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Local Marketing Blog

Impact of Reviews on Non-Branded Search

Shhhhh….. don’t tell anyone but we are running a test and you may be one of the test subjects.

A few months ago, David Mihm asked me why a customer would ever terminate their service with Customer Lobby.  I replied that the second biggest reason (after credit card failures) is that they didn’t understand to value of our service.  David was a little surprised and asked me about our process of educating our members after the initial sale as to what we are doing for them.   Well, lets just say that I think we can do a lot better in that regard (stay tuned for a major upgrade for our members that we will release in a few months).

seo-google

Without seeing any of our data, David suggested that the search engine optimization (SEO) impacts alone made our service a great value for local businesses.  We have always known that but have never had hard data to quantify the impact.  Because David literally wrote the book on local search optimization, I was interested to test it.  So we are!

Testing… Testing…1,2,3…Testing

We have known (and our clients have as well) that our reviews pages optimize very well for branded search terms.  Branded search is when someone uses a search engine to look up the name of a particular business.  Non-branded search is when someone uses a search engine to look up a particular industry.  An example:

  • Branded search:  “Ted’s Auto Repair”
  • Non-branded search:  “auto repair San Francisco”

Typically, our clients Customer Lobby review page is a top 5 search result for a branded search.

But what about the impact of Customer Lobby on non-branded search?  We started  collecting the data a few of months ago to answer that question.

Preliminary Results…a sneak peak

It is way too early to say what the results are going to be.  We are less than 10% complete with our test.  But here are some preliminary results:

  • In the first 4 weeks or so, there seems to be no impact.
  • In weeks 4-6, we are seeing a significant increase in the non-branded search rank of our members home page.  The typical increase is in the 20% range.

Wow!  That is a huge impact in just a couple of weeks.  We are not surprised that there is no real impact in the first month as it takes Google a little while to grab the new information and feed it to its various indexes.  But in weeks 4-6, a 20% increase is great.

We will keep tracking the data and periodically report on the aggregate  information here.  Fingers crossed, we will also be rolling that information out via a new member portal as well.

Comments

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  1. What is the 20% increase mean?

    Is it on the ranking of the first result matching the customer’s name?

    Is it on the ranking of the CustomerLobby reviews page shown for the non-branded keyword?

    Whichever page/result is improving, does “20%” mean that a result that used to come up as 10th for a given phrase, will now move up to 8th? From 5th, to 4th?

    Thank you.

    1. @Gary
      Good questions! The 20% I wrote about is a 20$ increase in the ranking number of their home page for a non-branded search term. So from 10th to 8th or 5th to 4th. The non-branded term we are testing is a generic industry description (i.e. “auto repair”) followed by a geographic modifier so Google can discern our local intent (i.e. San Francisco).

  • Gary www.WSIWebMark.com

    What is the 20% increase mean? Is it on the ranking of the first result matching the customer's name? Is it on the ranking of the CustomerLobby reviews page shown for the non-branded keyword? Whichever page/result is improving, does "20%" mean that a result that used to come up as 10th for a given phrase, will now move up to 8th? From 5th, to 4th? Thank you.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Ted Paff

      @Gary Good questions! The 20% I wrote about is a 20$ increase in the ranking number of their home page for a non-branded search term. So from 10th to 8th or 5th to 4th. The non-branded term we are testing is a generic industry description (i.e. "auto repair") followed by a geographic modifier so Google can discern our local intent (i.e. San Francisco).
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes