About 46% of all Google searches are local. In fact, searches for “available near me” grew globally by over 100% between 2019 and 2020. About 50% of people who search Google Maps visit a physical store within a day, too.
Make your information easier for customers to find online. When you rank higher in Google Maps, consumers can find your business with ease.
Then, they can find your address, working hours, phone number, and more!
Put yourself on the map! With a Google Maps search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you can boost your online visibility. Get started with these seven easy tips today.
1. Add Your Business to Google Maps
You can’t rank higher in Google Maps if you don’t have a listing in the first place.
If you’re already listed on Google Maps, you can skip this step. Otherwise, start by visiting Google.com/maps. You can also use the Google Maps app on your phone.
Then, search for your business name.
If your business appears in the drop-down menu with a location beside it, you already have your listing. If your name doesn’t appear, you should see “Add a missing place” in blue on the drop-down menu. Click that.
Then, start creating your business. You’ll need to provide your business name, a category, and the store’s location.
Anyone in the world can add a business to Google Maps. If you haven’t already, someone else might have for you. The person who created your listing won’t have control over it, though.
Instead, you’ll need to claim your listing to prove you own the business.
2. Claim Your Listing
Don’t skip this step! Once you claim your listing, you can include more information about your business. Adding more information can help you rank higher in Google Maps.
Otherwise, consumers might struggle to learn about your business.
First, make sure you have a Google My Business account. This account is free to create. Make sure you don’t use your personal Gmail account.
You can then select “Claim this business” or “Own this business?” and start the process.
3. Optimize Your Listing
Once you have your Google Maps listing, you’ll need to optimize it. Adding information to your listing can boost your Google Maps SEO. You can rank higher in Google Maps and start reaching more customers.
First, log into your Google My Business account. Click the “Info” tab on the left side.
The Info tab will include your:
- Service area (if applicable)
- Business description
- Hours and special hours
- Phone number
- Products and services
Take the time to fill in these details. Consider adding keywords to your business description. Using the right keywords could help you appear for relevant searches.
As you update your information, make sure your name and address are consistent. Use the same formatting that’s on your website. Then, make sure it matches your Facebook profile, Yelp listing, and other directories.
Make sure to use a local phone number (not an 800 or 877 number).
If anything changes, such as your hours, make sure to update it right away. Otherwise, you could risk confusing customers. They might visit your store when it’s closed, get frustrated, and leave a negative review.
Instead, encourage customers to post their positive reviews on your Google My Business listing. Positive reviews are a form of social proof. They could help you rank higher in Google Maps.
In fact, nearly 90% of customers say online reviews influence their buying decisions.
Don’t forget to add eye-catching photos and videos to your profile, too. Photos tell Google you’re an active listing. Google also shows images in local search results.
4. Build Backlinks
Generating high-quality backlinks could benefit your SEO for Google Maps, too.
It’s not enough to generate a few citations. You’ll need to keep generating backlinks over time.
Try to generate links from high domain-authority websites. For example, you can ask someone to link to your blog post on their site.
- Generating backlinks
- Creating high-quality content
- Relevant anchor text
- Publishing on authoritative publications
Consider guest blogging on someone else’s website. Then, link to your site within the post. You can also work with an experienced SEO agency to create your link-building strategy.
5. Use Schema Markup
As you use these local SEO tips, take the time to review your website. First, make sure your website is mobile-optimized. Most on-the-go customers who are looking for local businesses will search from a smartphone.
Then, use Schema on your website. Schema helps Google better understand your content.
You can wrap your location information in Schema to send a higher signal to Google about your business location.
6. Optimize Your Website Homepage
Your website can have a big impact on your local SEO strategy.
First, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure you’re mobile-optimized. Then, optimize your homepage by adding location-based keywords to the:
- The H1/title tag
- Description tag
- Page content
Updating your homepage with a location-based target keyword can boost your Google Maps SEO.
7. Build Authority Citations
Make sure to establish your citation distribution campaign. With citation distribution, you’ll need your:
- Business name
- Phone number
Then, publish your citation across other publications. For example, you can use FourSquare, Yahoo Business, and Yelp.
Make sure your citation is consistent across every directory.
Citation distribution could boost where your Google Map ranks. It can also work as a form of backlink distribution.
Look for niche directories for local businesses, too. For example, attorneys can use Martindale.com. Dentists can update their listings on Healthgrades.com.
Get on the Map: 7 Tips to Help You Rank Higher in Google Maps
Don’t miss a chance to reach local customers. Instead, use these tips to rank higher in Google Maps. With these tips, you can boost your online visibility and set your business up for success.
More people will see your business online, allowing you to generate fresh leads.
Need help developing your Google Maps SEO strategy? You came to the right place!
Contact us today to get started.