherever we see it can deliver value for a local business.
If you’ve had success in encouraging your customers to leave good reviews on your Google local listing, we’d love to hear about it in the comments. Or if you found other techniques to help improve your rankings within the Google local pack, we’d love to hear your ideas, too!