The 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey by Myles Anderson of BrightLocal was newly published on SearchEngineLand. There are specific straightforward and incontestable results that we can run with.
Four major takeaways from the study:
- More people are trusting online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. A full 79 percent (up from 72 percent just a year ago!) say that genuine online reviews (emphasis on genuine) carry the very same impact if not more than a recommendation from someone they know.
- Trust in online reviews is skyrocketing! An astonishing 72 percent now claim that positive client and customer reviews make them trust a business more. This is up from 58 percent just last year! It’s abundantly clear that buyers are taking more notice than in the past and are trusting them more. Only 12 percent of consumers said they pay no notice of any online reviews (down from 17 percent in 2012).
- Also, people are viewing far fewer reviews before making their buying decisions. Notably, 67 percent of consumers read 6 reviews or less, up from 52 percent in 2012. Consumers are also reading less than 7 reviews – 22 percent now vs. 35 percent in 2012.
- It’s more important than ever before to manage your online reputation. Since people are reading fewer reviews, and basing their buying decisions on them more, it’s important to make sure you are monitoring your online reputation very carefully. Because the most recent reviews are impacting the buying decisions the most, you’ll want to keep a watchful eye for anything appearing that is negative and possibly damaging. Institute a policy for dealing openly with negative reviews, and a suitable system for generating new, positive reviews that drive those negative reviews further down the page and not findable. Be sure to make these genuine, however, as people are ever more savvy with regards to spotting fake and corporate-generated “reviews”.
Use this information!
This is the type of information that can make a big difference, both positively and negatively, for your business. Thanks to Myles Anderson and the people at BrightLocal for this timely and enlightening study.
When was the last time you heard about Google helping out anyone? Usually we associate them with search ranking algorithm updates that sink sites with their Pandas, Penguins and the like. But not this time around. Google Helpouts is a new offering from Google that seems to be actually, well, helpful.
So what are Google Helpouts?
Google Helpouts is a video chat platform, much like Google Hangouts with some major differences. Anybody can offer their services for free or for a fee, to undertake whatever tasks they may find helpful to others. For example, one person may offer technical web help, another baking lessons. Helpouts are offered on a timed basis, and monies are exchanged through Google Wallet. Each and every provider is approved by Google prior to going live, and all are rated by their users with regards to their ability.
Can a beauty salon business make use of Google Helpouts?
There are lots of ways a beauty salon business can make use of Google Helpouts. Lessons, tutorials, advice and one on one help can go quite some distance toward introducing your business to the local community, in addition to building up your brand and reputation. Consider how best your business can benefit from this source of lead generation, and whether or not it’s a good idea to charge for your services. A free consult could be just what is needed to develop some of the know, like, and trust you are wanting. It might function as a best business card you ever made!
How do you start with Google Helpouts?
You’ll need to get an invitation, and become approved, but after that all that is required is a Google account, a computer with webcam and a microphone, and a plugin that Google has for you to download. One nice bit of integration is that Helpouts pulls the profile information from your Google account, so for branding purposes this is consistent and easy. Ensure that your computer has a least a 2GHz or faster processor, and that your video area is well lit and professional. This is displaying your beauty salon business after all!
As mobile devices partner up with location based services such as Foursquare and Yelp, it has undeniably changed the way your clients and customers find and use your business. The material offered by these services is a real time-saver and social proof catalyst that provides them more info on where to eat, sleep, shop and be entertained. What can you do to ensure that your small business can make the best use of these location based services?
Here are 7 tips to help you make money from location based marketing!
- Make sure your local listings are correct – Verify that the information listed in Google+ Local, Yelp, FourSquare and any other services you use is accurate. This includes your name, address, phone, maps and any other contact or business information you want to be known.
- Make sure your website is mobile responsive – Some 50 percent of all local searches are emanating forma mobile device, so it’s crucial that your site renders well in a mobile browser.
- Realize the difference between push and pull – You can push ads out to people who happen to be in your vicinity, as well as appeal to those people who are trying to discover an item that meets their needs.
- Local reviews can make a difference – The majority of shoppers are making local purchasing decisions based upon reviews they come across. It’s still a good idea to encourage and reward reviews of your business, as this could be the swing vote!
- Offer incentives – This is an easy way to leapfrog the competition when the choices aren’t so clear-cut.
- Be responsive to reviews and social media – Don’t forget to keep up with your social media, especially reviews. People notice!
- Consider deals for mobile wallet users – Here’s one your competition is very likely not using yet: consider offering deals to customers who use their mobile wallets, like Google Wallet, Passbook or any other. Engage them with special offers and discounts only accessible to them!