It’s difficult to dispute that local search is more important than ever right now. There are countless stats that underpin this assertion, such as the fact that 46% of all Google searches are made with the intent of finding local information.
It’s also impossible to deny that user-generated content (UGC) is quickly growing in importance against this backdrop, with an expanding body of data suggesting that it is a critical tool in the decision-making process.
In this online landscape, Google Local Guides have taken on new relevance.
Let’s quickly go back a step though before diving into Google Local Guides, as the role of user-generated content in the customer journey and online user’s psyche is extremely relevant to the Local Guides concept as a whole.
According to research performed by Salesforce, user-generated content was already showing signs of its importance in 2016. It reported that pages with user-generated content enjoyed a range of performance benefits, including a 90% uplift in time spent on site, a 50% increase in engagement rates, a 73% improvement in email click-throughs and a 10% boost to conversions.
Fast-forward four years and the BazaarVoice 2020 Shopper Experience Index definitively concludes that more and more brands are empowering their customers to “advocate and sell on their behalf”. Significantly, the Experience Index says that consumers now control product pages, with user-generated content replacing traditional image carousels….