For local businesses, Google Plus is a key component to search success. Without a Google Plus business listing, you can’t compete with your local rivals for those top spots in Google.
Earlier this month, Pete Meyes reported seeing Google Plus reviews showing in the local 3 pack results in the US. It appears that Google is testing showing a single line text review within the local 3-pack listings in place of the business opening times:
So what does this tell us? It drops a big hint that Google is paying more and more attention to online reviews. In the 2015 Local Search Ranking Factor Results published by Moz, review signals accounted for 8.4% of search success. I believe this will rise this year.
Bright Local also published research in 2015 which showed 97% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews to judge a local business. 78% of consumers aged 55+ are satisfied after reading 1-6 online reviews.
In my opinion, Google Plus reviews are becoming more and more important to aid local search rankings, along with reviews on other online platforms such as big directory sites and social media.
If you don’t have a review strategy in place, it’s time to act. Need a hand? Contact us to find out how we can help.