Google Brings Local Business Follow Button to Maps for the iPhone

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Last October, Google introduced a Follow button on local business profiles in Google Maps for Android. Users who follow the business receive “updates and offers” (Google Posts) from that business. The business also can see the user’s public profile information,though users can follow privately too.

Any Posts or updates are delivered to users in the “For You” area of Google Maps. Interestingly, the Follow button has not been extended to non-Maps GMB profiles (i.e., discovered through traditional search). And now the Follow button is being introduced into Maps for iOS.

Google Maps follow button

The recently re-launched GMB app lets business owners see and communicate with followers. The app has a range of other capabilities as well.

These and other moves are part of Google’s broader engagement strategy for GMB. Reserve with Google is a part of that as are Posts and Q&A.

As I argued before, it’s not far from this scenario to selective communication to groups of customers based on things like purchase or visitation history or lapsed visitation — CRM like features. Google already has considerable data on business visitation based on mobile-location history. It could offer business owners anonymous audience segments based on frequency/engagment patterns, sort of like Square does with its email marketing product.

There are people who assert Google is challenging Facebook with the Follow button. I think the company is less focused on duplicating Facebook features than it is pursuing its own course with GMB, which now has many millions of verified listings.

At LSA19 we’ll hear commentary directly from Google’s Curtis Galloway about what the new GMB app seeks to accomplish and what problems it’s trying to solve. There are multiple other sessions directly or indirectly discussing GMB at the event: 

  • 7 Google My Business Problems & How to Solve Them
  • Getting the Most out of Google Posts & Local Content
  • Getting the Most out of the GMB API
  • Google My Business: Critical Features & Future Direction
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How To Optimize And Take Full Advantage Of Your Google My Business Listing

Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing

Google My Business itself is not a public-facing, searchable directory (such as Yelp), BUT  your listing on Google My Business is what many other public-facing, searchable directories pull from.

This includes Google Maps, which has become its own hybrid form of a review site/business directory/navigation service.

Your Google My Business listing can also impact your rankings in search results on both Google Maps and regular Google searches.

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some compelling stats that highlight its importance.

Businesses with a Complete and Accurate GMB Listing:

  • Are 2.7x more likely to be considered reputable
  • Get 7x more clicks

Complete and Accurate GMB Listings:

  • Are 70% more likely to attract location visits
  • Are 50% more likely to lead to a purchase

Here’s how you can optimize and take full advantage of your GMB listing.

BASIC LEVEL

  1. Set up your Google Business listing

The first step is to set up (or claim) your Google My Business Listing. Go to Google My Business page and click “Start Now” in the upper left corner.

Did you know that anyone can list your business on Google? That’s a little scary, but fear not—you as the owner can claim your listing which grants you the access to edit and update your information, to post timely information, and to manage reviews. The claiming process requires a few steps, but it is a must.

Google My Business

  1. Complete your listing

Fill in every relevant field that Google offers. You want to make sure the profile is as complete as possible and that every piece of information is accurate.

The impact of inaccurate or inconsistent listings is not one you can afford. A complete Google My Business listing includes:

  • Business name:The legal / official name of your business.
  • Address:Full address of your business.
  • Phone number:A number with a local area code is recommended. That’s one extra signal to Google that you are actually local. Make sure the number you use for your Google My Business listing is also displayed on your website.
  • Category:Choose a relevant category. This will help Google decide which searches your local listing belongs in.
  • Website:Your website URL.
  • Hours of Operation:The hours your business is open. For days when you have unusual hours, like holidays or special events, you can set special hours.
  • Description:What you offer, what sets you apart, your history, or anything else that’s helpful for customers to know. Allowable limit is 750 characters. Keep in mind that only the first 250 characters show up in the Knowledge Panel, so prioritize your information. Finally, no links or HTML.
  • Photos:Showcase your products and services to people who are looking for what you offer. Consider hiring a Google approved photographer to create a 360-view virtual tour of your business for customers. According to Google, listings that have a virtual tour and photos generate twice as much interest as those without.

Depending on your industry, there may be additional fields such as menus for restaurants.

A complete listing makes it as easy as possible for potential customers to find and contact your business. In addition, the more complete your listing is, the more favor you will receive from Google when ranking you in results.

Google My Business Setup Tips

  1. Make sure your information matches everywhere else

One thing Google’s algorithm looks at to verify the legitimacy of a listing is a consistency in how it’s listed across different websites. While that seems simple enough – your address is the same each time you enter it somewhere – it’s easy for little differences to slip in. Maybe you wrote out the Road part of the street name one time, and shortened it to Rd another time, for instance.

Pick a standard way to write out your address, a consistent phone number to use, and make sure all your listings match both each other and the information you provide on your website. And work on getting your website listed in as many relevant directories as possible.

  1. Avoid penalty-inducing offenses

Any work you do to optimize your website or local listing will be for naught if you incur a penalty. Google suspends business listings for a range of offenses. Getting suspended is stressful, confusing, and bad for business, so it’s best to avoid doing anything that puts you at risk of it.

Read through Google’s guidelines for Google My Business listings so you have a full understanding of what not to do. Some of the main things to avoid are:

  • Using a URL that redirects to your website’s URL, rather than the actual URL itself.
  • Trying to awkwardly add keywords into your business name field.
  • Having multiple local listings for the same business location.
  • Using any address for your business that isn’t a physical storefront or office space where you meet with customers.

Use common sense and don’t try to play the system or get extra listings and you’ll probably stay on the right side of Google.

  1. Encourage reviews

You’ll notice that the local businesses listed in the map snippet of a local search usually have star ratings next to their name. Google wants to provide the most useful information to its users, and users want to find the nearby business that seems the best. In both cases, it benefits your business to have a high star rating.

Encourage Client Reviews

Ask your happy customers to take a few minutes to give you a review on Google. Include an encouragement on promotional materials you hand out or put up in your store. A gentle nudge or a reminder of how much it means for your business can make your loyal customers that much more likely to take the time to say a few kind words about you.

Utilize our proprietary Dashboard Review Widget as well as our Survey Module to get positive reviews for your business listing on Google and Yelp.

  1. Make sure your website and content is optimized for search

All the usual SEO advice that helps strengthen the authority of your website in the eyes of Google matters here too. So don’t focus on optimizing just your local listing. Optimize your website as well.

Make sure that you:

 

  • Incorporate relevant keywords into the meta tags and copy on each page, where you can do so naturally.
  • Add schema markup to your website.
  • Create content with a local focus i.e. locally relevant landing pages.
  • Look for local linking opportunities.

A strong website that’s optimized for both your customers and search engines will be that much more likely to make it into the list of the top three in a local Google search.

ADVANCED LEVEL

  1. Post to Google My Business

Just like with other social media platforms, you can now post directly to Google My Business. Your posts show up on the “Posts” tab of your listing, but might also become visible on your Google Maps or Google Search result, depending on relevance.

Google My Business Promotions

Through Google posts you can make announcements, create events, highlight products, and run promotions. The information in these posts is that which customers need in order to stay engaged with you, which is ultimately what leads them to choose you over competitors. In addition, each post type has a call to action button, making the experience from discovery to engagement seamless.

If you’re not already convinced the impact Google Posts can have on your audience, check out this quote from Google:

“Seventy percent of people look at multiple businesses before making a final choice. With Posts, you can share timely, relevant updates right on Google Search and Maps to help your business stand out to potential customers. And by including custom calls-to-actions directly on your business listing, you can choose how to connect with your customers.”

  1. Utilize Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers is a great feature for Google local search. It’s very cool! Just like it sounds, Q&A allows people to ask questions about your business and you can answer those questions.

Google My Business Q and A

The Google My Business Q&A feature is the perfect opportunity to hear directly from “the people” and you can respond to them. Win-win.

One thing you should do is be proactive and create a Frequently Asked Questions list to preempt people’s GMB Q&As. Check with your sales reps and your customer service staff to identify the questions people most often ask, then put those Q&A questions on your GMB listing.

TIP: Google has said that upvoting questions can make them more visible. If someone has a particularly important question, go ahead and upvote it.

  1. Google My Maps Syndication with Driving Directions

Google My Maps Syndication is an advanced level strategy to gain local With Google My Maps Syndication, you can get:

  • Map mentions from top ranking GEO locations
  • Locally optimized Tier 2 links and embeds
  • Driving directions to your location from serviceable areas
  • Improved local search rankings

Here’s how an optimized Google My Map with driving directions (embedded on the website) looks like:

Google My Maps Driving Directions

  1. Respond to Customer Reviews. Even Negative ones

The reviews on your GMB page can be a deciding factor in whether or not a buyer engages with your brand. Just check out some of these statistics about Local Consumer Reviews:

  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
  • 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked
  • 30% of consumers say they’ve judged a business based on its responses to reviews

When making a purchase decision, people look to others for their opinions. We all do it. And we do it often. We want to learn from the experiences of those who have purchased before us. Always respond to your reviews. Positive reviews give a good impression of your business and should be easy to respond to.

Google Reviews Are Important For Maps Ranking

But what do you do about the inevitable 1-star rating and the scathing negative review?

Many businesses shy away from them, hoping they’ll go unnoticed. But you need to respond to those reviews. The people leaving them deserve it, and the people reading them need it.

One Star Reviews Need To Be Answered

Conclusion

There are many ways customers can find your business, but there is no denying that Google My Business is an incredibly powerful gateway to your website.

It positions your important business information in front of the eyes of potential customers who are looking for your product, service, or experience.

It helps with your local SEO, offers a chance to engage with your customers via reviews or posts, and provides useful insights on your customers’ purchasing paths.

Edward Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A.
President and Managing Partner
BusinessCreator, Inc.

Ed can be reached at

edl@businesscreatorplus.com
855-943-8736
610-437-8822
www.BusinessCreatorPlus.com

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Daily News: Local Media Tracking Study, Digital Advertising in U.S., Holiday Shopping on Mobile

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Here is today’s roundup of news related to local marketing and advertising, local media, technology, local commerce, consumer behavior and more.

Data: 63% Using Social Media to Find Local Businesses Made Contact (February 20, 2019)
LSA Insider: “LSA has received the results of the most recent Local Media Tracking Study (LMTS). Managed by our partner Thrive Analytics, it measures consumer usage of various digital and traditional media channels for local business search and discovery.

Digital Now 54% of US Advertising, Mobile Two-Thirds of Digital (February 20, 2019)
LSA Insider: “Digital advertising in the United States will be worth approximately $129.3 billion in 2019, according to new estimates from eMarketer. Traditional media collectively will come in at $20 billion less, around $109 billion. This marks the first time that digital advertising has exceeded traditional media.”

Advertisers can now view Google mobile speed scores for more landing pages (February 20, 2019)
Search Engine Land: “Advertisers can now see the loading speeds of more mobile landing pages, due to an algorithm update announced Tuesday by Google Ads. The mobile speed score update enables the tool to generate a score on the advertising console without as many ad clicks having occurred as were previously required.”

What the US data protection law will mean for ad tech and marketers (February 19, 2019)
Marketing Land: “We’re at a pivotal time in the marketing industry. It has been nearly a year since GDPR arrived in the EU, but the repercussions are still being digested in Europe and beyond. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, a data protection ripple effect has been felt far and wide.”

Mobile shopping surged 64% during holidays, survey finds (February 19, 2019)
Mobile Marketer: “Adlucent’s survey of holiday shoppers shows the growing importance of mobile advertising and commerce for brands during what’s often a critical period for driving sales and foot traffic.”

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Daily News: Search Ads on Facebook, B2B Engagement Channels, Google Actions vs. Alexa Skills

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Here is today’s roundup of news related to local marketing and advertising, local media, technology, local commerce, consumer behavior and more.

Will SMBs Buy Search Ads on Facebook? (February 19, 2019)
LSA Insider: “Last December Facebook started testing ads in search results — again. It had tried an initial paid-search experiment in 2012 and shuttered it not long after it was introduced. Today Vertical Leap posted some additional information about search ads on Facebook.”

Study: Live Events Most Successful B2B Engagement Channel (February 19, 2019)
LSA Insider: “There is no denying the power of meeting face-to-face. Often the most efficient way to do this is at live events. According to a Demand Gen Report, 76% of 150 B2B marketers said that live events offered the best top-funnel engagement opportunity.”

Millennials as Digital (and Nondigital) Shoppers (February 19, 2019)
eMarketer: “Millennials’ propensity for digital usage carries over to their shopping. And it exposes them to plenty of digital advertising, about which they have mixed feelings—especially since online reviews are an appealing alternative source of information.”

Google Actions vs. Alexa Skills is the next big App Store battle (February 19, 2019)
Search Engine Land: “Google Actions now total 4,253 in the U.S. compared with roughly 60,000 skills for Alexa as of last month, according to a new report by Voicebot.ai. There are 80,000 Skills overall. But Skills and Actions are not as easy to discover or use as smartphone apps. And the platforms right now aren’t really helping.”

83% of consumers now aware of marketers tracking their locations — study (February 19, 2019)
MarTech Today: “How aware are consumers of businesses’ use of their personal data (location tracking in particular) and how do they feel about it? These are questions location-intelligence company Blis sought to answer in a recent survey. The company polled 2,000 U.S. adults in November 2018.”

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Amazon ‘Moments’ Enables Marketers to Reward Customers for Desired Actions

amazon moments enables marketers to reward customers for desired actions - Amazon ‘Moments’ Enables Marketers to Reward Customers for Desired Actions

Last week, Amazon introduced its Moments platform, a service that allows brands to reward customers following various “moments” completed throughout their purchasing journeys via mobile app or website. The term “moments” indicates a desired consumer action.

When a customer completes a given task, Amazon then delivers the reward, physical or digital, to the customer’s Amazon account page.

Utilizing a cost per action (CPA) pricing model, the user-friendly Moments console lets marketers set specific guidelines and budgets that fit the needs of their customers. Marketers can implement A/B testing across campaigns to test various combinations of actions, rewards and costs and see which provide the best results.

The company reported success with the platform across several industries, including a gaming developer who boosted first time players within their mobile app by 20 times, as well as a video streaming service that doubled their chances of winning back subscribers. Beta users of the tool included popular brands like TikTok, The Washington Post, Sony Crackle and Bravo.

The goal of the tool is to help brands better engage with their customers and earn their loyalty for future purchases.

In addition to increased engagement, the platform offers several additional solutions, including improved monetization, increased subscriptions, reducing turnover and gaining back payers.

Brands that opt to implement the CPA model are offered benefits like cross-platform integration, flexible pricing, custom targeting and advanced security. There is also a vast selection of products available on Amazon that can be utilized for rewards.

According to Amazon, it takes developers less than a week to implement within apps or websites. And, because the Amazon Moments API records customer’s actions in real time, it provides a great avenue for marketers looking to implement simple, low-cost loyalty campaigns devoid of tedious upkeep. The tool is available on iOS, Android, FireOS and web.

In January, Amazon reported that there are more than a million U.S. small- to medium-sized businesses selling products on its platform. Moments could potentially be a simple way for them to institute rewards and loyalty programs, although it’s not clear yet how many will do so.

Amazon’s Vinod Sirimalle will discuss the current state of the Alexa ecosystem and what the future holds for voice search and smart speakers at LSA19.

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Bug with Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool showing ad scores and more data

It looks like the Google Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool accessible over here has a bug where some people are able to see data for specific ads, apparently from the Google auction process. For those experiencing the issue, the tool shows the ad and then shows the formats available, the ad score, the bid ECPM, Fmt ECPM, the number of rejections and potentially more — for all of the ads (regardless of advertiser) on the simulated search results page.

Screenshot. We have received multiple screenshots from readers but @SulekshVS shared a screenshot publicly on Twitter:

bug with ad preview and diagnosis tool showing ad scores and more data - Bug with Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool showing ad scores and more data

Tool is currently down. Now when I try to access the tool, the tool returns a sorry message saying “We’re sorry…”. Here is a screenshot of that message:

bug with ad preview and diagnosis tool showing ad scores and more data - Bug with Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool showing ad scores and more data

The data. I am not exactly sure what all the data points mean in this layout but I know it should not be shown there. You can all speculate or take educated guesses on what the data means.

Google is aware. Google did respond about the concern on Twitter saying they will investigate the issue:

Why should you care? The bug impacts the usability of this tool and advertisers may be justifiably concerned when data about their campaigns is shown somewhere it shouldn’t be displayed.


 

About The Author

bug with ad preview and diagnosis tool showing ad scores and more data 1 - Bug with Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool showing ad scores and more data
Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.
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Daily News: Digital Ad Revenues, Yelp Economic Average, Enhancements to Google Ads

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Here is today’s roundup of news related to local marketing and advertising, local media, technology, local commerce, consumer behavior and more.

Digital Ad Revenues on Track to Pass $100 Billion (2018) (February 14, 2019)
LSA Insider: “The IAB announced that US digital ad revenues hit $26.2 billion in Q3, 2018. Spending growth was roughly 21% compared with the same quarter in 2017. Overall, digital advertising brought in $75.8 billion during the first three quarters of 2018.”

Can Yelp Data Predict a Recession? (February 14, 2019)
LSA Insider: “While the jobs market remains hot — small businesses continue to see hiring challenges — there are multiple indications that the economy faces future headwinds. One of them comes from a potentially unlikely source: Yelp.”

Enhancements to Google Ads May Help Agencies Serving Low-Budget Advertisers (February 14, 2019)
LSA Insider: “The bulk of Google’s latest announcements and feature updates to the Google Ads platform are largely related to YouTube and therefore larger budget advertisers with access to professional videos and commercials. Some of these updates include improved measurement of sales lift from YouTube campaigns, new bidding options for video campaigns, and new ad options on YouTube.”

Google rolls out ‘interpreter mode’ for Home and smart displays (February 14, 2019)
Marketing Land: “Google Translate is now rolling out Google Home devices. The capability was first announced at this year’s CES. Since then, the company has been testing Translate on smart displays in various hotels in selected markets: Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco.”

Mono Solutions Launches A New Interface to Drive the Ultimate Do-it-with-me (DIWM) Experience (February 14, 2019)
Mono Solutions: “The new Mono interface makes the platform ideal for SMBs and their digital service providers to work better together. Adaptable to different user skills and roles, the new interface will make it twice as fast for service providers to make advanced and unique website designs.”

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Survey Asks How Much Is Your (Location) Data Worth?

Privacy and location COW

A recent survey from Blis of roughly 2,000 US adults asked a range of questions about privacy, use of location data and the monetary value of personal information. Sixty-three percent (63%) of respondents said that they were more aware today than last year of how their personal data was being used by digital marketers. And roughly 83% said they were aware their location was being tracked.

Asked whether they disabled location tracking on their smartphones, 71% said yes. That broke down into 33% who said “yes” (always) and 38% who said “sometimes, when prompted to opt-in.” In other words, sometimes people were not allowing tracking and sometimes they were.

This reflects attitudes and not necessarily actual behavior. But it nonetheless reflects the majority of respondents’ sensitivity to location tracking. For the subset who had not disabled location tracking, 41% of that group said they didn’t mind being tracked. Another 40% said either they didn’t know how to disable it or weren’t aware their locations were being tracked.

The survey asked respondents to place a value on their personal data: “How much would you charge a marketer to use your personally identifiable information for general advertising purposes?” The majority (60%) said they were willing to offer their personal data for free or a price. Among this group, a majority valued their data at more than $10, with the single largest group saying $20+. Nearly half (47%) added that they would charge more to brands that were new to them.

On the question of location-data sharing, the clear conclusion from this survey is that most people (71%) don’t want to. However French location intelligence company Teemo recently found 70% opt-in rates from consumers, willing to share location, when they were exposed to a more transparent privacy disclosure statement.

LSA19 will feature two critical privacy and location data discussions. On Wednesday, February 25, we’ll have a tactical privacy workshop for marketers getting ready for CCPA. On February 27, there will be a privacy panel addressing where the U.S. market is headed and how new privacy rules will change digital marketing for enterprises and SMBs.

This data comes from a Blis November 2018 survey, n=2,000 US consumers ages 18-65+. To access the graphic above, click here.

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Tips That Will Help You Better Manage Your Online Reviews

Managing  Your Online Reviews

When you buy a product online or are looking to engage the services of a firm, don’t you look at the reviews, before you spend your hard-earned money? It’s a natural human tendency. And the higher number of good reviews you see the more confident you become of the services that are offered.

Reviews are a great way to showcase to your prospective customers, what good things people have said about your services. But remember when you open those doors, there are bound to be some unsatisfied customers, no matter what you do. And they aren’t always going to leave you a kind feedback.

Online-Reputation-Management

Is it a good idea to show all reviews online?

For one thing, it makes you and your firm transparent, that’s a big plus in the eyes of your customers. It also keeps you on your toes. And a bad or downright crazy review is not always a bad thing.

But let’s start with the good reviews. After all who doesn’t like a pat on the back, or a word or two of appreciation?

Here are guidelines you should follow for good reviews:

  • Respond with a Thank you, that’s the least you can do. If you go beyond that let them know that you appreciate and care about their business.

As this is in the public domain, your current and future customers will be able to see that you’re engaged and responsive. That you don’t take them for granted.

  • Be Helpful: If your client mentions a specific product of yours that solved one of their issues… it’s a perfect place to add some more information to educate them. If they bought something because a product was out of stock, let them know when you expect to restock it.

Going out of your way will ensure that your client feels heard; it will give your customers see you as someone who really cares.

  • Use it to your benefit: The more times your brand name is mentioned the better it is for building your legal practice online. When the search engine web bots visit your site, it indexes the number of times your brand name was mentioned and also any keywords that your site is using.

Don’t overdo it, but mention your website or firms name in comments where appropriate.

Now, let’s look at what to do with the not-so-good reviews.  Rather than taking a review personally, look at it as an opportunity to improve on the things and provide a great experience for your clients.

  • Quick Fix: If there’s a minor error or the customer isn’t able to reach you, or your phone lines are down… respond to the reviews. Fix the errors and thank them for bringing it to your notice.
  • Ask specific questions: Rather than being reactive, you can ask questions to get to the root of the matter. Things like the time and date of appointment , the name of the person the appointment was with etc will help you get the facts, or help you flag inappropriate reviews.
  • Don’t get into an online brawl: Specially if you get a rant of a review on social networks, it’s a good idea not to get into an argument. You would be drawing more attention to yourself if you respond. And don’t even think about emailing the person… it might end up on social media again.

The best way is to call the person and resolve it amicably if possible over the phone. Offer to fix the issue if they are willing to retract their statement.  It’ll cost you much less than hiring an internet reputation expert.

We hope these tips will help you better manage your online reviews.

Edward Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A.
President and Managing Partner
BusinessCreator, Inc.

Ed can be reached at (or visit his websites)

edl@businesscreatorplus.com
855-943-8736 ext. 101
www.BusinessCreatorPlus.com
www.ForLawFirmsOnly.com

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Analyst: 8 billion voice assistants by 2023

analyst 8 billion voice assistants by 2023 - Analyst: 8 billion voice assistants by 2023

Analyst firm Juniper Research is predicting “nearly 8 billion digital voice assistants to be in use by 2023.” That represents annual compound growth of more than 25 percent.

It’s a very aggressive estimate that depends on continued smartphone penetration and expansion of virtual assistants to an array of other device categories.

TVs and China driving growth. While most virtual assistants will be on smartphones, the main driver of growth is the expansion of voice assistants into other categories, such as TVs. Juniper says, “The fastest-growing category is connected TV-based voice assistants.” It also says that the market will still be dominated by English speaking markets, though China will drive significant growth through 2023.

The Juniper report also asserts that voice-based commerce will reach $80 billion during the forecast period. However, the apparent definition of voice commerce is expansive. Separately, there’s evidence that v-commerce has little if any momentum, unless we include voice-initiated searches that ultimately result in transactions.

More than 1.5 billion assistant devices today. The current installed base of virtual assistants now exceeds 1.5 billion devices. Google previously reported that its Assistant is now on one billion devices (mostly smartphones). Earlier, Apple said that that Siri had 500 million active users around the world. Amazon also reported more than 100 million Alexa devices sold to date. 

CES this year showcased Alexa and Google Assistant on a range of new appliances and devices, from slow cookers and refrigerators to smart toilets and showers. And there’s evidence that there may be more than 100 million smart speakers already in U.S. homes; however, growth may be slowing.

Despite more than 60,000 Alexa skills today, most are unknown and unused. However, brands need a voice/smart speaker strategy.

Why you should care: different devices, different strategies. One of the most common slides in conference presentations about voice search and smart speakers is attributed to comScore: 50 percent of all search queries will be initiated by voice by 2020. However, the number was actually not generated by comScore and may not be a rigorous estimate.

Analysts and commentators often lump smartphones and smart speakers together when they talk about “voice search and virtual assistants.” Voice search is happening almost entirely on smartphones, while smart speakers have yet to develop into a meaningful channel. However, they still have significant potential. And other smart device categories will offer different user experiences and opportunities accordingly (e.g., in-car).

Regardless of the precise percentages, voice queries are growing and marketers need to account for them in their upper and lower-funnel strategies. That dictates different content and SEO optimization tactics going forward.


 

About The Author

analyst 8 billion voice assistants by 2023 - Analyst: 8 billion voice assistants by 2023
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.
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