Customers often turn to Google Maps when looking for specific products or services in their vicinity. Google Map is popular because they provide the searcher with photos, reviews, business ratings, and location information.
Having a Google Map listing allows more customers to discover your business, lets you tower over the competition and generates more sales – all for free. But it’s not enough to list your business. You need a formidable presence on Google Maps to outrank your rivals in the search area.
Why Rank High on Google Maps
Over 67% of internet users prefer Google Maps over other navigation apps, giving you a seamless way to grow your online visibility. With most local businesses realizing the value of Google Map listing, the competition is fierce. Google won’t rank your business simply because it’s listed; you need to optimize the listing to dominate the local search queries.
Optimizing your Google Map listing helps your business rank higher and provides additional benefits.
- It lets you rank for the most popular keywords and phrases that local customers use when searching for products and services.
- It increases your chances of getting on the coveted local-3-pack, which corresponds to a first-page ranking on regular search results.
- Every step you take to optimize your Google Map ranking improves consumer engagement. Since 86% of online shoppers use Google Maps to look up local businesses, a higher rank can significantly boost engagement.
How to Show Up on Google Maps and Dominate Local Search Queries
To get started with Google Maps marketing, you need to get your business listed on Google Maps and claim your listing.
Adding Your Business to Google Maps
Head to Google.com/maps or use the Google Maps app and enter your business name. If your business name appears on the drop-down menu, you already have a Google Map listing. If it doesn’t appear, click the “Add a missing place” option. You’ll be prompted to enter your business name, category, and location.
Claim Your Google Map Listing
Claiming your listing is the second step toward ranking your business on Google Maps. Claiming your Google Map listing allows you to provide detailed information about your business. Naturally, business listings with detailed information rank higher on Google Maps.
You need a free Google My Business account to claim your Google Map business listing. If you already have an account, pull up your business listing and choose “Claim this business” or “Own this business?” and follow the prompts. If you don’t have a Google My Business account, you need to set it up.
Provide the Necessary Google Maps Business Listing Information
Once you have a Google Maps business listing linked to your Google My Business account, you’re all set for the optimization process. Log in to your Google My Business account to access the dashboard.
Click on the ‘Info” tab and fill in the relevant information. That includes your name, address, category, service area, phone number, business hours, website, hours, special hours, products, services, attributes, and description.
Be sure to fill in all the required information and keep these golden rules in mind:
Provide Consistent Names and Addresses
Trustworthiness is critical to your ranking. Google Maps only ranks businesses that provide consistent information across their online platforms. Ensure the name that appears on your Google My Business dashboard is identical on all your web properties. There should be zero variations in the spellings, short forms, anything. The address information should follow the same format for consistency.
Provide Local Phone Number
Google frowns on toll-free numbers because they’re popular with spammers. Instead, use a local phone number, complete with the local area code in your listing for a higher rank on Google Maps. A local number verifies that your business is within the locality.
Provide Both Tracked and Main Phone Numbers
Set the tracked number as the primary business phone number and designate your mainline as the secondary number. That allows you to track calls on the tracked line to gauge the listing’s efficacy. Having the main phone number allows Google to match the contact information with what’s on your website and other web properties.
Update Your Hours
Updating the hours adds to your credibility, signaling to Google that your business is trustworthy and deserving of a higher ranking on Google Maps. It also improves customer satisfaction. Customers tend to leave a negative review if they come to your store to find you closed or closing.
Provide a Business Description
Write a vivid description of your business and the products or services you provide. Include the relevant keywords in the description and use an upbeat, cordial tone that connects with readers.
Use Proper Business Category
Pick a primary category that best describes your core business offering because the proper categorization is critical to Google Map ranking. Set other relevant categories as secondary.
Upload Photos to Your Google Maps Business Listing
Google prioritizes photos when ranking businesses on Google Maps. Quality images indicate that the listing is active, and the business merits a higher ranking on the search results. Google also uses advanced photo-recognition technology to show pictures in local search. Be sure to upload multiple, high-quality photos that capture the essence of your business. Google Map listings without images are less appealing to searchers and are ranked lower in the search results.
Get Google Reviews
Google is gravitating towards user-generated information, and user reviews top that list. Naturally, the search engine prioritizes Google Map listings with positive reviews. Listing your business on Google Maps allows your customers to review your business. Get the ball rolling by soliciting reviews from your favorite customers.
You can send them a mail asking for a positive Google review or ask them to review your business when they visit your location. Be sure to respond to each review (good or bad) as it shows that your business is attentive and pays attention to customer opinion. Responding to reviews also helps mitigate and minimize the damage when a customer leaves a negative review.
Eliminate Duplicate Listing
Duplicate listings with multiple phone numbers will discredit your business in the eyes of Google and hurt your Google Map ranking. Delete all duplicate listings and ensure that your business has only one genuine listing on Google Maps.
Make Regular Posts on Your Google Maps Listing
Treat your Google Map listing like a social media account and post regularly. Regular posts signals to Google that you actively manage your listing, which is a critical Google Maps ranking factor. Better yet, the Google posts appear on search results, which improves your conversion rates.
Get a Credible Local SEO Marketing Service
Dominating the Google Maps searches for local queries takes a solid SEO strategy. You need to plan, track, and adjust your local SEO strategy to increase your chances of converting profitable local online traffic and drawing them to your store.
Winslow Ranch is a local marketing agency dedicated to helping local businesses dominate the local search results and grow their conversion rates.
Need help optimizing your Google My Business profile? More ratings and reviews on Google? Advice on Google Reviews? Contact us today!