When Google decided to revamp the former Google PlacesÂ into 80 million Google+ BusinessÂ Pages, far more changed than appearance alone. In September 2011, Google acquired the ZagatÂ survey, known the world over for its local reviews on restaurants, entertainment venues, travel,Â and wine. Now, the new Google+ Business Pages model features a Zagat ratingÂ for eachÂ business alongside its objective notes. So along with your location, hours, and telephone number,Â your Zagat score is there, right on the Google search page. The key for local businesses in thisÂ new Google+ market is harnessing the power of the Zagat rating for their benefit.
In the brave new world of Google+ Business, ratings are king and they are far more complicatedÂ than the 5-star system of old. The 3-category, 30-point ratings system of Zagat may seem a bitÂ complex, but understanding how these reviews affect your business is essential if you are toÂ survive (and thrive) in the new Google+ Business environment.
To help companies navigate the change, Google released a short YouTube videoÂ in MayÂ explaining the Zagat system. It emphasizes the fact that all reviews of a business will beÂ averaged together and their comments merged to help customers quickly decide on the rightÂ place to go.
This is a huge boon for us all as patrons. However, as business owners, it emphasizes theÂ absolute necessity for getting ratings from a variety of your loyal customers. The world of socialÂ media is all about chatter and the exposure of your brand through a variety of advertising withÂ social media as its star. Google+ Business propels all local businesses into this spotlight whetherÂ or not they want it.
To help ease this transition, SIGNARAMA AustraliaÂ has designed a quick 15-page guideÂ available as a free download. The 5 steps outlined in this guide will get local businesses on theÂ right track to take full advantage of these changes.
Image courtesy of Â theseoduke.