Explaining Google Maps Ranking Factors

About 46% of all Google searches are local searches. Appearing on Google Maps can help you gain more online visibility and attract new customers to your store. To rank in Google Maps, however, you’ll need to understand the top Google Maps ranking factors.

Here are the top factors that can impact your ranking in Google Maps. Reviewing these factors will help you update your SEO strategy. You can start improving your rankings to appear in front of even more customers online. 

Get on the map by learning more about Google Maps and local SEO today!

Google My Business

First, it’s important to recognize that the Google Map and local algorithm works differently than Google’s general search engine algorithm. For example, Google’s local algorithm considers:

  • Proximity
  • Relevance
  • Prominence

Proximity considers how close the search engine user is to the local business. Relevance considers how closely the listing matches the search engine user’s query and search intent. Prominence considers the business’s popularity and authority. 

Understanding Google’s local search algorithm can help you optimize your Google Business listing.

When a consumer searches for local businesses relevant to yours, your Google Business profile might appear on the search engine results page (SERP). Your profile will take up prominent space on the page, helping you generate more brand visibility. The consumer can check your profile to determine your business:

  • Name
  • Directions/location
  • Phone number
  • Hours
  • Business category/subcategory
  • Customer reviews
  • Website
  • Photos and videos
  • Recent updates

First, make sure all the information on your Google Business listing is 100% accurate. The information on your profile should match what appears on your website exactly. Use the same abbreviations (such as “St.” versus “Street).

Google will compare your website contact information to what appears on your Google Business profile to determine its accuracy.

Determine if your business appears on any other online directories as well. Confirm the information is accurate and matches what appears on your site. Otherwise, consider citation cleanup services.

Fresh Content

It’s not enough to optimize your Google Business listing once.

Google will reward active businesses by granting them higher visibility on Google Maps. As a result, it helps to post regular updates and content to your listing.

First, consider posting updates on your profile. For example, you can let customers know you have an upcoming event, sale, or special offer. Consider posting general business updates.

Make sure to let consumers know if your business hours are changing for a holiday.

Otherwise, share your blog content to encourage engagement. Share a link to your website to generate more traffic, too.

Post new photos and videos as well. For example, you can show off a new product, share a video from your team, or show off your storefront. 

Backlinks are one of Google’s top ranking factors. They appear on other websites before directing consumers to your local business. Generating links from local businesses can show consumers other organizations trust and support your brand.

You can improve your rank in Google Maps by generating local links. Generating links can help new customers discover your business. You can also generate more referral traffic, which can boost your rankings.

Consider talking to businesses you already have a professional relationship with. You can gain a backlink by writing a guest blog for their site. Consider offering a testimonial in exchange for a link, too. 


Ask your customers to share their thoughts, comments, and reviews on your Google Business profile. Remember, it’s important to keep your profile fresh with new content. Customer reviews can boost your brand’s online reputation and credibility, too.

For example, reviews can offer consumers a better customer experience. Reviews work as social proof. They can help customers manage their expectations regarding your business.

They can also help customers determine if they should visit your store or trust your brand.

Google understands and prioritizes the consumer desire to read reviews before trusting local businesses. As a result, it factors reviews heavily when determining your Google Maps ranking.

It’s not enough to generate reviews once a year, though. Google considers:

  • The context of the review
  • Whether the review includes a star rating
  • The business’s overall star rating
  • The consistency of reviews
  • Overall review sentiment

Keep generating reviews throughout the year. If you receive negative reviews, don’t delete them. Instead, respond and try to find a solution for the customer.

Responding and offering a solution will show new customers you care about their experience with your business. 

On-Page Optimization

Remember, Google will review your website to confirm it matches your Google Business profile. Make sure your name, address, and phone number are accurate and up-to-date. Improve your on-page optimization by using relevant target keywords.

Otherwise, consider your schema markup and structured data.

Local Schema allows businesses to wrap code around content to help Google crawl and index their websites. Google will have an easier time validating your location, which can help you rank in Google Maps. 

Consider embedding a Google Map on your Contact Us page as well. 

Behavioral Factors

You can also improve your Google Maps ranking by encouraging more engagement. 

Consider how consumers interact with your profile, site, and content. Google reviews your:

  • Clickthrough rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Mobile click-to-call rate

A high clickthrough rate indicates people are clicking on your SERP listings to find your content. Improve your SEO titles and meta descriptions to encourage more clicks. 

A high bounce rate can indicate website visitors are leaving without exploring additional pages because of a bad online experience. Improving the user experience on your website could help improve these metrics. Make sure you’re following Google’s Core Web Vitals as you make changes. 

Get on the Map: Apply These Google Maps Ranking Factors Today

Improving your Google Maps ranking can help you appear in front of local consumers. Use these tips to give your business a boost. A stronger Google Maps ranking could help you generate more business in the new year.

Watch your ranking and ROI rise with these local SEO tips today!

Need help improving your Google Maps ranking? We’re happy to lend a hand. 

Schedule a strategy call with our local SEO experts today to get started. 

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