October 17

The Weekly Briefing: Mobile Behavior Continues to Cause Strategy Shifts

Account Managers Kelly Martinson and Olivia Allen talked about how 2017 could be the year of testimonials and reviews in local SEO…
SEO resource Moz recently published a guide to creating on-site reviews and testimonials pages in order to gain more traffic – both online and at brick and mortar locations. Data from BrightLocal’s 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey revealed information about how and when people read online reviews, how those reviews influence purchasing decisions, the importance of business reputation, and incentives for reviewing local businesses. Key takeaways revealed:

  • 92% of consumers read online reviews (vs. 88% in 2014)
  • Star rating is a primary factor used by consumers to judge a business
  • 44% of those surveyed said a review must be written within one month to be relevant
  • 68% of consumers said positive reviews increases their trust for a given local business

While impressive, these findings shouldn’t be too surprising. Google’s recent algorithm update Possum proves that the search engine is getting serious about how local search results are calculated – and how they appear.

You can acquire reviews and testimonials in a few different ways – using a third-party review site, hosting testimonials on your own site, and the “hybrid sentiment,” which adds review and testimonial functional to your own site. The hybrid sentiment is the format to pursue if you wish to appeal to both your customers and Google. You may be thinking to yourself, I already have a testimonials page on my site, so I’m good! Yes, that’s a decent start, but there is a right way and a wrong way to execute such pages on your website. For a truly effective hybrid sentiment review and testimonial page, make sure it includes (at least):

  • Proper schema mark up that shows Google that these are reviews/stars/proof of trustworthiness
  • Your commitment to interacting with reviews/testimonials – both good and bad
  • Full integration with your existing site
  • Tasteful calls-to-action, asking for the user’s feedback
  • Links to critic-type reviews

Remember the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines released almost a year ago? Reputation research was cited as being essential to evaluating the quality of a website…

importance of reviews for seo
Page 15 – Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

Don’t look at this as a burden. a reviews/testimonials page of this caliber won’t just help your SEO efforts, but it will also give you first-hand insight into your audience, and as we all know, that insight is priceless.
Senior SEO Strategist Michelle Conway shared some stats about micro-moments, and why digital marketers should focus more energy towards them…
We all know that capturing the attention of audiences is becoming more difficult – almost on a daily basis. Everyone is pushing for more content, which is quickly resulting in a pandemic of white noise, TL;DRs, and the constant challenge of being informative enough while being brief enough. So, how do we provide the best answers to audiences in this sea of screens and searches? Lisa Gevelber, Google’s VP of Marketing, points us to four distinct micro-moments:

  • I-want-to-know moments
  • I-want-to-go moments
  • I-want-to-do moments
  • I-want-to-buy moments

These all live in the buyer journey; it’s just a matter of knowing where, when, and how they will appear.

So, how do we harness these moments? The answer lies in understanding consumer behavior and how it corresponds with available technology. For example, 70% of consumers who abandon websites leave because the content takes too long to load, and time spent on websites has decreased 18% in just the last year. This data alone bring us to two actionable ways to attract – and convert – more customers: make sure your site loads quickly and make sure the precious time users spend on your site are informative, compelling, and simple. As Gevelber explained to the New York Times, “Now more than ever, intent is more important than identity and demographics, and immediacy is more important than brand loyalty.” If you can understand that intent and know when to target it, you’ll find yourself ahead of your competition in no time.