Over the last few months, here on the Energy Circle PRO blog we've been pretty extensively covering developments in the world of online reviews. This is for good reason: in the world of local SEO, one of the most critical marketing channels for home performance, HVAC, insulation and energy auditing businesses, reviews are becoming increasingly important. Links, citations, and good content are all still critical for a successful web presence, but above and beyond these basics, good reviews are becoming a bigger and bigger piece of the pie.
So it was welcome news when Google announced earlier this week that they would be implementing a new review monitoring system in the Places for Business Dashboard. Mike Blumenthal goes so far as to call it the "mother of all SMB review monitoring systems" and we won't disagree.
Details of the Review Monitoring System
The monitoring system has a number of key features that are fairly exciting:
- Shows all Google reviews
- Shows all reviews from all sites that are indexed by Google: essentially, every review for your business anywhere on the internet (with the exception of Yelp)
- Displays analytic reports for all reviews
- Allows you to respond directly to reviews right in the Dashboard
- The review panel on the front page of SERPs will include your responses to reviews
Lesson: An Increasingly Review-Centric World
We've seen this coming for a while, but this move on Google's part is further evidence that reviews are getting more and more important. While it could be argued that this is a ploy to get people to use their Places for Business Dashboard more frequently, it is telling that Google finds it worthwhile to develop an entirely new product directly aimed at bringing review monitoring to business's attention.
Our advice would be to follow their lead, check out the system in the Dashboard, and keep on encouraging your happy customers to leave you a review, either on Google or elsewhere on the web. We'll keep you posted with further developments.
Here are a few screenshots of the system, from Blumenthal's post linked earlier:
So there's something to be thankful for. Hope you all have a great Turkey Day!
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- How to Respond to Negative Reviews
- Why You Should Diversify Your Online Reviews
- Is Review-Building the New Link-Building?