Did you know that 67 percent of consumers turn to Google Maps for navigational help? Most of those consumers end up finding the business listing on Google Maps from a keyword search 84 percent of the time as opposed to doing so from a business name. This is why you want your business to rank high on the terms your potential clients will be inputting as they search.
But how can you improve your Google Maps ranking this coming year?
Let us look at how Google Maps works and how to increase your ranking.
How Google Maps Ranking Works
Google uses three focus areas in its maps ranking, which is known as the Google Local Algorithm. These three focus areas are relevance, distance (proximity), and prominence.
Relevance deals with how the local listing matches what the person is looking for. It is the reason why you need to have detailed descriptions and information in your listing.
Distance or proximity is how far the results are from the location term the customer used in the search. If the customer does not specify a location in the search, Google Maps will use the information it knows of the user’s location.
Prominence is about how well-known a business is. Businesses that are famous, landmark hotels, and brands that everyone knows will rank high in the prominence category.
Google Maps also uses information it has from across the web about each business. Everything from links, directories, and articles help gauge the location’s prominence. Reviews and ratings also count toward local search ranking.
How to Rank Higher On Google Maps
To get the visibility you want for your business, there are some strategies you want to focus on. Here are the most important options to implement.
Add Your Business to Google Maps
Your business is not automatically added to Google Maps, requiring you to do this. You can easily do this by creating a Google Business Profile and following the steps. In just a few minutes you will be listed in Google Search, Google Maps, and other online platforms.
If you see your business name on Google Maps, this does not mean that it is properly listed. You will need to claim it first.
Claim Your Google Maps Listing
When you create your listing you are able to provide the name, location, and category, but when you claim the listing you can add more details about the business. The more information a listing has, the higher it will rank.
To be able to claim your listing, you will need to have a free Google My Business Account.
Add Relevant Information
Adding relevant information to your listing will help it rank higher. You want to be certain that you are consistent with the business name and its address. Google Maps ranks businesses it can trust higher and one way it can measure your business’s trustworthiness is by seeing if all of its information is consistent across the web.
Look for variations in your business name, even in your dashboard. Look through your business’ social media profile, as well.
The same applies to the address. Simple variations like using “St.” instead of “street” can lower your business’s trustworthiness in Google’s eyes.
Add Photos and Videos
Having a good description of your business is important, but having images and videos is even better. When you add photos, Google sees that your listing is an active one. It can also display those photos in local search results.
Users love photos and videos and adding some will allow your business to get more attention.
The moment you create a Google business listing, you are making it possible for people to leave reviews. You want to encourage people to leave reviews and you may even solicit them. If you do receive reviews, be sure to respond to them.
Responding to reviews encourages people to leave more of them and it also helps minimize any negative ones your business may receive. Potential clients or customers will see how you work to resolve issues and prevent them from happening again when you respond to negative reviews.
Use Your Website
You can use your website to help rank your business listing higher on Google Maps. The first thing you want to ensure is that your website is responsive and that it works across all kinds of screen sizes and on all devices.
You want to also incorporate location-based keywords in your website. Use them on your homepage, about us page, contact us page, services or products page, and even in blog posts. You want to use the keywords in titles but also throughout the rest of the text and even in image descriptions.
Another thing you can do is embed a Google map on the website. Most businesses do this on the contact us page since it lets people see where the business is located.
Post Regularly to Your Listing
Most people do not realize that you can publish posts that will appear right on the Google Maps listing. Posting regularly lets Google know the listing is active, which helps it rank higher. Add updated photos and review responses.
Be active and Google will notice.
Write an Inviting Description
The description you write has to have your target customer in mind. Think about what would make your business stand out from their perspective. You want to focus on what makes your business unique, whether that means certain kinds of special services you offer or excellent customer service.
Eliminate or Merge Duplicate Listings
If you see there are duplicate listings for your business, you want to merge them or eliminate one of them. The listings will compete against one another and pull down your SEO and Google Maps rankings. It can also be confusing for clients to see two listings for the same business.
To merge the duplicates, you will usually have to contact Google for help.
Improve Your Rankings
Improving your Google Maps ranking will offer a boost to your business. At Bipper Media, we can help get your business website SEO boosted to target local customers. Our local SEO services will ensure you rise right to the top of Google Maps rankings.