With the help of Widewail CEO, Matt Murray, Wards Auto explores COVID-19, Google’s local ranking criteria, and the increasing importance of reputation management.
In June, Moz released its annual survey of local business marketers. The surveyed marketers generally agree that Google My Business information and Google Reviews are the two most important search ranking factors today. This breaks from tradition, which placed more importance on the searcher’s proximity from the store.
“This is probably down to marketers trying to influence things they can control,” says Miriam Ellis, a Moz search marketer. “A business location is out of their hands, but GMB and Google reviews are core to local SEO.”
It is a marketer’s responsibility to develop a strategy to proactively promote their business within Google, and review management is coming to the forefront as a popular strategic approach. Thankfully, Google rewards this type of approach.
“What the Moz survey tells me is that Google isn’t just focusing on the closest businesses,” says David Telfer, national manager of digital & social media at Lexus. “They know they have to send users to a good business.”
But how is a business determined to be “good”? This is where Google leans heavily on its broad user-generated-content engine: reviews.
“What do customers say about it? Does it respond to customers? How do they handle negative reviews? Those things are directly factoring into that store's position in Google search,” says Matt Murray, Widewail CEO.
Founded in 2018, Widewail monitors online reviews and responds on behalf of dealerships. An early proponent of review response management, Murray has already formed partnerships with Lexus, BMW, and Mini, brands happy to find an economical online reputation management solution.