Increase Google Maps Rankings
There are a few ways to go about increasing your Google Maps rankings fast in the local search results… the equivalent of local SEO on steroids. Not all of them are the preferred method, as I tend to take a more patient, long term approach with most of our clients. But there are cases where the client needs to get ranked in Google Maps fast, and they are willing to do just about anything to make it happen.
In these more aggressive cases, there are some tried and true practices that can (not always, but most of the time) drive your business into the top Google Maps search results quickly. And then depending on factors such as domain and brand authority, age of your domain, and authority of your citation and backlink portfolio, it’s relatively unknown if your rankings will stick.
So let me share with you just a few of the ways I help clients get rankings quickly in Google Maps. Again, this isn’t my preferred or normal method to helping local businesses as I position my clients for long term rankings in presence in search. But, I’ll share a couple of ways with you nonetheless, and hopefully you’ll use good judgement in the execution of these techniques.
Step 1: Local SEO for Retailers – Sub-categorize your Google My Business listings
** Note: this step is only applicable to departments within other businesses, universities, or institutions (learn more).
Let’s say you are are grocery chain like Kroger or Walmart. You have your main business category which would be “grocery”.
But within your super stores, you have departments such as the vision center, pharmacy, and gas station.
Each of these departments represent an opportunity for you to compete in the local search market within that specific category.
Going back to the grocery chain example of Kroger or Walmart.
The Walmart Vision Center would be an acceptable Google Maps listing since it is a department within the main business of Walmart.
Walmart would be categorized as a “department store”. However, you have several other business categories that can be leveraged within the scope of a Walmart Super Center.
Here’s a list of business entities and associated GMB categories based on my observation of the Walmart Super Center near me:
- Business name: Walmart 2811 Supercenter
- GMB Category: Department Store
- Business name: Walmart Bakery
- GMB Category: Bakery
- Business name: Walmart Deli
- GMB Category: Deli
- Business name: Walmart Garden Center
- GMB Category: Garden Center
- Business name: Walmart Grocery Pickup
- GMB Category: Grocery Delivery Service
- Business name: Walmart Money Center
- GMB Category: Money Transfer Service
- Business name: Walmart Pharmacy
- GMB Category: Pharmacy
- Business name: Walmart Photo Center
- GMB Category: Photo Shop
- Business name: Walmart Tires & Auto Parts
- GMB Category: Tire Shop
- Business name: Walmart Vision & Glasses
- GMB Category: Optician
The bold point above would be the top level Google Maps listing for this specific Walmart Super Center. And then each point under that represents the sub-categories of GMB listings that can be deployed.
Each of these GMB categories represent a competitive market in their geographic area.
And as you can imagine, this presents a substantial opportunity for local SEO for big box retailers.
Segmenting Google Maps listings for retailers and internal departments can quickly give that brand a competitive advantage in their local markets.
Step 2: Go granular with building local business citations (NAP)
Your first question might be what’s a citation?
A citation is simply a record of your NAP, which is your business name, address, and phone #, and in some instances your website URL as well.
Google uses citations as a way to validate your business location. Think of citations as the equivalent of backlinks in organic SEO strategy.
The more authoritative and relevant the citation sources are to your business, the more punch that will give you in boosting your Google Maps rankings.
I also recommend going granular with your citations.
This means finding websites and directories that are either specific to your metro area or targeted to your specific business category.
For example, if I’m a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, then publishing your law firm’s NAP on sources specific to metro Atlanta and personal injury lawyers would help increase the relevance factor and improve your overall location authority.
And the more location authority you have in your business category, the higher you’ll rank in Google Maps
Read more: What is location authority?
The more relevant (related) the directory source is for my specific business, the better. And the more authoritative the directory is, the more power I’ll get from the citation.
Step 3: Include your NAP on your website wrapped in Schema
Finally, you’ll want to include the NAP for your business on your website. But you want to wrap the address in what’s called Schema language.
Schema language is a structural protocol adopted by Google, Yahoo, & Bing with the purpose of making it easier to determine certain datasets within web pages. I like to refer to Schema language as direct data that enhances key data sets within web pages. Direct data is particularly relevant when it comes to local SEO. (ref: What Are Local Citations).
By wrapping your NAP in Schema, you’ll be sending a much higher quality signal to Google and other search engines about the relevance and authority of your business location.
There’s many other steps and techniques that I did not discuss in the article. As I mentioned, I prefer the long term, higher quality approach to getting my clients to letter A in Google Maps and ensuring that stay there indefinitely.
But for those who are looking to get fast rankings in Google Maps and can’t wait for the long term approach… this article is for you!
Definitely let me know how it goes with your business after implementing some of these techniques to increase your Google Maps rankings fast. And as always, let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.