Have you set up your Google My Business maps listing only to discover yourself at the bottom of the local pack?
If you rank in the maps pack for your local brick and mortar or service area business safe to say your phone is ringing and you’re happy. If not though you are in big trouble!
Google maps is no longer a basic application to show users the location of your business; now, it plays a key role in helping you acquire more search engine traffic, instill trust and also update potential customers to sales, specials or holiday hours of operation.
Earlier, factors like industry category and proximity determined your company’s Google Maps rankings. But now other factors like business description, up-to-date details, reviews, media all play a role in the calculation of the rankings. These blended results bode well for SMBs whose listings are often overshadowed by chain companies and large organizations.
Earning a spot on the first page of Google Maps is something most businesses dream about but few achieve. However, you can use the tips below to rank higher in Google Maps and catch the attention of your target customers. Check out the 17 Tips Improve Your Google My Business Listing to learn more about how you can improve your listing.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Is Is your GMB listing optimized as well as it could be? When was the last time you updated it? Take a look at your profile you may be surprised at what you see! Read on to learn how to optimize your Google My Business profile:
Update Your Description
Listing descriptions on Google Maps have character limits. Make sure to maximize the space you have to use. Rather than use generic information to describe your company make sure to use SEO optimized copy, including local SEO keywords that apply to your business. See example below:
“Gregory’s Computer’s has over 25 years in business. Call us today to set up an appointment to learn more about how we can help your business. ”
“Gregory’s Computer is a Brooklyn computer repair company with best prices in New York City. Contact us today for new computers, computer repair, and IT Services.”
Include a Local Phone Number
Google isn’t particularly fond of toll-free (877 and 800) numbers – they lack local relevance and are commonly associated with spam calls.
Adding a local telephone number tells Google that your business is an actual service area or brick-and-mortar business
in the address mentioned in the listing.
Make sure you add a local telephone number with an area code that is common to that location. Having a toll-free number for your site is not a bad idea, but making it the sole point of contact can harm your chances of ranking higher on Google Maps.
Are Details Correct?
As a general rule of thumb, Google displays your listing with greater precision if it has more information about your business. Accuracy and completeness are key here, so make sure you’ve provided all the relevant information including business hours and contact details.
Also, avoid duplicating any details as it sets a bad precedent and invokes Google’s penalty. Include every shred of information, like name, website, phone number, and address so that Google has more details to choose from. The inclusion of business hours in the listing provides your target audience the impetus to use or get in touch with the company.
Remember, Google has a strict policy against repetition. So, don’t add multiple locations or phone numbers for a single business as you could get discredited. Remove all irrelevant information from your listing and verify the accuracy of the included details.
Include Your Business in the Correct Category
During the process of creating your Google Maps listing, you must choose a primary industry category as well as a keyword to describe your company. Most business owners, however, are unaware that they are capable of adding five more additional categories. Use them to your advantage. While the primary category indicates the main classification of your company, the five other categories can be used to incorporate some local SEO keywords that act as business descriptors.
Keep in mind that the categories suggested by Google might not always fit your business. In this case, ensure the primary keywords matches the main keyword you’re trying to rank as closely as possible. You can do this by typing your main keyword along with different big city names into Google and then copying the ones that are most commonly ranked. Max out the secondary categories as well so your impressions for other keywords are increased.
Max Your Your Business Category Choices
You can choose up to (3) categories. Make sure to choose all the relevant categories. For FORMULA INTERNET we have: internet marketing service, marketing agency & marketing consultant.
Add a Bunch of Photos
A strong yet simple way to stand out on Google Maps involves adding pictures to your Google My Business listing. Select a good picture of your business that’s also featured on your business site and presents your company in a positive light. You’re able to select multiple photos so select the ones that prompt customers to give your business a try. If your business does not include any pictures, a generic map will show up in the listing.
Log In & Update Frequently
Part of Google’s local algorithm checks to see how often you log into your account. Log into your account a couple times a month and switch something up to make your account active and Google may show you favoritism.
Having a Google listing is not enough. You need to rank you business higher on Google Maps. You need to take care of the various points listed above if you want your business to shine bright on Google Maps and attract potential customers.
Create Local and Niche Citations
Focus on your local SEO by creating local and niche relevance through on- and off-page optimizations. In case of off-page, try building local and niche citations. Get the citations indexed by linked out to them from your website, running them through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, or submitting them to some indexing service. Keep in mind that unless they are Google indexed, they won’t be of any use in SEO.
Add Local Schema Markup to Your Website
Schema markup was created to structure information better and help search engines understand data. In this case – location related data. Through schema we can declare business name, business type, address, phone number, hours of operation & more. Google uses this markup to enhance search results with rich snippets like answer boxes, hours of operation, knowledge graph & more. Adding schema markup to your website will increase maps rankings, local SERPs and generate more rich snippets.
Embed a Google Map on Your Website
Doing so helps your business secure a higher rank on Google Maps. That is precisely why most companies add a map to their contact page. When you embed a Google Map on your business site, you’re letting Google know for sure that your business is situated exactly where your listing states it to be.
Do not forget to use the same address that’s present on your Google My Business listing. Start embedding a Google Map on your site by first searching the name of your business in Google Maps. Now, click the three lines that appear next to the name of your business and choose the option marked “Share or Embed Map”. Remember to copy and paste the link on the contact page of your business.
Add GPS Coordinates to Your Website
The “near me” search has become prevalent across every vertical of local businesses from dining to professional services. One method that can help you get to be ultra relevant for “near me” searches is embedding GPS coordinates throughout the site and in image metadata. I also like to get keyword optimized text + “near me” in html on the site.
Use Google Reviews to Your Advantage
The more user reviews your business has, the more trustworthy it appears to potential customers. Google understands this and ranks businesses with more positive reviews higher on the Google Maps app. However, keep in mind that reviews can be a bit of a mixed bag – you have no control over what’s being said about your business. So, it could be either positive or negative.
The good thing is, unless your products or services are exceptionally bad, people don’t leave bad feedback. Plus, having good reviews on your Google Maps grabs the attention of potential buyers faster and makes your business seem more attractive and reliable.
So, if you want to go through with this process, head over to your Google Map listing, click on “more information” and copy the Google review link. Now, it’s time to share the link through social media channels and wait for the reviews to come in. You might also consider adding a landing page to your site that redirects you to the Google Maps listing review form.
For a quick boost, request some of your existing loyal, trusted users to write a review for your business. Even a few positive reviews has enough clout to give you an instant boost in your rankings.
Write a Press Release
Believe it or not, but a well-written press release is capable of offering high quality backlinks for your company. Many services write press releases for businesses at low rates. Or, you can write one yourself after going through a few samples on the Internet. Apart from the obvious backlinking benefits, press releases impress customers since it’s rare for businesses to have links from news stations.
Embed Maps Listings on 3rd Party Websites
You can get really tricky embedding maps. The more embedded maps that are indexed in Google in general the better the rankings you get. Getting your maps listings embedded around the internet on locally relevant sites will help you improve your Maps Rankings.
Local Link Building
Part of a local business presence is links from other local businesses. Whether from “Friends” or “Resource” pages on other local websites, links from community websites, social media, guest books or blog comments it’s important to get some links from local