The New Zagat Rating System
Out with Stars, in with Zagat, a restaurant rating company Google merged with in 2011. If you’re not in the restaurant business you will only be rated in one category (Overall), but if you happen to be the owner of a local restaurant, there are many more categories such as “Decor” and “Service” that your customers may rate you on. Each user awards a rating between zero and three (0-3) in each possible category. After a minimum total of ten reviews are collected, they are averaged for each category and multiplied by 10, for a total Review score of between zero and thirty (0-30).
Haters Unwelcome on Google+ Local
In the olden days of Google Places, the competition could sink you by writing poor reviews for you under an anonymous username. Worse, your business listing could get comment spammed, preventing users from finding any useful review information from other customers. Zagat’s rating system, however, is monitored closely by a team of editors, as well as going through over 30 filters to ensure that reviews are valid and genuine.
Your Comments are With Your Profile
No more anonymity! Even if someone chooses to post your review without their name being visible to the public, they still have to provide a name to Google+ when writing the review and it will still be associated with their profile for their circles to see. This helps in a few ways: You can interact with a customer and discuss his or her experience with them (part of Customer Relations Management); read all reviews that person has written; and weed out customers who might write things anonymously that they would never put their name next to.
Your Customer Service Speaks for Itself in SEO
Let your good customer relations management shine by asking your customers to give you a Google+ Local review. This will help others find and appreciate your business, and gives you a plethora of usable web content in people’s own words. The more content on your site, the higher it will show up in Google+ Local searches. Others might find you with new search terms you never even thought of! If working on your business’ local reviews and public image is not your cup of tea, let professional internet marketing consultants help you!