10 Key Steps To Achieve A Higher Google Maps Ranking.

Wakas Javed

Put your business on the map and get more customers. Follow these top 10 tips to optimize your GBP and become more visible on Google Maps.

You’re looking for a place to have lunch in an unfamiliar area or you need a mechanic to help you with an unexpected flat tire.

Where are you looking?

If you have answered Google Maps, you are not alone.

Today, many of us use Google Maps to find local businesses and make more informed purchasing decisions.

1- Claim Google Business Profile And Update It

The first important step in creating visibility on Google Maps is claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP – formerly known as Google My Business or GMB).

You can do this simply by searching for your business name on Google or Google Maps and verifying your listing if you haven’t already.

Now that you have a listing and are logged into your Google account, you can even edit it directly from the search results.

As a Google property, GBP provides Google with a basic signal that your business exists – and the information here is believed to be accurate and current.

Google will cross verify these details to those found on your site and other local directories and resources.

2- Post Related Content Including Photos

Once you claim for GBP registration, your work is only partially completed.

Google rewards active businesses with more visibility on Google Maps, so it’s important to post regular updates to your GBP profile.

These updates can and should contain hosted events, special offers, links to relevant blog posts, or general business updates.

Whenever possible, you should also include photos in your updates, as visual elements are more likely to increase viewer engagement in terms of shares or clicks.

You should also include a link in your post, ideally to the main product or service page on your site.

3- Your Web Presence For Local Organic Search Must Optimize.

If you want to rank well on Google Maps, you need to make sure your online presence, including your website and external content, is optimized for your local audience.

You can start by conducting a local SEO audit to determine what your focus is on in terms of keywords, content and links – as these are the three main components on which a presence is based.

Your site should be well structured so that Google can easily crawl and index your content, and the content on your site should be keyword rich, locally targeted, intention driven and logical internal and external links to answer what your audience is looking for.

Google values ​​websites that direct searchers to answers in as few clicks as possible.

The website should also load quickly and provide smooth navigation regardless of the device.

This is especially important locally, as searchers are increasingly starting their searches from their phones.

4- Local Business Schema Use

When it comes to structuring content and business details in particular, Google and other search engines have adhered to standardization—which has led to the development of schema.

Local schema allows companies to compile code around their content to make it easier for Google to crawl and index.

The local business schema includes many of the same business details listed in the Google Company Profile, which Google naturally refers to.

The easier it is for Google to verify your location, the more likely your business will appear prominently on Google Maps.

5- Embed Google Map In Your Contact Page

While it doesn’t specifically state that embedding Google maps on your website is important for your Google Maps rankings, it’s not an exaggeration to assume that this is Google’s preferred format.

Moreover, Google can offer its searchers a consistent user experience, which should also be the goal of any business looking to keep its customers happy.

6- Get Customer Reviews And Respond To Them Efficiently.

Any business can build a GBP list, ensure their core business information is up to date, and publish highly relevant local content.

Another very important factor in determining whether and where a local business appears on Google Maps is customer reviews.

Google is very concerned about how many reviews your business receives and how actively you respond to those reviews, both positive and negative.

Naturally, every business wants to limit the number of negative reviews it receives, and any negative reviews must be dealt with quickly.

This can actually be a valuable way to demonstrate your company’s commitment to customer service.

While there are many places where customers can leave reviews online, including Facebook, Yelp, and other industry-specific review sites, GBP profile reviews will carry more weight in terms of Google Map rankings.

Consider proactively asking your customers for feedback immediately after successfully delivering a product or service, when a perceived positive experience is most important to their customers.

Services are available to automate review requests (via email or SMS) after certain customer actions are completed online or offline (e.g., appointments completed, invoices paid, etc.) and review management across multiple sources from a centralized control panel.

Automation can save a lot of time for local businesses who are busy and continue to provide positive feedback on a regular basis.

7- Update Your Local Citations/Listings With Your NAP

The three most important pieces of information for targeting your GBP, website across the web your name, address, and phone number or NAP.

It’s important to Google and your audience that your NAP is consistent and accurate across all of these sources.

These links to your business from third party websites are also known as citations.

To find your NAP and make sure to update it across all the platforms, you can start by simply searching for your business name and noting all the places where your business details exist.

Review each case and contact each directory or website owner to update this important contact information as needed.

There are also free and paid automated local listing services that allow you to identify and update your NAP from a central location along with other important business information such as website URLs, services, or even relevant images.

Backlinks, or inbound links, are effectively an extension of our NAP strategy, in which you look for relevant third-party local websites that link to pages on your main website.

Backlinks can validate your business from a local and product/service perspective.

If you store a list of links in a local directory, you must ensure that this list is in the correct category when the category option is offered.

Ideally, these links to your site are do-follow links, indicating that Google follows and identifies the source of the link to your content.

Most directories understand the value of “follow” links and therefore charge a fee for inclusion, but you should also look for ways to secure links from other unpaid sources, e.g. the websites of the relevant partner, industry or service organization.

9- Interact With Your Community

Just as Google values ​​activity in GBP, it also looks at how active the company is in its community to build its local presence and authority.

Businesses that are known to be associated with local service organizations (for example, chambers of commerce, charities, or sports groups), sponsor local events, or partner with other prominent local businesses are naturally considered part of a thriving community.

Engagement may include posting or promoting related content, e.g. Announcement of events, partner sites linked to these partner organizations and of course physical involvement and possible mention or linking in local news or other publications.

10- Pay Attention To SERP’s And Long Tail Keywords

If you want to optimize any aspect of your local web presence, you should monitor your progress in terms of whether and where you rank on Google Maps and regular search engine results pages (SERPs) based on the keywords you expect to be found.

You can perform your own manual Google search (preferably in incognito mode and as long as you’re not logged into a Google account), or you can choose from a variety of ranking monitoring tools, many of which allow you to selectively filter card ratings.

When selecting keywords to use, be sure to consider and include local identifiers and eligible keywords such as “near me”, “best”, and “available” — e.g. “best coffee shop in London” , “coffee shop near me”, or “affordable coffee shop “.

Three, four, and five keyword phrases like these are considered long tail, meaning they may not have significant local search volume — but that volume can grow, and any local business should focus on topics rather than related groups. Focus on keywords rather than chasing more competitive phrases.

Over time, as you truly build your company’s local authority, brief top rankings will follow.

Place Your Business On Google Maps

Now, with key points list in hand, go ahead and put your local business on the map.

Building your authority and expertise online isn’t all that different from in the real world, but it can take time, as it should in real relationships.

Google rewards companies that provide the best answers to their customers’ questions, deliver solid products and services, play an active role in the local community, get customers talking positively about them, and provide excellent customer service every time.

If this represents your business, go out and accomplish it.

Featured image: Henry Perks/Unsplash

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