Google Maps allows users to, “get real-time GPS navigation, traffic, and transit info, and explore local neighborhoods by knowing where to eat, drink and go – no matter what part of the world you’re in.” Google Maps has become one of the top resources for people to find local businesses and new places, and in typical Google fashion, only the most valuable, relatable businesses will appear first.
Ranking well on Google Maps will bring a plethora of benefits to your business, with one of them being one of the first search results for search queries. Here are some helpful tips to help you rank higher on Google Maps.
Have a Solid Organic Google Ranking
Google Map rankings are based on several factors, but your site’s overall ranking in Google plays a significant role in Google Maps. Make sure you can do whatever you can to make sure your website is as optimized as possible before focusing on Google Maps.
Claim Your Map Listing
A good second place to start when it comes to Google Maps is to add or claim your map listing if you haven’t already. To do this:
- Search for your business in Maps.
- If it appears, claim the listing.
- If it doesn’t appear, add it as a place to Maps and then claim the listing.
To properly claim your business and make edits and additions to rank higher, you’ll need a Google My Business (GMB) account.
Thoroughly Complete Your Google My Business Listing
This is going to be your best chance to improve your Google Maps ratings, so make sure to complete this listing as thoroughly as possible. The more information you can give Google, the more the search engine can supply its searchers, which will turn into improved rankings.
Whether you have a GMB listing or not, here are the key areas that need your focus and attention in Google My Business:
- Phone number: If possible, do not use a toll-free number or a tracked number, as they can be marked as spam or hurt your rankings. Use a local telephone number with the area code of your location. This will verify your location and help your brick-and-mortar store.
- Business hours: Keep these as updated as possible, including holiday hours.
- Listing description: Aim to optimize this description with local SEO keywords. For example, if you’re a bakery in Atlanta, say, “Atlanta bakery offering fresh baked goods” instead of “offering fresh cakes and cookies daily.”
- Business category: This is one of the most critical sections in GMB, as it will help Google compare your category information from all over the Web to confirm it.
- Images: This will help you stand out against other businesses in your category. Add high-quality photos that show what it’s like at your business during operating hours.
Ask for Google Reviews from Your Customers
- Go to your Google Maps listing
- Click “more information” and copy the direct link you find there
One important thing to keep in mind: once you allow people to review your business, you will not have control over what people say. That being said, unless you have a terrible business (which of course you don’t), there will be very few bad reviews. You can also respond directly to these negative reviews to woo your customers back.
To start, ask a few loyal, happy customers to leave a review. A few of these will give you the boost you need to be in Google Maps’ good graces.
Ranking higher on Google Maps will take some time and effort, but we believe it’s well worth it!
If you have questions about Google Maps or ranking higher on Google, contact the GreenMellen team today!