Many businesses use Google’s Local Services Ads (AKA “Google Guaranteed”) program to show up at the very top of the local results – above all the other ads, and above the local map (AKA the 3-pack).
Local Services Ads (LSAs) are still not an option for every business, and they’re not a good option for everyone, but they often earn their keep for the businesses that do use them – if my clients’ experiences are good indicators. By which I mean people see the ads, click on them, and in some cases become customers. (If you’d like to know more, Tom Waddington did a great overview of LSAs.)
Google even makes it extra easy to ask customers for reviews: Google gives you a special “write a review” link (different from the Google My Business one) and encourages you to use it to ask for reviews. If you use that link or otherwise encourage your LSA customers to review you within the LSA interface, you’ll get reviews that show up with your ad. Those reviews are great, as far as they go.
The trouble is your Local Services reviews don’t show up in Google Maps. Even though your Google Maps reviews show up just fine in your ad, so you assume they’re the same thing (“a Google review is a Google review”).
You can be pretty sure you’ve run into that problem if the number of reviews you see in Google MAPS (including the right-hand sidebar) is lower than the number of reviews you see in your Local Services Ad.
So, for instance, if your ad says you have 35 Google reviews, but your Google Maps review count shows only 25 reviews, then now you know why: About 10 of your customers wrote a review exclusively in Local Services Ads (probably from your custom link), rather than on Google Maps for everyone to see. Now would-be customers see those 10 reviews if they click on your ad.
Especially in these tough times, you need all the reviews and local SEO mojo you can get, you want would-be customers to see all your good reviews, and you’d like to minimize the amount you need to pay Google along the way. What in tarnation is going on?
It’s not that your reviews have been filtered, or you did something wrong, or your customers/reviewers did something wrong. Rather, LSA reviews and Google Maps reviews are not the same thing, and they don’t end up at the same place.
The buckets are only somewhat separate, because Google pulls customers’ Google Maps reviews into your ad and counts those reviews toward the total number displaying in your ad. So in that sense there’s overlap: a review that someone wrote you in Google Maps shows up everywhere, including in your Local Services Ad.
Why doesn’t Google simply pull LSA reviews into Google Maps, or just have ONE kind of review? I wonder the same thing. My guess is it’s some combination of 3 reasons:
1. Reviewers’ privacy. Maybe someone is willing to write a review of a Local Services Ads business, but doesn’t want his or her review to show up publicly on Google Maps and in his or her Google user profile. Google needs to balance privacy (so they don’t get sued more) on the one hand with monetizing reviews on the other hand. If Google accepts business owners’ advertising dollars, tells them to ask for reviews, encourages customers to click on ads because of those reviews, and then makes it hard for customers to write reviews or makes them squeamish about it or filters the reviews, then that’s a problem for everyone. Having reviews that show up only in Local Search Ads is a compromise.
2. Google probably wants to make the LSAs slightly more attractive to click on by making the total review count higher. If a customer who’s shopping around can see 25 reviews of a business or see 35 reviews of the same business, which set of reviews probably gives him or her a better snapshot of the business? I’m guessing the bigger pile of reviews gets the click much of the time. If the person who clicks the Local Services Ad ends up booking the service via Google, of course Google gets a cut of the transaction.
3. It’s an engineering problem built up over time. Google Maps reviews were around long before Local Services Ads. Starting when Google introduced the latter in 2015, Google has had to slide the ads into the search results to do a long-term test, without screwing up the local results so much that nobody uses them or wants to advertise in them. Also, because of that, most businesses’ Google reviews were and are left in Google MAPS, and not through Local Services Ads, yet somehow Google has to make the review count in LSAs higher than the one in Maps. That’s why they’re not two completely separate buckets of reviews. Eventually, if more reviews are left through Local Services Ads than in Google Maps, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google concludes, “Cool – the LSA reviews aren’t the runt of the litter anymore” and then completely separates them. Of course, separating elements doesn’t always work.
The main reason Google Maps reviews are so powerful – and fudged and spammed constantly – is that almost everyone sees them sooner or later. They show up in the 3-pack. They show up in Google Maps, including in the app. The review count, average rating, and little excerpts of the reviews show up in the right-hand sidebar (AKA the knowledge panel) whenever someone searches for you by name or clicks on you in the search results after finding you for the first time. They’re nigh unavoidable, and Google often adds features to Google Maps reviews and sticks them in more places in the search results.
Not so with Google reviews left through Local Services Ads (via the special link). They’re visible, but still avoidable. For now, they only live in your ad. Their main function is to get more people to click on your ad, so they book through Google, so Google gets its vig.
What’s my advice? Ask customers to review you directly on Google Maps, rather than through Local Services Ads. Those reviews will still show in your Local Services Ad, but won’t be limited to your ad. Usually all customers need to do is Google your business’s name and click the “write a review” link.
The Google Maps route is only slightly harder for them and for you, and there’s still a chance their reviews will get filtered, but that’s an acceptable trade-off. I suspect you’ll find that Google Maps reviews – the kind everyone sees – pack more of a wallop than the Local Services Ads reviews. Partly that’s because (in my experience) LSA reviews are more likely to be dashed-off, short, and not too helpful.
By the way, what should you do about the reviews people already wrote through Local Services Ads? Consider asking those customers to re-post their reviews in Google Maps. At least on Maps the review will be more visible to more people. If your customers find it easier, they can just copy and paste the review they already wrote you through your LSA request. Now you’re thinkin’.
If you’ve found it tough to get people to write you Google Maps reviews, here are some economical ways to make it easier:
- Create the right kind of link with Whitespark’s Google Maps review link generator
- Customize a PDF walk-though for customers, like the kind I can make for you
- Use Whitespark’s free tool to make a PDF walkthrough that’s less bespoke but still effective
- Have me troubleshoot your review strategy (and your other local SEO/visibility challenges)
- Troubleshoot it yourself with these 3 posts: “60+ Questions to Troubleshoot and Fix Your Local Reviews Strategy,” “How Should You Ask for Online Reviews? The Pros and Cons of Each Approach,” and “25 Hard Truths of Google Reviews.”
Especially if you also get reviews on other sites online, those Google Maps reviews can help you bring the thunder. They can help your rankings and help you get more customers, no matter how invisible or visible you are now. To work on getting Google reviews right is worth the heartache, and it’s about the highest-payoff use of your time I can think of.
How do you balance Google LSA reviews and Google Maps reviews?
Leave a comment!
There are multiple ways to advertise on Instagram, be it buying ads, or writing copies or posting photos of the products you sell. But nothing comes close to running a contest on Instagram. You might ask why? Because of the sheer number of user engagement, it brings you.
Running contests on Instagram, makes users want to interact with your content. They share the post, interact in the contest and spread the word to others.
Let’s have a look at 10 brands who ran the best Instagram contests that are worth your watch:
#1 The Avacado Contest
Love One Today ran an avocado contest recently, promoting a healthy way to live. They ran the AvoFruitFull contest to gain traction.
This encouraged Instagram users to create their very own avocado creations.
#2 Stoka Bar’s Boatload of Giveaways
Tell us one person who doesn’t want to win 40 free treat bars? Stoka Bars, known for low calorie, crunchie and delicious treat bars. They ran a contest who’s winner will get 40 free treat bars, to gain followers.
#3 Pink Lime Look’s Good Hair Day Contest
Pink Lime Look ran a contest for users to get featured and win $500 makeover. All users had to do is submit a photo with their favourite hairstyle, with the brand’s hashtag.
Simple yet highly engaging !!
#4 Lifebox Food and Punks and Chancers Collab Contest
Here’s how Lifebox Food and Punks and Chancers ran their contest with collaboration on Instagram. All users had to do is follow both the brand’s page, like and tag a friend. And the prize: A cool sweater, a tote bag, and a delicious box of vegan food.
Collaboration is one of the best ways to gain more followers.
#5 Simon and Schuster’s ‘Troublemaking’ Contest
The contest asked the users to post their very own troublemaking strategies. The winner would get Cecile Richard’s new book, a tote bag, cute pins, and a bookmark.
#6 Valdo Prosecco’s Trip to Italy
Valdo offered the winner of the contest a trip to Italy, now think about it, who wouldn’t want to go to the most beautiful country in the world.
All users had to do is take a photo of cocktail they made using Valdo Prosecco.
#7 Melissa Corser’s Makeup Giveaway
Melissa Corser ran a contest that gave the winner a chance to win makeup and nails done by Melissa Corser.
In result, they got more tagged users, heavy engagement and big exposure.
#8 Fushi’s New Product Launch
Fushi ran a contest while launching their brand new product Biovedic skincare solution.
Prize: A full set of Ayurvedic skin products for healthier, more beautiful skin.
#9 Shockingly Healthy’s Contest for Free Tickets
Shockingly healthy ran a contest by offering the Instagram users a chance to win two tickets to Green Living Show.
All the users had to do is like and follow their page. In turn, they got followers and engagement.
#10 Domino’s Super Fan Contest
Domino’s ran a contest asking users to prove they were the biggest fans of the brand, superfans.
And guess the prize, $10,000 !!!!
If you are looking to get more engagements, be more creative with your contest on Instagram, there’s nothing that will come in your way in getting better engagements and followings.
Are you a beginner in SMS marketing? Well, you are in the correct place to know what is SMS marketing about. Nowadays this SMS marketing technique is taking even the small business to the international level. SMS Marketing Services keeps your business to grow to the top level in less period of time.
The mobile and digital marketing services offer you more options for small business partners. Even marketing professionals may find it tough to prioritize and to discover what type of programs are most effective to use for the business. Break that confusion, by using SMS marketing you can make instant conversation with customers at less cost.
This is easy to understand infographic from various SMS marketing providers online that gives the basic mobile solution. With this SMS marketing technique, small business partners can get exclusive suggestions to a true and qualified supporter base. It benefits exclusivity for business owners to increase brand support, strengthen customer connections, and develop offer redemption. Here in this, you can know everything about SMS marketing, what is it, and why SMS Marketing matters, and the process of it.
Guide Of SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is the way to send SMS on mobile, over the Internet, as well as on phones. These are not the same as these text messages which you send from your iPhone and on Facebook Messenger. These services work through Japan’s Line, WhatsApp, and China’s WeChat, Viber, which are connected with Internet Protocol as well as IP-based messaging. With this SMS marketing, you can implement the texts into one best SMS campaign.
Why Is It Important?
It is important for developing a small business, it takes less time and effort, including best marketing strategies which are becoming complicated. Adopting this marketing software might seem important, which is simple to prove with more effective activities. The SMS campaign remains an important way to utilize for your business progress, which is focused digitally more.
This is the main reason for launching this SMS campaign which is so important. If you are not convinced still, that’s okay. You have many other reasons to know regarding the benefits of SMS toward your marketing.
SMS marketing provides you with the opportunity to send SMS in real-time information for all your customers who will be registered with your site. For example, a bus organization could alert the customers to replace in routes also they update times in various situations. These are helpful for end-users, however, they will be suggesting various times, with that the company and marketing campaign will develop double.
Another method to engage with customers in a different way are with this marketing automation, and SMS that fits well for all the small business partners.
Nowadays more brands are involved in SMS marketing automation, which allows developing the business with more powerful applications. By enabling users to fully define the customer journey as well as experience, you may set yourself aside from other kinds that haven’t seen SMS marketing further.
A bulk SMS gateway used to send a number of SMS at a time with a large scale just within seconds and that messages are grouped into two types: promotional as well as transactional route. Well, in every promotional route, they support sending only promotional related SMS like discounts, advertisements, offers and many more.
Social media has transformed the marketing niche by being the ever-changing channel, especially for businesses. But as a business, there are things that you need to stay away from while trying to maintain social media presence for your brand. The right strategies can help your brand but the wrong ones can ruin your online marketing strategy.
At this time, over 90% of the adults who are less than 40 are likely to be following business through their social media platform. This can be positive as the reach of these social media platforms is pretty high, but this also has a negative side where if you made any mistake, things could go dark real fast.
Where Can People Find You?
While being omnipresent on every platform is nice, it can also hinder your efficiency. There are so many social media platforms these days like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, being able to use all these are great, but if you can’t post properly and not getting the response you expect, it better to focus on some of them.
How Much Are You Posting?
Ever saw a brand that posts just a few times and gets the best response, while another brand who posts every 50 minutes and not even half of their followers respond to the post. There is a very thin line between posting too much and not posting enough. Unfortunately, it’s different for everyone; there are no specific instructions or numbers that we could offer you for optimal posts. You’ll have to find it out by yourself or will have to do a lot of research.
Putting Out Right Information at the Right Time
Not communicating with your users at the right time can also lead to your downfall. You should keep up with the events and express your thoughts to your followers. For example, with the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find a lot of business pushing out support messages to their customers regarding their services. Ensuring they are there with them amid this pandemic.
Not Being Responsive Enough
The key to having a successful online engagement with users is to be responsive enough with your users, and if you are not responding to their comments and questions, you aren’t following a good strategy. Keeping good relations with your users can help a lot. Responding to their comments and queries is essential, and can help users feel important as well. Following such a strategy is beneficial for your business.
It’s always a good idea to have an excellent strategy that you can follow to retain yourself in the market. As a business, these tips are essential if you want a better social media presence.
The current world is running at a jet speed. New technologies are coming into existence which is far greater and efficient than the previous technology. If someone doesn’t adapt to the newer technology, then they surely gonna land nowhere. Gone are the days where everything depends on the manpower. The technology now is completely out of the imagination. Present engineers, scientists are digging out their brains and inventing things that are beyond the imagination. These days to live and compete with the world, what we need is a superpower. The power which can do all the works in lesser time and more efficiently. The world today is running with the machines, we can say. Not to mention, all of them has made our world,”THE SMARTER WORLD”.
One of the greatest inventions in the ocean of the smartness world is the Artificial Intelligence. That intelligence that can assist us through our mobile phones by face recognition or voice recognition also can reach us to our destination without a driver. The use of artificial intelligence is growing rapidly not only in one field but many other fields too.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
According to the father of the artificial intelligence, John McCarthy, “The science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. The artificial intelligence is a way of making a computer, a computer-controlled robot or a software think intelligently, similar to the human thinking. Artificial intelligence also called as machine intelligence is the area in which the human intelligence is processed by machines usually the computers.
While talking about other fields, the business field, one of the fastest growing field also needs new technologies for more progress. The business needs more power to grow efficiently. And that power is not just through the humans, but also with the machine help. It truly can improve the growth of your business. The biggest companies like Google and Amazon are using Artificial intelligence and we can say how successful and popular they are?
Here, we will see “How does artificial intelligence can help your business grow?”
Customer service (virtual assistants)
The customers are the backbone of any business. One of the important factors in the business is the relationship you have with your customers. The better relationship the better your business is. The relation in which you connect with your customers is what matters the most. Asking for their reviews, suggestions and responding them is maintaining the relationship.
But the problem here is this whole situation of handling all the customers is really a hectic one. Instead, the artificial intelligence can make this work more easily. The artificial intelligence powered digital solutions are prepared to improve every factor of the business including the online customer services. These digital solutions can support customer support agents online. The AI technology does have the power to replace the human agents. The chatbot feature is very much helpful for standard customer services. These chatbots gather information which is useful to help your customers. The AI works on the basis of machine learning and Natural language processing.
- The machine learning learns the data from the attributed computing system. The few examples of the AI machine learning process are the request suggestions, spam folders.
- Natural language processing supports your daily interactions using the ability to process and interpret spoken or written messages with AI software. The few examples are Siri, Cortana.
The artificial intelligence uses the above capabilities for the job of customer support agents. This computing power enables businesses to offer efficient customer services.
Using AI, the service can be provided by multitasking, quick responding with automated queries. It provides a platform where the responses can be given with a great speed and accuracy which is impossible by a human. In this, the AI does many services more than just responding to their queries. It helps in identifying the issues of the customers and then learn from the information gathered before, responds with solutions of a real-time support all in all it decreases the rate of complaints. The customer relationship management(CRM) is also performed by artificial intelligence. The CRM systems enable many automated functions like data recording, control management analyzes and provides the predictions of customer’s lifetime value.
The artificial intelligence can also be made useful for marketing. There is a marketing leveraging AI concept called as artificial Intelligence Marketing (AIM) to achieve marketing goals. There is a vivid range of applications of AI in marketing and advertisements. The first and foremost we get in mind when we come across the marketing and advertisements is the search engine optimization. You can use AI concept for increasing your business in your search results. The other greater development we got here is even when you give the spelling of the keyword mistakenly, the search engine provides the correct suggestion of the specific keyword using artificial intelligence. This created a great impact on e-commerce sites.
The artificial intelligence technologies have algorithms that analyze the visitor’s behavior and allows recommendations and campaigns to target the audience more precisely. This is called as programmatic advertising. The example is SEM advertising on Google and Twitter. This is considered as an efficient and effective platform. The artificial intelligence has the ability to predict the future of your business through the intelligence data. It provides you the information of the advancements in marketing reducing the effort on you. Many companies like Rapidminer, Sisense, and others are aiming to become industry standards for business intelligence and predictions. The main advantage of this is the company can make more effort in marketing based on the company results. The other application of artificial intelligence in marketing is image and voice recognition. The image recognition helps when you click a photo of what you want on certain platforms that have artificial intelligence directly takes you to that particular sites that sell those products. Here there is no need of typing anything just snap the photo and there you go.
The other interesting fact is it can also write your contents. How awesome it is! right? Many contents based on sports or other fields are being written by the systems that are using artificial intelligence.
The other main factor when it comes to business is the ability to make decisions. Sometimes, it may go right, sometimes it can invert your whole business, so, one should be very much careful while making these decisions and this job involves a lot of complexity and risk. You must take into considerations of past, present and future statuses of business, understand the customer needs and think in their perspective, make predictions, there is actually a lot to consider for a long run. The artificial intelligence also does help in making the decisions. It collects the data of the status of your business in the market, analyses the progress, and the advancements that are in the market, the data trends you need to adapt, the market forecasting is also possible through Artificial Intelligence. By learning the required data, it suggests you with the decisions that are to be taken for your business to grow. The artificial intelligence offers the financial service companies in validating real-time business decisions within seconds. In the automotive industry, the AI helps in decision making from vehicle design to marketing and sales decision making. It provides a huge opportunity and support for better decision making.
There is nothing that is not possible by the Artificial Intelligence, it has many applications that are practical and can also be adaptable in real time. The ability of learning and solving the problems takes much time and effort for a human to do, but not for the machines. It makes each and every work in the fastest way. The other advantage is we can reduce the human errors which leads to so much loss, but with the artificial intelligence, we can actually reduce those errors and the repetitive tasks. However, it can be a bit costlier, but when we think of its effectiveness and advantages it doesn’t matter a much. So far, many companies have been using artificial intelligence and been successful. In the future, there will be more advancements in the artificial intelligence, that makes more improvements in the business fields. It also improves the competitive standard in the present market.