Why Google Maps New Rating Filter Matters For Local Business Search Rankings
What is the rating filter on Google Maps?
If you’ve searched for a local business using Google Maps recently, you may have noticed an additional feature that allows you to filter results based on hours and ratings. That means a user can filter their search to only see results at or above their specified average Google Review rating. Another important note about this feature; when someone uses the search term “best” for instance, “best roofing contractor near me”, search results are automatically filtered to those with at least a 4-star rating unless the user changes the setting themselves.
How will this affect my search ranking?
This change could result in dramatic changes to rankings. Businesses that were once high-ranking for certain search terms could be instantly buried in the search results if they don’t have an excellent Google rating. The algorithm employs a “quality over quantity” stance, often ranking listings with less reviews/higher average rating over listings with more reviews/lower average rating.
Businesses with no reviews or with low average ratings may stand no chance at being found by prospective customers online. Google Reviews have always been an important ranking factor, but with this new feature it’s even more essential that you get your customers to leave you reviews on Google‒ and good ones! Anyone who chooses to use this filter feature will almost certainly choose the highest setting; 4.5 stars and up. Even if you’ve been ranking well, an average rating lower than 4.5 will get you booted from the search results with one click on the new filter.
What can I do to improve my business’ rating and rank higher in local search?
The best thing you can do to improve your search ranking status after this update is to actively seek Google Reviews from your happiest customers. You can’t expect clients to think to do this on their own, but you’ll find that when you’ve provided outstanding customer service, most are more than willing to leave you a review. You just need to prompt them.
Plum assists local businesses across all industries with search engine optimization, reputation management, and other services that help them to be found and look awesome online. Below, we’ve listed 4 things that you can start doing right now to get more positive Google Reviews and improve your local search rankings.1. Ask For Reviews In-Person and Over the Phone
If you and/or your staff deal with clients face-to-face or over the phone, you should make a habit out of encouraging them to leave a Google Review as they leave. It can be as simple as, “Thanks for visiting. If you have time to leave us a Google Review, we’d really appreciate your feedback” – if you’ve provided great service, many customers are happy to pull out their phone and spend a moment leaving you a review. 2. Send Clear and Simple Review Requests Via Text or Email
After you’ve completed a service, you can send a text message or email thanking the client for their business and requesting a Google Review from them. This is probably the most effective method because it makes the process easy for the customer. They don’t have to go out of their way to search for your business and find your listing; they just click the link you provide and leave the review.
If you have the time to reach out to each customer individually and make the message personal, you increase the chance of them caring enough to follow through with the review. However, most businesses don’t have the time to follow up with every customer one-at-a-time. Luckily, there are many CRM software options that allow you to send automatic emails and texts that appear to be personalized. Either way, your messaging should thank the customer for choosing you and state why their feedback is important to you. They’ll be more likely to share their feedback if they believe it really matters to you. 3. Add a Google Review Link To Your Website
Having a Google Review link on your website can be very beneficial for increasing your average rating because the link will likely be used by repeat customers who have returned to your website to request your services again. 4. Respond To All of Your Reviews, Positive or Negative
When customers see that you respond to reviews, they are more likely to leave a review themselves. Also, responding to a negative review and addressing the situation appropriately could get that customer to change the rating they left you, increasing your average rating.
Get professional assistance today
Contact Plum today to speak with a marketing specialist about our no-fail review management system. We can help you get more positive reviews and increase your local search ranking, putting you in front of more prospects and showing them that you are credible. Call (800) 992-9663