What do you look for first when searching for a lunch spot or a place you want to visit? Definitely, it will be Google Maps. So many of us these days are using this to know about local businesses and to be updated before making decisions. So, how can a local business achieve a higher rank in such a place where the consumers are looking more into buying services and products?
So, here are ten steps for you to rank better and to have more traffic gain for you with more customers through Google Maps.
1. Have a Complete Business Profile on Google
Before you try to have a great place from Google Maps, you need to maintain a complete Google Business Profile with full optimizations done. In longer terms, this is called the GMP or GMB: Google My Business.
If you haven’t done it before, try searching for the name of your business on Google or Google Maps. Then you can verify the listing that you have made. When you log into the Google account, you can edit your listing, and it can even be done from search results.
GBP is a Google property, and it allows a signal to Google about your business by informing you that you exist there. The information here is considered to be up-to-date as well as accurate. Google uses this information with a cross-reference from your website, other resources, and local directories. So it finds the importance of them in a glance.
2. Content with Linked Posts
Once you are done with your GBP listing, your way to the ranking in Google Maps is already done. Most of the time, Google values the active businesses which have higher visibility in Google Maps, and it even rewards them. So, you need to pay attention to have updates on your GBP profile.
There might be some events, special offers, blog post links, or general updates on your business. It is most important to have photos here because it gives you more visibility, as a result, gives you great viewer engagement for the clicks as well as for the shares.
It is also recommended to have links with your service pages or to the primary products from the website for your posts.
3. Optimization of Web Presence
A higher rank in Google Maps will come with an assured web presence. So all your external content and the website needed to be optimized for the local audience. For this, you can conduct a local SEO audit, as it lets you know where you should focus on content, keywords, and links. Note that these are the major things that contribute directly to your presence.
A website needs to be structured well so that Google makes it easy to index the content as well as to crawl. And your contents should also be relevant, properly oriented, and optimized with keywords, internal links, and external links to provide answers to what the audience asks for.
Google usually rewards the websites which provide answers for the searchers within a few clicks. A website also needs to have smooth navigation and quick loading for whatever device the audience uses. This is very important in the aspects of locals because most of the audience is coming through the phones.
4. Use a Schema
Google, as well as the other search engines, are most likely to value standardization. This applies to content structuring, especially for the business details, and eventually leads to schema development.
A local scheme makes your business wrap code from content, making the index and crawls easier for Google. This scheme can cover so many business details from the GBP, and Google uses it as a cross-reference. When Google finds it easier to validate the location, your business will get a higher rank from Google Maps.
5. Include Google Maps in Contact Us Page
This is not mandatory, but if you do so, it can make a difference in your Google Maps ranking. Please note that this doesn’t say that Google likes this mandatory. Google can make the user experience consistent for the searchers, and this should be the same goal for a business. A business should always aim to please its customers in advance.
Almost all businesses are capable of creating GBP listings, and through that, they can make their business information up to date and have relevant content along with local content too. There is also another important factor for a local business to show them up in Google Maps. It is the customer reviews.
Google pays thorough attention to how many reviews there are for your business, and it also sees how you respond to these acts. It might be negative or positive, it doesn't matter; you need to respond to them actively.
Most of the time, businesses are trying to avoid negative reviews taken, and if there are negative reviews, they need to be dealt with quickly. It shows how committed you are to your customers.
There are many places where a customer can review you, like Facebook. But the reviews taken from the GBP profile matter most for the Google Maps ranking.
You need to ask your customers to leave reviews for you after you have delivered them a service or a product with a positive experience.
Some services can automate these review requests from text and email once you have completed an offline or certain customer action. It might be a completion of an appointment or some paid invoices. These will review management with a central dashboard through multiple sources. Automation saves a lot of time for a busy local business while ensuring a regular positive review flow.
7. Update Citations/Local Listings with MAP
The directional information for the website, on GBP as well as across the web, mostly relies on your Name, Address, and Phone Number. This is called NAP.
It is very important to have a consistent NAP for both the audience and Google, and it should be accurate through all the sources. These types of references for the business come from a third party called the citations.
Try searching your name of the business to see if the NAP is up to date, and note down all the places that appear with your business details. You can check these ones by one, see all directories, and ask other website owners to show your up-to-date info.
There are both paid and free services for automated local listings, and those allow you to update and identify your NAP with necessary business information. This might be your URL, relevant images, or the services, and these all can be updated using a single central location.
8. Local Backlinks
Inbound links, as well as backlinks, are very effective for the NAP strategy. Here you may have some relevant links from third-party local websites to your primary website. When you have some backlinks, it can validate the business from service, product, and local perspectives.
If your listings come with local directories links, you have to make sure that these listings are either in proper categories or not when there are category options available.
Generally, these links are called the follow links because Google is following as well as recognizing the source of the links to your content.
Since most of the directories know how valued these following links are, they are charging for them to be included, but you have to pay attention to secure links which are coming from non-paid sources. This can be a relevant industry, a partner, or a service organization site as well.
9. Community Engagement
Just like Google values GBP activity, it also sees how active you are in your business with its community. It sees how you establish authority as well as a local presence. Businesses have to come up with an engagement towards local service organizations, partnerships as well as local event sponsoring as it naturally makes it to be a part of a community.
Engagement will also come in the forms of publishing and link content promoting like event announcements, getting mentioned, linking in other publications, etc.
10. Concern about SERPs and Long Tail
If you need to optimize the local web presence in any term, then monitor your ranking progress in Google Maps. And you need to do the same for the search engine results pages considering your keywords.
You can have manual Google searchers where you log into the incognito mode without login into the Google account, or you can go for a set of rank monitoring tools. So you can filter out Map rankings.
When you are trying to go for a keyword, always make sure they are locally identified and make sure they are qualified. As an example, you can go for the terms best, near me, affordable, and so on. Three to five inclusions of these phrases are identified as long-tailed and have a significant volume for the local search. But you should note that these volumes are adding up, and any of the local businesses are advised to focus on more topical-related keyword groups than competitive phrases.
When you are established well in local authority, it is okay to go for short-tail top rankings.
11. Bonus (Weapons) for Google maps SEO
Having a higher rank in Google maps also means increasing the activity on your Google my business listing.
User activity is one of the most important Google maps ranking factor in 2023
Activity on your Google maps business listing is a very important SEO factor as MOZ report said. Indeed, the more activity your local business gets, the more Google will register your listing as the most relevant for a given keyword in a given location.
The more relevant your local business is, the higher your ranking will be
Which tool to generate activity on my Google listing?
To rank higher on Google maps and thus, boost your local ranking you have to consider the tool ClickSEO.
ClickSEO is an organic traffic generator specialized to boost the activity on your listing.
It will only take a few minutes to fill in your business name, the country of your business, and the city.
And ClickSEO will generate activity on your Google listing from real users using mobile IPs and residential proxies:
- Users will type your business name on Google, and click on your listing to increase organic searches from SERP to your local business
- Users will click on one of the 3 following buttons: Direction, Call, or Reviews to generate genuine activity
- Users will generate random activities and behavior on a daily basis
Putting the Business to the Google Map
So with that all, you can include the local business on Google Maps. Expertise online and establishing authority are similar to the real world. It may take time, just like other real relationships.
Google will always reward the business that provides the best answers for its loyal customers with solid products, questions, and services. By this, you can have an active role in the local community and allow customers to say nice things. This can be significantly achieved with a high level of customer service.