Category: Google

Have you tried Google Consumer Surveys?

Analytics are all the rage and being able to get direct and easy feedback from your website visitors is a huge plus.  Today Google announced “Google Consumer Surveys.”  You can read the full write up on their Google+ page however the bottom line is simple.  Cheap, easy and direct feedback.

The surveys are affordable, as default questions are free and you can customize the questions for your own use for just a penny up to five dollars.

The surveys are four questions in length and remain open until they receive 500 responses.  You can even set them up to reoccur so that they automatically start over 30 days after your 500th response was received.

Swing over to http://www.google.com/insights/consumersurveys/publishers to check them out.

Google’s Carousel – A new spin on local search

Starting today, when you enter a local search query into Google you should start seeing a new carousel or results displayed on the top of the screen.

 

 

google carousel search

 

 

Just a few things that we noticed with this great new feature.

1.  Our friends at Swan Hill Bed and Breakfast got a pretty good placement when we searched for Polson hotels.

2.  Reviews are once again driving results.  The more reviews that you have on your Google+ Local page, the better your ranking seems to be in the new carousel results.

3.  If you search for restaurants, you are seeing the Zagat score, along with the genre of the restaurant and $$ scale of the cost to dine.

4.  When you select an option from the carousel you do not go that specific webpage, but to Google’s search results for that business.

 

Things to consider:

1.  Your Google+ profile image just became that much more important.   By incorporating a visual in with the textual search results – searchers have one more way to choose where they click.

2.  Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews on your Google+ local profile.  In the next few months, I think that you will see these reviews become much more important than other third party sites like Trip Advisor or Urbanspoon.  Because they are going to driving search and effecting your placement in the results.

3.  With Google’s specific search displayed when you click on a link general web presence is that much more important.  Make sure that your information is listed correctly, or better yet, have DrySpark check it for you.

 

 

Google+ Local featuring Zagat

We have been talking up the need for small businesses to have a Google+ page for the past few months. Today, Google gave us another reason why this is so important. The search giant who purchased Zagat back in September 2011, is incorporating the world renowned review service in with their new arena – Google+ Local.

Full Google release here.

The new iPhone commercial shows John Malkovich asking siri to help him find a pasta restaurant. Siri lets him know of a few in the area…what siri does not tell him is a summary or review score of those establishments. Google+ Local does, and does it well, because they use your social circle to first get reviews from your friends or people in your circles.

When you log into your Google+ account you will see a new Local tab – you can search local and get results based on a 30 point system. If you are not asking your customers to do reviews for your business – now is the time. It does look like Google has rolled over the reviews from their Hot Pot service that slide into the corner a few months back.

Google+ Local example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These reviews and scores look to be incorporated into search and maps, as well as on both Android and iOS devices. This is huge for local businesses.

Google+ Local in Google Maps

 

Google+ Local mobile example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This last part is directly from Google’s release statement itself (link above) and is far too important to paraphrase.

“Today is just the first step, and you’ll see more updates in the coming months. If you’re a business owner, you can continue to manage your local listing information via Google Places for Business. Soon we’ll make it even easier for business owners to manage their listings on Google and to take full advantage of the social features provided by local Google+ pages. Get more information on our Google and Your Business Blog.”

Stay Tuned.

The Knowledge Graph

As Google’s search gets smarter – your website needs to as well.  The Knowledge Graph is great for research on a topic, but let us take a few minutes to ponder the potential for this in the arena of local search.

If you search for “how to install a sprinkler system,” yes a query for someone planning a DIY, but what if the knowledge graph populates your right column with local sprinkler companies.  It is not that far fetched.  Google already knows your location, and integrating their knowledge graph in with google places the potential is amazing for small businesses.

Make sure that your website and your Google Place Page are updated with your correct contact and business information.  I know that Google has not released this feature yet, but I really feel that it is only a matter of time.