Google local reviews study

Google My Business – Your business card on Google

Every entrepreneur and marketer should realize how important the presence, i.e. the visibility of their own company on Google is to attract more customers. In order to meet user needs in the best possible way, Google uses location information from the search query, IP address and geo-targeting to display the most relevant results to users who search for companies and service providers online. The search results are presented in various forms. Here is the Local Pack, an information block with three selected company entries. From an SEO point of view it is of particular importance as it gives companies excellent visibility on Google. A distinction is made between two different Local Packs, the Local Teaser (Local Snack Pack) and the Local Finder. The biggest difference is that the Local Teaser does not contain any links:

Google Local Pack

3-pack (e.g. restaurants, hotels)
Name, address, reviews, photo,
no website, no telephone number

Google Local Pack

3-pack (sometimes also 2 or 4 packs)
Name, address, reviews, website,
Phone number, no photo

With this profile entry on Google, the appearance of the company in the Local Pack is not automatically given. According to a survey by Darren Shaw of Whitespark, the following factors influence the ranking for a local search query:
Google Local Ranking Faktoren

The weightings of the ranking factors have changed between 2017 and 2018:

Gewichtung Ranking Faktoren 2018 zu 2017

Google Local Pack Ranking

Improved visibility is not the only reason why companies should try to be displayed in the Local Pack. Local pack positioning also influences user click behavior, according to a BrightLocal survey.

Click distribution Local Pack positions 1 – 3:

Local Pack Position 1 – 17,3 % of the clicks
Local Pack Position 2 – 12,0 % of the clicks
Local Pack Position 3 – 2,3 % of the clicks

MOTIVATION OF THE USER ON CLICKING ON THE LOCAL PACK

The main motivator for clicking in the Local Pack is the average Google review (51%). The pure number of reviews (14%) comes in second place, followed by the location on Google Maps (10%) and the position on the search results page (10%). It should be noted that ratings have the greatest influence on user motivation.

51%
Average Rating
14%
Total reviews
10%
Location (Closeness)
10%
Position in Local Pack

QUANTITY, SPEED AND DIVERSITY

Although the exact background of the Local Pack algorithm is not known, Google admits that there is a link between Local Pack Ranking and Google reviews: “The more reviews and positive ratings a company receives, the better the ranking. In addition, the position of your company in web search results also plays a role. So the best practices for search engine optimization (SEO) also apply to the optimization of local search results,” says BrightLocal in the Google study: There was a positive correlation both between local pack ranking and average rating and between local pack ranking and the number of ratings
has been determined.

Durchschnittliche Anzahl Bewertungen nach Local Ranking-Position

The difference between the Local Pack (positions 1-3) companies and the other competitors (positions 4-10) is really not great, but it does make a difference: “Every review counts! However, it cannot be ruled out that companies in the Local Pack are more concerned with their local SEO or the other local pack ranking factors mentioned above than other companies and that this will have a corresponding influence on the ranking. Google wants to deliver the most accurate and relevant results to its users’ search queries. It is not surprising that the Local Pack ranking factors overlap with the points that consumers cite as the reason for clicking on Local Pack results:

The most common reason for clicking on a result in the Local Pack is the Review Rating with 51%. The number of reviews (14%) is ranked second, followed by other factors such as position on the map, availability etc.

With the generation of many positive ratings on Google, the way to the Local Pack is paved? Again, the path to this is not that clear. According to the Moz survey, review signals (quantity, speed, variety) are the third strongest factor for the Google Local Pack Ranking. A Google profile with a continuous stream of new reviews will therefore most likely overtake blank profile pages on its way into the Local Pack.

WHEREIN IS THE LARGEST BENEFIT OF A POSITIVE REVIEW?

The algorithm for the ranking in the Google Pack takes into account not only the Google ratings but also ratings that are created on other portals. Ratings of a company on different platforms increases the online presence on the Internet. For example, the recommendation portal Yelp offers the technology company Apple access to some information from their company entries, which is then displayed on Apple Maps. Such syndications give companies the opportunity to appear in areas where people with a particularly strong or specific buying interest might be looking for them. In addition, it is simply easier for customers to find and evaluate a company if they have a broader presence on the Internet. Here it is worth giving customers with company entries on various portals more options for leaving a rating.

Creates trust with potential customers
0%
Helps to convert searchers to leads
0%
Improves the ranking in local search results
0%
Differentiates us from other competitors
0%
Helps you get more clicks and calls
0%
Increases reputation in the local community
0%
Improved website conversion
0%
Lower costs (easier customer acquisition)
0%
Better employee morale and recruitment
0%
Increased trust with suppliers and partners
0%
Confidence allows to charge higher prices
0%