How To Rank Your Business On Google Maps
GMB, or Google Maps Business Listings, is one of the most underutilized resources for local businesses. In today’s world, it’s not only important to have one, but it’s necessary to optimize and maintain it as well.
If you own a business and you care about being seen online in the specific city in which your business is located, then it is imperative to have your business show up in Google Maps. For sure, you have read about a lot of articles teaching you how to be in the top 10, but here, we’ll teach you simple but very important steps on how you might be able to rank even on the top three.
- Get A Google Maps Listing
In order to even be in any of the Maps results your business MUST have a Google My Business listing associated with your business or you CANNOT be listed in the maps results. It is possible to have a Maps result if your business did not create a Google My Business listing yourself, as Google may have created one for you if Google knows your business exists. If you have never created a Google My Business listing but see one show up for your business then you need to “claim it” to obtain control over the listing.
I’m not going to go too deep into creating a GMB listing. Once you start the process it’s pretty straight forward. Here’s a link to get it done: https://www.google.com/business/
- Optimize Your Listing
It’s time to finish your listing now that you’ve generated it. It’s rather straightforward. Just be certain that all of the information is correct. Make sure there’s anything in there if there’s a place to enter information! This may be done by selecting Info from the left-hand control panel.
You’ll see a lot of pencils when you go to the information page. To make changes to your business information, click the pencils. It’s vital to double-check if the data is correct. Google is continually scouring the internet for any reference of your company. If the information on several websites is inconsistent, Google gets confused where to position you in the search results.
Tip: Your business information found on the rest of the web (citations) should match your Google Listing in order to get the best rank possible.
- Make Sure The Important Details Are Correct
Google Maps Categories
Make sure your categories are in order. The first one should be your main category, but there’s room to add more. Don’t pick something that isn’t relevant. Go through the list and add any that are relevant to your offering. Another thing to note is that it’s good practice to include these exact category names on the headers of your website. Remember, we want Google to find consistent information about your business no matter where it looks.
GMB Address Section
As of July 24th, 2018, we have been seeing more and more GMB Listings showing in the top three without showing a physical address. So, it’s up to you whether you want to put a physical address or not. You could try not having one and see how you do. If you aren’t where you want to be, add an address and see if it helps.
A new addition to GMB is the Services Section. That means if you fill yours out completely you could gain an edge on your competition who hasn’t noticed this yet.
The services section is your chance to show people what you have to offer. It’s good practice to throw in some copywriting and write about your products from the perspective of your customers. Tell them what the items are and what they will do.
Go ahead and fill in your service hours, website, and any other spots you can input your info. Definitely, don’t forget to write a good description! This section should be customer focused meaning try and write it from your customers perspective. How does your product help them or change their life?
- What You Can Do From Here
If you’ve completed all of the steps up to this point, you’re in excellent condition. You’ve now laid the groundwork for getting your Google Listing to the top. Give it a day or two and conduct some searches in your city for your product or service. Where does your ad appear? Every time we check, we’d make a note of where the listing is. We want to know when it moves so we can find out why and take steps to help it climb the rankings. Aside from doing the first three steps above, here are the next stops on how you can elevate or maintain your ranking:
- Ask every customer you please to give you a good review.
- Create a Google Website for your business. (button found in GMB menu)
- Create a Google+ account
- Add tons of pictures to your GMB listing
- Post regularly on your GMB with offers, valuable content, or whatever you see fit and share these posts on your Google+ and Facebook pages
- Perhaps the most important thing you can do is structure your website pages properly to reflect your GMB categories and build more pages to grow the topical relevance of your website. Once your website is more relevant than your competition’s you will be on top!
But hey, don’t worry! If you haven’t figured everything out yet, we offer affordable local SEO services for local business owners like who may or may not know things about how Google Maps Business Listings works!
Best Local SEO Tools: Why It’s So Important To Your Business
Search engines play an critical role in online search as more than half of all visitors to websites tend to arrive there from a search engine and 91% of users report that they always or most of the time find the information they are seeking when they use search engines. Therefore, optimizing the business website to improve its ranking in the search engine result page (SERP) is crucial for today’s businesses.
Aside from that, a recent survey indicates that many users believe that companies whose websites appear at the top of SERPs are the top companies in that field. Research has also shown that users do not look past the first two or three pages of the result set. In this digital age, anyone can make a website for their own website. But, the more daunting task lies in making the website visible to potential customers. If businesses are not marketed strategically in the digital age, they could be left behind in the global marketplace. Thus, the need for local search engine optimization.
Local search engine optimization is a part of search engine optimization (or SEO) that focuses on improving a local business’ visibility in local search engine results. The results that appear in local search results typically answer a “near me” intended question, meaning that a searcher is searching for something “in [CITY]”—or the search engine has understood that there were geographic constraints to the search. By using local search optimization strategies, businesses can improve their visibility in these local search results for terms related to their business and their products or services. With the right SEO tools, unknown small companies can appear ahead of large, well-known companies.
Georanker has a unique feature that tracks the ranking of websites by multiple locations across the world. It displays this information through heat maps with distinct colors to show locations where the website ranks high.
Users can utilize this information while planning targeted campaigns to improve or maintain this ranking. The local rank tracker shows users the exact position of their targeted locations. It also has a citation tool that allows users to determine the sources of the citations their competitors use.
- Semrush Listing Management Tool
The Listing Management tool makes it easier than ever to add and update your business data to the most prominent directories within and outside of the US. Once your listings are live, you can use the tool to track and make updates to them to ensure they remain accurate and unified across platforms.
This comprehensive local SEO tool also allows you to monitor customer reviews, how well your business ranks in your target city, and your current local search performance across your target cities. You can even configure the tool to send you location reports via email, so you can stay on track without having to log into the tool.
- Keyword Tool
Keywordtool is a great place to start doing localized keyword research for smaller businesses, as well as businesses who already have a multi-pronged digital strategy. It works well across platforms, and has keyword data specific to Amazon, YouTube, eBay, Instagram, and more.
If you’re only looking to monitor Google rankings (or any other data specific to Google Maps/Google My Business), this probably isn’t the tool for you. But Keywordtool’s ability to drill down on keyword and search volume data and filter it by city (with a fair amount of smaller towns and cities included) is what makes this tool great. We recommend using it to find related terms when you’re doing initial research on a locale.
- Local SEO Checklist
A good place to start if you want to learn about the basic elements of a complete local SEO strategy is localSEOchecklist. Here you will find subpages on a huge range of website fixes to help you understand exactly what is necessary when improving your chances of being found by local customers online.
And the best part is it’s completely free!
This website is great for those business owners who find it beneficial to understand exactly what changes need to be made to their existing site. Even if your technical SEO knowledge is limited, this will at least explain the fundamentals that need to be addressed before you ask a local SEO team to make improvements to your site. If you’re feeling particularly diligent you can even tick off each point using the localSEOchecklist as a benchmark.
Do you have active competitors who are also trying to stay ahead when it comes to local SEO? You need a tool that will tell you where you need to stay competitive. BrightLocal is one of the best tools that will simultaneously help you improve your own local SEO strategy, alongside identifying your competitor’s rankings on all major search engines, so you can make sure you stay ahead.
BrightLocal comes with many tools to make it easier for you to improve your local SEO strategy including local search rankings monitoring, citation locator and building, a local search audit, customisable SEO reports and a local SEO dashboard to review your current status.
With a collection of tools at your disposal, you can easily maintain your local SEO strategy while also fine-tuning your online listings. While these tools might help you identify current difficulties with your online listings, it’s typically more beneficial to hire a team of specialists to handle your continuing approach.
Local SEO For Small Businesses: Ways to Drive Traffic With Google My Business
If you are a local business that wants to get noticed in search engines and generate more customers, you have to understand Local SEO. Without a Local SEO plan in place your business will not be able to take advantage of the local online demand for your products or services.
Local SEO is a branch of SEO that specifically deals with search engine optimization for local businesses. Undertaking an effective Local SEO campaign will allow your business to appear on Page 1 of Google’s search engine results pages, both in the “Map Pack” and the “Organic Listings”. Aside from that, local SEO specifically helps you optimize your business for people searching from a nearby location.
One of the beauties of digital marketing is that, it allows you to mix and match, and combines strategies and tools. Nowadays, if you have a business and an existing website you can save big time in marketing as we can integrate local SEO and Google My Business. If you have a business – and your business has a website – then Google always needs to be on your radar. It’s the key to getting people to visit (and book) on your site – and armed with a few key tips, you can get the most out of your online presence. Ultimately, these are the kind of actions that make the difference between guests making a booking and simply never knowing you existed.
Here are our tips for making the most of your Google My Business listing.
- Optimize Your GMB Listing
Putting the basic information on your GMB page is fantastic, but it’s just the first step. If you want to stand out from competitors, you need to optimise your profile to help Google and searchers understand more about your business.
Put it this way, the more Google knows about you, the more types of searches your listing will show up in, and the more people will see what you have to offer.
- Write A Short But Concise Business Description
Last year, Google announced that you can now include a business description on your Google My Business listing. Make sure that you write your business description in a way that puts the most important information, keywords and your location near the start of the description. Especially because, while you’re allowed 750 characters, only 250 characters show up before they get cut off.
Google reviews your business description before it’s published, so stick to the rules laid out in its Google Business Description Guidelines.
- Add Photos That Show Off Your Business
According to Google itself, businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their website than businesses that don’t have photos.
So, what type of photos are we talking about?
Cover Photo – Your cover photo is one of the most important, as it shows upfront and centre on your listing. This will be the hero photo on your Google My Business listing, so make sure it shows your business in the best light.
Profile – This will appear when you review responses, post videos and more (like your social media avatar).
Products – Showcase your goods so customers are attracted to find out more. If you can, hire a professional photographer to take a good picture of your products.
Inside Your Business – Show off the inside of your store/restaurant/office and your employees.
Shopfront – Use external pictures of your business at different times of the day. Make sure the business name and logo are visible.
Tip: When adding photos, stick to JPG or PNG files, at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels high. Remember to name them in a way that describes what they are, e.g. jollibee-shopfront-toronto.jpg
- Don’t Forget To Add Videos
We already know that the best performing content, in terms of engagement, across every industry and every geography is short-form video (less than two minutes) — according to research performed by Altimeter.
Adding videos to your GMB listing will likely impact your ranking and allow you to connect with customers on a whole new level.
Here are some of the contents that you can make as a video: Show off your sales floor, restaurant or products to give people a feel for your business before they visit. Videos can be up to 30 seconds, which is just enough time to grab people’s attention and get them wanting more.
The important thing is to make sure your videos are filmed at the place of business. In other words, leave the stock footage on the cutting room floor.
Warning: Google can and will remove videos if the primary subject of the content is not related to the business location.
- Create Engaging And Relevant Content
Another relatively new feature on GMB is Posts. Think of them as social media posts, except they show up in your Google My Business listing on a Google search.
This is where you can really begin to target your audience, zone in on keywords and build the authority of your listing.
6. Respond To Client Reviews
The power of online reviews is no secret. Online reviews impact search result rankings, consumer trust, click-through rates and conversions. Just like on Facebook, the reviews on your Google My Listing page can be a deciding factor in whether or not a user engages with your brand.
Now, you can ask your customers for reviews, so long as you follow Google’s guidelines for Google My Business reviews. Just be wary that if you break the rules, your reviews could be removed. But getting reviews is only the beginning. You need to respond to reviews too – all of them, good and bad. Not only does it show the reviewer that you appreciate their feedback, it also shows potential customers that you care.
Also we recommend downloading the Google My Business app, which lets you quickly answer any question that could come up on your listing or respond to any reviews. Plus, the Google My Business app gives you full access to the Google My Business dashboard, letting you make any changes to anything from your business name, cover photo, and more.
By completing all these steps on a regular basis across all your business listings, you’ll not only provide an easy way for customers to find your business via local search, but you’ll also score yourself a consistent way to ultimately make more sales.