Basic Reputation Management for Better Customer Service

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Posted by MiriamEllis The Internet can be a great connector, but sometimes, it acts as a barrier. Your local business receives a negative review, and the slate-colored words on the bland white screen can seem so cold, remote. You respond, but the whole interaction feels stilted, formal, devoid of face-to-face human feelings, like this: At least when a complaint occurs via phone, the tone of a customer’s voice tells you a bit more and you can strive to respond with an appropriate vocal pitch, further questions, soothing, helping, maybe resolving. Still, if you’re working off a formal script, the human connection can be missed: Image credit: News Oresund , Elvert Barnes It’s a win when a customer complains in person to your staff, but only if those employees have been empowered to use their own initiative to solve problems. Employees who’ve been tasked with face-to-face interactions but lack permission to act fully human when customers complain will miss opportunity after opportunity to earn the loyalty your brand would give almost anything to amass. Two people can be looking one another in the eye, but if one has to act corporate instead of human, too much formality ensures forgettable experiences: Image credit: Jan-Willem Boot , Amancay Blank What you really want as a local business owner is to have the power to turn those chilly black-and-white words on a review profile into a living color interaction. You want to turn one-way messaging into front porch conversation, with the potential for further details, vital learnings, resolution, and deeply informal human connection with a neighbor, like this: Image Credit: Christian Gries The great barrier: reviews Seventeen years into my journey as a local SEO, I’ve come to realize that my favorite businesses — the ones I’ve come to patronize with devotion — are the ones with owners and staff who treat me with the least formality. They’ve creatively established an environment in which I felt liked, heard, regarded, trusted, and appreciated, and I’ve responded with loyalty. It’s really a beautiful thing, when you step back and think about it. For me, it’s small local farmers who epitomize informal neighborliness in business. They: Do their best to grow high quality food Know me by name Know my dietary preferences Let me roam around their properties for enjoyment’s sake Trust me to pay via an honor system Ask me if there’s additional produce I’d like …

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Location Data + Reviews: The 1–2 Punch of Local SEO (Updated for 2020)

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Posted by MiriamEllis Get found. Get chosen. It’s the local SEO two-step at the heart of every campaign. It’s the 1-2 punch combo that hinges on a balance of visible, accurate contact data, and a volunteer salesforce of consumer reviewers who are supporting your rise to local prominence. But here’s the thing: while managed location data and reviews may be of equal and complementary power, they shouldn’t require an equal share of your time. Automation of basic business data distribution is the key to freeing you up to focus on the elements of listings that require human ingenuity — namely, reviews and other listings-based content like posts and Q&A.; It’s my hope that sharing this article with your team or your boss will help you get the financial allocations you need for automated listings management, plus generous resources for creative reputation management. Location data + reviews = the big picture …

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What Are Google Customer Reviews?

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With the competition becoming fiercer every day, e-commerce businesses need to pull all the stops to ensure they continue beating the competition . One simple yet powerful marketing tool you can use to your advantage is the Google Customer Reviews feature. Research shows that 70 percent of people trust online reviews more than they trust advertisements. That’s why getting as many reviews as possible from your customers can be one of the best things you can do for your business. Google has made that easy with Google Customer Reviews. Let’s dive right in and see what these reviews are all about. An Overview of Google Customer Reviews Google Customer Reviews is a service that allows businesses to collect reviews on their website. To participate in Google Customer Reviews, you must have a Google Merchant account. Google does most of the heavy lifting by helping collect customer feedback for you. To …

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How to Choose The Right Reputation Management Agency

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Is reputation management important? Research from Uberall shows if you increase your online review star ratings by 0.1 , you can boost your online conversions by 25 percent. A review reply rate of 30 percent also raises conversion rates by 80 percent. With reputation management, businesses can increase their revenue consistently over time. Most businesses need help, though. Reputation management has changed; the industry has grown into a large and sophisticated service. It’s too much for the average company to handle. Poor habits like bad review blackmail and hate trolling and the large volume of reviews make it difficult for businesses to keep up. With the right reputation management agency, you can build a strong reputation and a stable review portfolio. Know Your Goals and Desired Outcomes Review management requires a consistent amount of work. Many people think that it’s simply about requesting lots of online reviews from customers. There’s …

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The Local SEO Stats & Practical Tactics of Google’s Top-Ranked Grocery Stores

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Posted by MiriamEllis Grocery stores belong at the center of the 2021 local SEO industry conversation. Other than medical facilities, no enterprise stands out more clearly on the map as essential to daily life in the US, and few verticals have had to adapt more rapidly in mid-flight than our neighborhood food stores in the COVID-19 era. From independent grocers to major supermarket chains, there are heroes in every aisle keeping the nation fed. Any data that supports the strong continuance of these businesses is well worth sharing. In this article, I’ll provide results from 900 data points I pulled while analyzing the top local-pack-ranked grocery store in each of the 50 US capital cities. I’ll also summarize the practical tactics I’ve learned from listening to grocers and their marketers, highlighting how they’re adapting and succeeding in unprecedented times. It’s my hope that both in-house and agency grocery marketers will …

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Heart, Ear, Eye, Mind, Mouth: Local SEO Exercises for Your Least Technical Clients

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Posted by MiriamEllis When was the last time you relaxed with a client? As a local business consultant, I know that deeper marketing insights can be discovered when you set aside formality and share experiences: a moment, a laugh, a common bond. When I’m looking for ways to make life easier for a client, I sometimes reflect on ancient practices like yoga, tai chi, and mindful breathing, which are increasingly understood as beneficial to human health . For a space in time, they reduce the complex world we live in to a simpler one where being, breath, movement, and focus bring the practitioner to a more intuitive state. Local marketing agencies can empathize with the complex world their clients inhabit. Local business owners must manage everything from rent and employee benefits to customer service, business reviews, web content, and online listings. When you take on a new client, you expect …

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My 8 Best Local SEO Tips for the 2020 Holidays

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Posted by MiriamEllis   Image credit: DoSchu “No place like home for the holidays.” This will be the refrain for the majority of your customers as we reach 2020’s peak shopping season. I can’t think of another year in which it’s been more important for local businesses to plan and implement a seasonal marketing strategy extra early, to connect up with customers who will be traveling less and seeking ways to celebrate at home. Recently, it’s become trendy in multiple countries to try to capture the old Danish spirit of hygge , which the OED defines as: A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. While this sometimes-elusive state of being isn’t something you can buy direct from a store, and while some shoppers are still unfamiliar with hygge by name, many will be trying to create it at home this year. …

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New Moz Local Plans Unveiled — With Reputation Management & Social Posting!

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Posted by BarryYim With listing and reputation management so essential for local businesses — especially in 2020 — we’re introducing new Moz Local plans that give you more options for review monitoring, review management, and social posting, depending on your needs. While it’s always been important for local businesses to have accurate and complete online listings, it’s even more crucial in today’s environment. Google found that searches for “in stock” grew more than 70% globally in late Q1 , indicating people were shopping locally more often, and Nextdoor found that 72% of their members believe they will frequent local businesses more after the crisis is over. But consumers often rely on reviews of local businesses when deciding where to buy. High quality, positive reviews can improve your business visibility, and when you respond to reviews, it shows that you value your customers and their feedback. Get started with Moz Local …

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Supporting Small Business Saturday with 2020-Conscious Marketing

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: Elvert Barnes “Conscious spending with the community can contribute to neighborhood sustainability.” — Christine Araquel, The Park’s Finest I encountered this quote from a restauranteur on the American Express Small Business Saturday website , and just these few words called a vivid image to my mind: local business owners and customers gazing together toward the horizon, hoping to pierce the clouds of COVID-19 and see them clearing away, revealing communities that are still standing, and still capable of sustaining our hometowns, our cities, and our dreams. 72% of consumers believe they will frequent neighboring businesses more after the crisis is over, but that will take all of us doing our part now to ensure as many SMBs are still there to greet us when better days return. In Q4 of 2019, I used my column to encourage local business owners to start having meaningful conversations …

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The Definitive Guide to Local SEO

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Local SEO is important. In fact, 46% of all searches on Google are local . That means if you’re a local business and you don’t have your local SEO in order, you’re missing an opportunity every time someone searches for your products or services online. And there’s a lot of people searching. About 89% of people search for a local business on their smartphone at least once a week, with 58% searching daily. And from that search, 72% will visit a store within five miles . These searchers are unlikely to find you if your local SEO is poor. What, Exactly, Is Local SEO? Local SEO is the practice of increasing the online visibility of local businesses. It’s similar organic SEO , but with an added geographical component. Specifically, you’re aiming to rank high in the search engine result pages (SERPs) for local searches. There’s no point in a New …

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Proximity Third: A Deeper Dive into a Local Ranking Factors Surprise

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: J.B. Hill What’s the good of a survey if it doesn’t result in at least a few surprises? I know my own eyebrows leapt skyward when the data first came in from the Moz State of the Local SEO Industry 2020 Survey and I saw that, in a break with tradition, participants had placed user-to-business proximity at a lowly third place in terms of influencing Google local pack rankings. Just a year ago, our respondents had voted it #1. If you’re feeling startled, too, here’s our chance to take a more granular look at the data and see if we can offer some useful theories for proximity’s drop in perceived dominance. First, a quick definition of user-to-business proximity What do local SEOs mean when they speak of user-to-business proximity? Imagine an Internet searcher is standing in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, looking on their …

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