Just like with normal search results, the top-ranking spots for Google Maps searches are highly coveted places to be, as few users are likely to look further than the first page. Getting into the top three results can work wonders for your business as the exposure you gain is priceless – especially if you have a small business with limited reach.
The good news is that getting there is as simple as following a few proven steps that should, at the very least, bring your business much further up in the rankings. Depending on factors such as location and your type of business, it could even bring you to the very top.
While many of your chances are based on the proximity of your business to users, Google does factor in a number of other calculations into its considerations. In this post, we’ll take a look at seven actionable proven steps that you can take today in order to increase your Google Maps rankings. Let’s dive right in.
1. Verify Your Information
It’s important to ensure that all your information is correctly displayed in Google’s listing of your business. This includes contact information such as your name, address, and telephone number, as well as a link to your website. Adding your business hours acts as a motivating factor for customers when they are considering visiting you.
Google discredits businesses that provide inaccurate or duplicate information, so be sure that yours is consistent. Adding relevant keywords to your Google My Business name will help customers reach your business when searching for the products or services you offer.
2. Make Use of Local Citation Building
Citing your business name and contact details to as many relevant locations as possible will increase your exposure and put your information before a larger audience of people. Additionally, search engines will favor your business for your increased presence on the web.
With a local citation building service such as Loganix, your business information will be carefully submitted to not only local business directories, but also social media, video, and image websites. Their Strategic Layered Citations method will create a custom campaign with relevant citations that are made with your competition in mind.
3. Ensure That Your Categories are Accurate and Comprehensive
While Google My Business does try to automatically categorize your business into what it thinks is relevant, it’s not always completely accurate. Your primary category should be as close to the main keyword that you’re trying to rank as possible. Additional categories should be as comprehensive as possible and related to your other keywords.
In the same light, be sure to include relevant SEO keywords in your business description. Google Maps doesn’t allow for a particularly high word count here, so it’s important to make your description as effective and relevant as possible. Avoid superfluous terms such as “great prices on the best foods” and rather use “Affordable food store in New York.”
4. Make it Easy for Customers to Review Your Business
Reviews are extremely important for the performance of your business, not only in the customer’s eyes but also in Google’s ranking factors. To make it easier for customers to review your business, add a review plugin into your website. Just be sure not to pour in too many reviews at once, as Google will flag this as suspicious.
It also pays to be as helpful as possible when responding to customer reviews. You’ll inevitably get some bad ones, but if users can see that you’re taking the initiative to help unhappy customers, their perception of your business will completely change.
5. Pay Attention to Your Website
Because a business’s website seems detached from their Google My Business page, many people tend to overlook this factor when working on their Google Maps ranking. However, having good SEO, a proper user interface, and accurate contact information will go a long way. Let’s take a look at each of these factors:
SEO: There are a number of things to consider here. The landing page you link to on your Google Maps listing should include properly placed keywords, geotagged images, and at least 1,000 words of information. You should also include outbound links to authoritative websites, as well as internal links with matching anchor texts to your keywords.
User Interface: For the sake of not only search engines but also your Google Maps ranking, your website needs to have good loading speeds and a mobile-friendly interface. This also helps with potentially increasing conversations and lowering bounce rates.
Contact Information: You should include the same name, address, and phone number details that are on your Google Maps page. Be sure to use proper schema markup and embed it into Google Maps. Google’s structured data testing tool can help you with this.
6. Include Photos in Your Listing
Adding a photo to your Google Maps listing is a great way to help your business stand out. It also helps customers, as your business looks more legitimate. If your brick and mortar store looks attractive, it could further push customers to pay you a visit.
Include a good photo that’s on your website and add as many additional photos as possible to entice customers. If you don’t take these steps, Google will add a generic image onto your business listing – which is far from attractive. Here are some tips on how to take proper photos of your business.
7. Use the Right Telephone Number
Toll-free numbers such as 800 and 877 are often used for spam, which is why Google doesn’t like when they’re used for businesses. Instead, use a local number that shows your business has a legitimate brick and mortar location in the right area. If the number matches the location of your business, Google will rank it higher.
Correctly making use of all these methods for your Google Maps listing will not only help you rank higher in search results, but also give your business a better-looking, more authoritative presence on the internet. This will help you gain a good reputation among your target market and bring your business one step closer to success.