You’re looking for a place to eat lunch in a neighborhood you don’t know, or you need a mechanic to help you with a flat tire. Where do you look? You’re not the only one who said Google Maps. So here are some tips for you to rank higher in Google Maps!
Many of us use Google Maps these days to find local businesses and make better decisions about what to buy.
So how can local businesses rank higher in places where people are looking more and more to buy local goods and services?
Here are ten things you can do to rank well on Google Maps, get more traffic, and make more sales.
- Get a Google Business Profile and fill it out
The first and most important step to getting seen on Google Maps is to claim and improve your Google Business Profile (GBP – formerly known as Google My Business or GMB).
You can do this by searching for your business name on Google or Google Maps and verifying your listing, if you haven’t already.
Once you have a listing and are signed in to your Google account, you can now edit it, even from within the search results.
Since GBP is a Google service, it lets Google know that your business exists, and the information here is assumed to be correct and up-to-date.
Google will compare these details with those it finds on your website and in other local directories and resources. We’ll talk more about how important these are in a moment.
- Post Linked Content (Including Photos)
Even though you’ve claimed your GBP listing, you’re not done yet.
Google gives active businesses more exposure on Google Maps, so it’s important to keep your GBP profile up-to-date.
Special offers, hosted events, links to relevant blog posts, and general business news can and should be part of these updates.
You should also try to include photos in your updates if you can, since visuals are more likely to get people to share or click on your posts.
You should also put links in your posts, preferably to the main pages for your products or services.
- Make sure that your website is optimized for local organic search.
If you want to rank well on Google Maps, you should make sure that your web presence, including your website and external content, is optimized for your local audience.
You can start by doing a local SEO audit to figure out where you need to focus your attention in terms of keywords, content, and links, which are the three main parts of a presence.
Your website needs to be set up in a way that makes it easy for Google to crawl and index your content. The content on your site needs to be full of relevant, locally-focused, intent-driven keywords and logical links to the answers your audience is looking for.
Google likes websites that help people find answers with the fewest number of clicks possible.
Websites also need to load quickly and be easy to navigate on all devices.
This is especially important locally, since more and more people start their searches on their phones.
- Use Schema for Local Business
Standardization is what Google and other search engines like when it comes to how to structure content, especially business information. This is what led to the creation of schema.
Businesses can use Local Schema to wrap their content in code that makes it easier for Google to crawl and index.
Local business schema includes a lot of the same information about a business that is in a Google Business Profile. Google will naturally cross-reference this information.
If it’s easy for Google to verify your location, your business is more likely to be shown prominently on Google Maps.
- Add the Google map to your “Contact Us” page
Even though Google doesn’t say that embedding a Google Map on your website will change where you rank in Google Maps, it’s not a stretch to think that this is the format Google prefers.
Again, Google is able to give its searchers a consistent experience, which is what any business that wants to please its customers should try to do.
- Look at your reviews and mine them
Any business can create a GBP listing, make sure its basic business information is up to date, and post a lot of relevant, local content.
Customer reviews, on the other hand, are a very important part of whether and where a local business shows up on Google Maps.
Google pays close attention to how many reviews your business gets and how often it responds to those reviews, whether they are positive or negative.
Every business wants to get as few bad reviews as possible, and all bad reviews should be dealt with quickly.
This can actually be a great way to show that your business cares about its customers.
Customers can leave reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and other industry-specific review sites, but reviews on GBP profiles will carry more weight when it comes to where a business ranks on Google Map.
Consider asking your customers for reviews right after you’ve successfully delivered a product or service, when they’re likely still thinking about how good it was.
There are services that can help automate review requests (via email or text) after certain online or offline customer actions (like completing an appointment, paying an invoice, etc.) and review management across multiple sources through a central dashboard.
Local businesses that are always busy can save a lot of time with automation, and it can also make sure that good reviews come in regularly.
- Add your NAP to your local listings and mentions.
Your Name, Address, and Phone Number, or NAP, are the three most important pieces of directional information on your GBP, website, and elsewhere on the web.
Your NAP should be the same and correct in all of these places, both for Google and for your audience.
Citations are another word for these mentions of your business on other websites.
Start by searching for your business name and making a list of all the places where your business information can be found. This will help you find your NAP and make sure it is up to date.
Check each case and ask each directory or website owner to update this important contact information, if necessary.
There are also free and paid automated local listings services that let you find and update your NAP and other important business information, like your website URL, services, or even relevant images, from one central location.
So these were some major tips of how to rank higher in Google Maps! Hope you enjoyed.