Monitoring the SERPS (search engine results pages) for new online advertising trends are part of an SEM’s job. Identifying a new bias quickly will keep you and your customers on the right track. I have identified two new growing trends in Google SERPS. Back in 2012 Google began boosting local listings for those with an accredited BBB account, and now in 2013 began showing many more BBB results in it’s SERPS.
I have long believed that Google might be using the BBB as a prominent local business signal for it’s algorithms. I am going to share with you the benefits of a BBB listing, which industries benefit the most, and some history and statistics.
The BBB have been in service for over 100 years, and it’s main mission has been to improve trust between the consumer and businesses, with extra emphasis on local businesses. Though they are not a government agency, many consumers think of them as such. If a consumer feels like their being ripped off, they call the Attorney General and the BBB.
Benefits Of An Accredited Account
Lately I have seen representatives for the BBB on the news informing and warning of the latest scams. This is just one way they continue to brand them selves as a resource, and a hero of the consumer. This is why many consumers feel more comfortable forking over their credit card info when they see the BBB logo.
Consumers may or may not know that all accredited businesses listed in the
BBB have been fully vetted. If you say your a roofing contractor, the BBB goes and checks your license against the state records, if your license has lapsed or if you are not licensed, you can not be accredited for any amount of money. They also want to see your business certificate, to see if your a legitimate business.
Unlike services like Angie’s List, you don’t need to be a subscriber to see a businesses rating, or reviews left by past customers. It’s no wonder 97 million people in the united states alone made an inquiry in 2011. BBB Statistics
“Their vetting process is the main reason I believe Google uses them as a source for their local ranking algorithms.”
Millions of Americans visit the BBB website to report dishonest companies, but also to get a list of local accredited companies with a good rating. Accredited businesses can count on leads calling and showing up in their inbox.
If you do a search on Google for “roofing contractors”, you will find the BBB promoting themselves and a roofing contractor right on the first page, usually in the top three organic results. The leads, increased exposure on the SERPS, and the trust the BBB engenders to the consumer make the paltry fee of 500.00 a year a easy decision for most business types.
With out doing a formal study, I have noticed a trend in my regular weekly research that has me convinced that businesses listed on Google Maps do better with an accredited BBB account.
If you were Google, and you were looking for a way to verify legitimate businesses, looking for a way to make sure you deliver the best results to your customers (people who use Google), would you give more credence to those businesses listed in the BBB?
I have also noticed businesses with one link ranking better in the SERPS than those with 20 plus links, when the one link was from the BBB. I know I am not taking into account a couple hundred other ranking factors, but I have seen this enough to think it more than a coincidence.
Businesses More Likely to Benefit – Statistics
10 out of the top 20 businesses when ranked by most inquiries are in the construction industry. Roofing Contractors topping the list with just over 3 million inquiries. When counting just the top 10 businesses in the construction industry, we see the BBB gets roughly 30,136 inquires a day in the United States alone.
Some other industries in the top 20 include: Auto Repair and Service; Auto Dealers – Used Cars; Mortgage Brokers; Auto Dealers- New Cars; Movers; Insurance Companies; Collection Agencies; Internet Services; Attorneys and Lawyers.
Conclusion – Online Advertising Trends
It is clear to me that local businesses should be seeking an accredited listing. Especially if you are in the home-improvement industry. It is also equally obvious that those that are listed will get a boost in organic local search, including Google Maps.
One added benefit to a BBB listing is this: Your customers don’t need to have an account with them to leave you a positive review.