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March 29, 2022

Behind the Scenes: How Widewail's New Google Reputation Analysis Tool Works

Widewail recently launched a great new tool, giving local marketers an easy way to assess their Google Business Profile performance. This week, take a look behind the scenes to learn more about how and why the tool was developed.

Within the Widewail team, it's been our dream of sorts for years now to launch a Google reputation analysis tool.

Our goal is to provide a quick and easy way for businesses to audit their Google Business Profile account and their reputation, for free, any time they like. Something our community could come back to again and again to assess their reputation performance.

We were never able to put it all together until Eric, a super-talented designer/developer joined the team last year. Starting in December, we set out to make it a reality and finally launched the tool to the public last week.

Designed to serve the businesses we commonly work with, the tool supports as many locations as you have. Say you’re managing marketing for a 10-location group. Put in all 10 GBPs at once to get an instant group breakdown – group-level and individual-level performance metrics included.

Here’s what it looks like:

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The tool is meant to be interactive. You can add or remove locations and experiment with different amounts of monthly customers. It's not just a static report, it's an interactive reputation analysis tool.

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In each report, we provide explanations of your scores, offer tips on how to optimize your GBP performance, and give an estimate of what your review metrics could look like after 90 days of leveraging Widewail’s technology and strategies.

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Based on trends identified within Widewail’s extensive review database (over 750,000 customer reviews) we were able to identify baseline performance metrics which we then used to build a reputation prediction model.

With two key parameters and one key input, we are able to model future reputation performance for businesses of any size.

Parameters:

  • The average review rating in Widewail is a 4.52
  • Conservatively, if using SMS and personalization, businesses should expect 10% of review requests to convert into reviews.

Input:

  • Average monthly transaction volume per location

How the tool estimates rating improvement

Assuming every new review coming in is a 4.52, we used a weighted average, applying the impact of the number of reviews added each month, balanced with the starting rating and lifetime review volume. 

With this calculation, we are able to estimate how much the addition of a new batch of positive reviews will impact lifetime rating.

Sidenote: Google takes a number of other factors into account, such as your ratings on other review sites, to get the “official” google rating. With this in mind, our ability to estimate will likely be slightly off from the rating displayed on Google. Regardless, getting good quality reviews on your Google account directly will always be the most impactful driver of your rating.

Why do we use your average monthly transaction volume per location?

The challenge of making a tool that is universally relevant is to be able to determine how many reviews any business could be getting monthly that is realistic given the size and type of business. 

To do this we use average monthly transaction volume per location as the baseline metric, which is a great way to approximate the maximum amount of reviews a business could generate in a given month. You can only get as many reviews as you have customers, right?

Taking this a step further, we generally recommend a strategy of asking every customer (minus fringe cases) to leave a review, via SMS, with personalization. Assuming this approach, we can estimate requests converting into reviews at a rate of 10% given an average of historical Widewail customer conversion performance.

For example, while a hotel may have 4,000 transactions a month, a high-end contractor may work with 20 clients a year. The ability of these two businesses to generate reviews is drastically different. 

Lifetime review volume is not a great proxy to estimate future performance because we don’t know how long each business has had a GBP to collect reviews. Two businesses could both have 300 reviews, but one has had a page collecting reviews for 8 years while the other just 3. 

Further, it’s important to reinforce that while having a healthy lifetime review number is important to put your best foot forward (Google is a popularity contest of sorts), strategically it's more important for your business to be dialed in on the number of reviews you’re able to generate on a monthly basis. Why? Because both prospects and Google pay particular attention to the reviews in the last month. For prospects, they look for up-to-date content that will inform them if your business is still as good today as it was 6 months ago. Google looks for consistently updated review content to help inform rankings. Further, by hitting a bi-weekly or monthly review target the lifetime review volume growth will happen organically.

Review each of your GBPs in one place

We’ve made it easy for you to quickly review basic GBP information and take a look at the top 5 reviews Google considers to be most relevant.

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Each line expands to display location-specific information.

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And the top-5 most relevant reviews.

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Finally, a link you can copy that sends customers directly to leave a review on your GBP.

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The link will send your customers to a page like this.

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Our goal with the location breakdown is to provide a quick and easy way for business owners and marketers, particularly multi-location marketers, to get a direct view of the primary photo and review content that all shoppers will see first when browsing the GBP. From here individual location weaknesses or outlier content will become clear and can be addressed in short order.

I’m super excited about this new tool, and I hope it can become a useful resource for you now and in the future. It’s free, so there’s no reason not to plug in your info and see how your business is performing today on Google.

Try Widewail’s free GBP Performance Analysis Tool:

Free GBP Performance Tool  Analyze Your Google Business Profile Find Your Business on Google

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Jake Hughes

I’m Marketing Manager here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. In Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0-100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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