Did you know that your Google Maps listing helps your business get discovered by potential customers, stay ahead of competitors, and generate more business- all for free?
Google maps is a crucial marketing tool for your business. However, you must make sure that your listing has strong visibility. Remember, simply having your business listed in an area does not mean Google will rank you automatically for searches in that area. Proximity is just one of the factors Google Maps consider while ranking business listings.
In this post, we have shared 10 strategies or ways to get your Google Maps listing to rank higher in the results.
Why should you rank higher on Google Maps?
According to research, 67% of consumers prefer Google Maps as their navigation app. And consumers always look at the first few results when looking for a place. So, it is crucial to ensure that your Google Maps listing is optimized to show up first for relevant searches.
Additionally, the research reveals that most consumers use Google Maps business listings from a keyword search more often than from a business name search.
Another important reason to rank higher on Google Maps is that the top three Google Maps listings may also be displayed in regular Google Search results. With 46% of searches on Google with local intent, showing up in the top three can significantly improve the visibility of your business. Apart from this, ranking higher on Google Maps will also provide multiple ways for consumers to engage with your business.
So, considering all these points, it is important that you rank for high on Google Maps for terms that your potential customers are searching for.
How to list and claim your listing on Google Map?
1. Add your business in Google maps
The first step is to have a Google Maps listing. Here’s how you can add your business to Google Maps.
a) Open Google.com/maps or Google Maps app on your smartphone and search for your business name.
b) If your business name appears in the drop-down menu with a location next to it, it means you have a listing! You can skip the next step.
c) If you don’t find your business name, you will see an option “add a missing place” in the drop-down menu. After you click that, you will be prompted to provide your name, location, and category.
Do note, that anybody can add a business to Google Maps. So, even if you haven’t done so, it's important to check and make sure your business listing doesn’t already exist.
Also, no matter who adds your business to Google Maps, he does not have control over that listing. Only the one who claims the listing by proving ownership of the business has control over that listing.
2. Claim your listing
After creating your listing, the next step is to claim your listing. When you claim your listing, you can provide more details about your business. The more information your business listing contains, the higher it will rank on Google Maps.
To claim your business listing, you must have a free Google My Business account. If you already have an account, you can simply pull up your Google Maps listing, select the option “Claim this business” or “Own this business?” and follow the steps.
3. Add information to your Google Map listing
Once you have a Google Maps business listing that is linked with a Google My Business account, you can optimize it for higher ranking in local search results. As mentioned earlier, the more information your listing provides, the higher it will rank. Log in to your Google My Business account, to add more information to your listing.
You will see a dashboard with several tabs down the side. Click on the “info” tab. It includes your name, address, category, service area, working hours, phone number, website, attributes, and description.
To optimize these for higher ranking on Google Maps do the following;
Make sure your business name in your Google My Business dashboard is exactly the same as your business name and not with any variation. Also, make sure that your name is identical across your website, Facebook profile, Yelp listing, etc.
Use a local telephone number rather than a toll-free number as these numbers are frequently used for spam
Use your tracked number (if you use call tracking) as your primary business phone number and your main number as your secondary number. While you can see the efficacy of your listing via the calls coming in through the tracked line, Google can match your number with the one on your website and other listings with the main number still in your listing.
Update your hours and tell users if your business is open, closed or opening or closing soon. This will update signals to Google that you are active and therefore, trustworthy.
Write a business description in such a way that it should help orient visitors as well as compel searchers. Make sure to include keywords in your description as it will help your business listing on Google Maps to rank for searches that contain your business name as well as for your products and services.
Choose a category that best represents the core offering of your business. While you cannot custom categories, you will see a drop-down menu of possible categories to choose from as you begin typing your main offering into the box.
4. Add photos to your listing
When you upload photos to your listing, you signal Google that you are an active listing worthy of ranking higher in results. Also, as Google’s photo recognition technology is advancing, it is starting to show images in local search results. Additionally, as an SEO thumb rule, Google loves what users love and users love photos.
Make sure to upload high-quality photos to your business listing that tells a lot about your business. To upload photos, go to the “Photos” tab in your Google My Business dashboard and click on the blue circle with a white plus sign. You will then be able to drag and drop several photos and videos at once. Try to add at least one new photo every day.
5. Get reviews from Google
Google Maps gives higher rankings to businesses listings with positive reviews. When you create a business listing on Google Maps, it automatically opens your business up to reviews.
Though the reviews open up automatically, you will have be proactive in asking for them and also respond to them. This encourages more positive reviews and mitigates the damage of negative reviews. Also, your responses will help other prospects understand how well you resolve your customers’ issues.
There’s no denying that reviews can be scary. Unless your service is absolutely atrocious, bad reviews tend to be few. However, if you respond promptly, you can mitigate and sometimes even reverse the damage of a negative review.
6. Remove any duplicate Google Maps listing
Remember Google will discredit businesses having multiple phone numbers or locations listed for one business, it is important to delete any duplicate listings and superfluous information to ensure that your true listing will rank.
7. Post consistently to your Google Maps listing
You can publish posts right on your Google Maps business listing. By posting regularly, you send signals to Google that you are proactive and it considers when ranking. Also, when consumers are on search engines, it means they are genuinely interested, so via Google posts, you can get your offers in front of the already existing audience.
How to rank higher on Google Maps?
Once you have claimed your business listing, you need to perform some optimizations on your website to gain a higher Google Maps ranking.
8.Ensure that your website is responsive
Firstly, make sure that your website is responsive. This is important because Google Maps business listings contain a link to your website and also because 60% of Google searches occur on mobile devices. If your website has broken links, loads slowly or requires zooming and pinching, your Google Maps ranking will suffer.
9. Include local keywords to your website
Another great way to use your website to boost your Google Maps ranking is to use local search. While this may help you rank higher in Google Search, it may also influence your Google Maps business listing ranks. So, make sure to include local keywords to the main pages of your site such as About Us page, Homepage, Contact Us page, Products, and Services page, and even blog posts. Don’t limit keywords to only headings, body text, captions, image tags, and URLs.
By helping understand Google through your website that you are prominent in your area can send signals to Google that you are credible and worthy of higher rankings to your business listing on Google Maps as well.
10. Add a Google Map in your website
Embed a Google Map on your website especially on your “contact us” page to boost your rankings. A map will let Google know that your business is located where your listing says it is. Use the same address that you have on your Google Maps listing.
Steps to embed a Google Map on your website;
Find your business name in Google Maps
Click on “Share” in your listing
Select “Embed a map” tab
Copy and paste the link on your business’s contact page
As business listings on Google Maps are becoming more advanced, they are helping consumers get information quickly. This enables them to make informed purchasing decisions. Use the tips in this post to get your business at the top of Google Maps.