Everyone is out there to win. This means that your competition doesn’t throw you a bone, they’ll also steal it from you with no second thought. While this may make you want to steal it back, consider doing something even better: out-ranking them — literally — on Google Maps. You can improve your Google map rank easier than you think, and it’s going to be the best way to get those customers that you deserve. The trick is to make sure that you are focusing on the right details.
Why ranking on Google Maps is important.
No one uses Google Maps when searching, so why focus on ranking better, right? Wrong. Part of arguably the leading search engine in the Western world, Google Maps is critical to focus on, and it’s often a tool that most website creators skip over in favor of more traditional SEO and its use in meta tags. However, getting your ranking higher on Google Maps is going to be often better and easier than traditional SEO, especially when it comes to beating out the other local guy that wants the same customers. Here’s why.
• Searchers are on their phones: When interested customers are searching for you, they tend to be on their phones. Google connects phones with “on the go,” and this means that they will list local options in order of proximity and focus keyword.
So, if you have a business for the keyword of “bathing suits” and you are 2 KM away, as opposed to a competition which is 6 KM away, you will show up first. There are other factors, of course (more on that later), but mobile searches mean proximity-based results are critical.
• Google knows that proximity is vital: Google wants to make sure that users keep coming back. When they show the options and the user likes the first or second one, they’ll keep listing that option when similar keywords are used. They also know that users want the closest options in terms of geographic location, so having a location that is close to the customer will win you a better ranking, and it may also help win you a customer, too, that otherwise may not have even known you were in business.
• Your competition is already using it: The reality is that anyone who is experienced with SEO and rankings knows about this trick, so make sure that you put yourself in the running by getting your Google Maps listing to show up. If your competition doesn’t happen to be using it, then that’s even better! It will get you a few strides ahead of them when they do decide to set up a listing for themselves later.
• It’s an easy way to boost SEO: Additionally, this doesn’t interrupt your SEO with content and meta and title tags, etc. It simply enhances it, and it will improve your search ranking in search engines overall. This includes those engines that don’t even feed off of Google.
The ranking is ranking, and it does take all sorts of inputs to help get yours as high as possible. So, there is no loss by making sure that you’ve got Google Maps enabled.
How to improve your Google Map rank
If you’re finding that your Google Maps listing won’t show up or you don’t think that your business will show up on Google Maps period, here are some tips to help you get your chances as high as possible:
• Claim and verify your business: Most businesses are already on Google Maps (surprise!) so search your business using its street address and then claim it and verify it as instructed. Are you searching in vain and finding yourself thinking: the company won’t show up on Google Maps with the address!”, that’s because you may not have entered the street address in. Try searching the business name instead. If nothing shows up even when you type in your business name, you can create one manually.
• Enter all the fields they ask for: There are all sorts of fields to fill out on your business’ profile. From hours to the description to Q and A, fill them all out, keep it close in focus to what you use on your website, etc.
Consistency is key! The more content that you have on there, the better Google will like you, too.
• Match your name and logos across your platforms: From business name and spelling to the logos and mottos that you use, always double-check that it is consistent across all of the platforms that you use.
This will make sure that it doesn’t alienate your customers if they check you out on social media and see different or conflicting information.
• Update information and hours: As changes are needed, update information on your Google Maps listing as well as the hours. It’s also an excellent idea to consider adding in another set of hours specifically for holidays. Since a lot of the competitors don’t often think of doing that, it’s a great way to satisfy your customer’s needs for accuracy and give you a visit.
• Encourage reviews: Another factor in improving your ranking on Google Maps as well as making sure that your listing even beats out some of the other options is to encourage customers to leave positive reviews on Google. This will factor into the ranking system, and it’s also more content!
There are many people who, without filling out the blanks and sections, can’t get their business to show up on Google Maps. While it doesn’t seem like the logical thing to do when you want to reach people through standard search results, the reality is very different.
Focusing time and attention on Google Maps and its space on the search engine results screen is only going to help you. Put the time and effort into it, and it’ll prove it to you one search at a time!