Last weekend I was in a rush to take my daughter to an event at a local school I’d never been to before.
So I headed over to the computer, typed the school’s address into Google Maps and was met with a screen and short slide show welcoming me to the NEW Google Maps.
As I started fast-forwarding through the slide show so I could get the directions I needed, one slide leaped out at me and I froze. Not having much time, I took a screenshot of what I say and want to share it with you here.
Now if you blink, you might miss what the bid deal is here.
See, this slide is about how Google is making it easier for you to make “smarter” choices when you’re looking for local businesses.
The most important piece of this that local business owners should be paying close attention to is this
“… find the highest-rated shops nearby.”
That’s right, the number and quality of the ratings your customers leave about your business on Google may well determine whether they find your business or not.
Online reviews have long been important for local businesses and now seem to be getting even more so.
If you’re struggling to get more reviews for your business, a good friend of mine has developed software that makes it dirt simple.
All you need is a customer’s name and email address and the software does the rest. And does it really well.
One of my clients has been using it for about 6 months. When they started, they had 2 just reviews for their business on Google. Now they’re the most reviewed, highest rated business in their local niche on Google and the other major review sites (and almost all the reviews are 5 star reviews from very happy customers!).
And his results are common. The software’s been around for about a year now and the businesses using it are dominating their local market when it comes to reviews and referrals (and at $49/month, find it an incredible bargain for the results they get)!
Now this software is not for everyone. But if you think it might be a good fit for your business and would like to know about it, send me an email with the subject line “More Local Reviews” and I’ll put you in touch with my friend to see if his software can help your business become the most reviewed business in your town (which, as you can see from the image above, is more important than ever!)
So if you want to become the most reviewed, highest rated business in your niche/area, email me now – adam (at) wordsthatclick (dot) com!
Ever wish you could get inside your prospects’ brain and see the world as they do?
Well while that might not be possible, you can see how they view the Internet through the use of eyetracking studies.
These types of studies use super-cool technology to track what people look at when surfing the web. And when you combine the results from all those who have participated in the study you end up with one extremely enlightening “heatmap” that shows you where people focus their attention when online.
SEOMoz recently did an eyetracking survey and the results are particularly revealing for local business owners. The study tracked what people look at when on the first page of Google.
Here’s image #1:
Notice how most people’s eyes are drawn to the “7-Pack” of local businesses (also called Google Map results or local search results) even though they are not the first results on the page?
Now take a look at the second image, which I find even more revealing…
Notice how even with a Google AdWords ad and other results pushing the local listings even further down the screen, people’s eyes gravitate toward the “3-Pack” of local results?
These two images clearly illustrate what a powerful magnet these local listings are for your customers (and while these images are from a desktop/laptop, these Google Maps listings get a lot of attention on Smartphones too).
The businesses that get to the top of the Google Maps rankings, win the lion’s share of prospects’ eyeballs (and business).
The first step to getting there is to simply claim your business listing on Google. There’s a ton of great free information on how to do that, and optimize your local search listing, on VizOnTheNet.com.
So if you’re not at the top of the Google Maps listings for the keywords your prospects are typing into Google to find you, head over to that site, start optimizing your local listings today!