Chitika has done a new study that shows that good SEO is still vitally important in online marketing. Sites on the first Google search results page generate 92% of all traffic from an average search. The last study on this was done in 2010, but the basic finding seems to be the same-get found as high as possible on the first page of SERP.
Be Careful in Editing Google Place Categories
Jade Wang from Google’s local business team has announced that if you see new categories in your business listings, do not update them manually. According to Jade, Google is working on a fix for this issue and if you edit the categories, you could make the problem worse.
Jade wrote in the Google Business Help Forum:
We’ve found a technical issue affecting some users that causes a handful of new categories are showing up in Places dashboards. We’re working on a fix and will come back with an update when we can. Please do not edit these categories for now while we work on the issue. Please note that these categories do not show on the publicly-available listing.
New Study: 79% of Searchers Trust Local Online Reviews
BrightLocal has released the findings of its 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey. This year’s survey shows that more consumers are reading online reviews as part of their pre-purchase research before selecting a local business to use. It also shows that consumers are forming opinions faster and reading fewer reviews before they trust (or don’t trust) a local business. This puts increased emphasis on local businesses to manage their online reputation closely and ensure that any negative reviews are dealt with in a swift and positive way. Here is a summary of the findings:
- 85% of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses (up from 76% in 2012).
- 67% of consumers read 6 reviews or less (up from 52% in 2012)
- 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more (up from 58% in 2012)
- 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (up from 72% in 2012)
Bottom Line: Information is coming at online marketers at a fast and furious pace. Good SEO is still important, but online reviews are becoming more and more important in converting online traffic into customers. Also, be careful if you see something in a local listing or other online platform that you do not control. Before you assume that anything has been changed, consult the relevant forums and chat rooms online to see if others have experienced the same issue.
Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California, SEO, Website Development and Online Marketing Firm.