Does your local search traffic attract paying customers? Here’s what happens when you encourage customers to leave image-centric reviews in your online directory listings.
Local search is essential. In fact, 80% of local searches convert for the winning company. It’s fair to say most people searching for a product or service will eventually find and buy it. Your listings are what convince your customers to choose you over competitors.
So, what is it about these listings that lead to a sale? The answer is incredibly simple. And if you focus your energy on encouraging your customers to leave these for you, you’ll always be picked over your competitors. I’m talking about detailed personal reviews, with true-life pictures.
Here is exactly how images and reviews increase customer search traffic for your local products and services. Get inspired by these improvements to your online business directory listings.
#1: They Help With Higher Rankings
Local search ranking is what helps your business appear closer to the top of the search results. The closer you are, the more visible your business will be as a viable option to your customers. Very few companies can beat a bad local search algorithm placement.
If you don’t have many reviews or images, you will always appear below the companies that do. That, in itself, is enough motivation to get the reviews rolling in.
When you’re on Google My Business or other online directories, descriptive reviews tend to carry keywords, and these help your company rise in the rankings. Google has mentioned that keywords are critical to local search engine placement, so the more reviews you have, the better.
To appear in the first set of local search results, you need to make sure your customer images are earning clicks—which means they should be authentic representations of your business from a customer perspective. When people click, your listing holds more weight, and your placement improves.
To capitalize on local search optimization, get customers to take lots of photos and ask them specifically to leave a descriptive review of their experience with your company.
#2: Images Inspire More Engagement
The more engaging your local business listing is, the more people will interact with it. This means they’ll click, leave comments, and even visit additional online local listings to see more reviews. The trick is to have a “two-way street” approach to engagement.
To really drive foot traffic, you should spend time responding to both positive and negative reviews about your company. When potential customers see your interactions, it adds credibility to your brand and shows them that you’re open to all feedback. Google loves responsive companies!
You can leverage local listing management by using a single management tool that shows all your interactions. Pick out the new comments and respond from a convenient dashboard, and capitalize on new business and social proof as it happens.
Review diversity and how often you engage with your reviewers are signals that will actively improve your search placement. It’s not just about how many reviews or images you have; it’s also about the variety of experiences and how you engage with your customers.
#3: They Make You the Best Option
Aside from local search SEO, images and reviews are something that customers love. They usually click on companies with a lot of rich reviews and a broad range of real-life pictures.
Competition in local search is fierce. You have competitors above and below your local directory listings. The best way to stand out is by encouraging your customers to post detailed reviews with lots of exciting image experiences.
Some 60% of customers say that local search results with great images get their attention and help customers make a decision. Images that present your business in the best light will always make you a strong choice. In local search marketing, it means having more photos for customers to browse.
Use a local listing tool to keep track of new customer reviews so that you can view your business images, comment on them, and create a real sense of community with your listings.
#4: They Give Your Customers Before-and-After Experiences
Images and reviews do so much more than improve your search engine listings. Vivid images allow your customers to experience your business before they’ve ever been there. Imagine arriving on a local small business directory, after searching for a location for a romantic date with a partner.
The business directory list will show you restaurants in your area, but the ones that will jump out at you will align with your search intent. Customers who post pictures about a romantic ambiance and dinner, beautiful outside images, soft-lit interiors, and champagne selections—that’s the restaurant you’ll want to visit. As a business owner, you can tap into this experience cycle.
When your customer experiences it for themselves, they will also snap pictures and post a review for the next couple. Before-and-after experiences keep your online business listing sites populated with relevant reviews of specific things that people want, see, and enjoy from you.
To immediately improve your local search, and get more foot traffic to your small business, encourage customers to post more reviews with images attached to their experiences.
That’s how you’ll rank higher, inspire more engagement, and become the absolute best option for the customer who is looking for what you have to offer. Do this, and your credibility, engagement, and trust will blossom.