Did you know that more than three-quarters of internet users searching for local products purchase the day they search? The trick is to get potential customers to walk into your actual location after discovering your business on the web.
In order to accomplish this, you've got to know how to rank higher on Google Maps. This guide will empower you with three ways to help your business land in the 3-Pack--those top three listings in Google Maps.
If You Build It
It's not enough to just build a business. You have to market it, and your marketing needs to address your needs and your potential customers' needs.
How many folks look up local business locations using Google Maps? The answer: 86 percent. If you've got a brick-and-mortar, you need to know how to rank on Google maps.
Google Maps marketing can help your business climb in those rankings toward--and into--that 3-pack to help you get noticed by folks who are looking for your products in your area.
Google Maps optimization involves a bit of search engine optimization (SEO), so before we get into tactics you can try to boost your map listing, let's make sure we're all on the same page with SEO.
What Is SEO?
SEO helps search engines better understand how to rank your listing (for a website, local business, social media profiles, etc.) on the search engine results pages (SERP).
Where you rank on the SERP can have a direct correlation to the number of impressions you get (how often your listing appears to searchers).
The number of impressions you get can have a direct correlation to the number of click-throughs you get.
So the higher you rank, the more click-throughs you can get. The same goes for your map listing.
Keep reading to learn how to rank higher on Google Maps.
How to Rank Higher on Google Maps
Getting a good Google Maps placement isn't due to luck. It's due to having the right information, systems, and practices in place. That's what we're going to focus on in this guide.
Information Is The Foundation
If you're starting with the wrong information in your Google Map business listing, it can not only affect your placement but also the veracity of the data users receive. You don't want to send them to the wrong place, do you?
Your first job is to get on Google Maps and claim your listing. Once it's claimed, you need to complete your Google Business profile. This will include your NAP (name, address, phone) citation.
Make sure that the phone number is a local one, by the way. And it shouldn't be tracked, either.
Ensure that your business hours are accurate. People use Google to verify when you're open for shoppers or clients.
Make Sure All Systems Are Go
Once your business information is entered in your Google Business profile, you're ready to make sure your listing is ready to shine and operate to full capacity.
Your business description should be optimized. Maybe you entered a quick one when you set up your profile, but now is the time to get important keywords and local keywords in there.
Is your business categorized the right way? If not, you'll want to fix that so if users search for that category, they can find you when they're close to your business.
Make sure there are great photos of your business. Photographs engage searchers, and they can also help someone find you if they've never been to your business before and Google doesn't have a street view.
You'll want to check for duplicates. Duplicate listings, content, etc. is all bad news for SEO in most cases. A duplicate listing might have incorrect information that can confuse searchers.
Remember: Even if you have a good ranking, it can decrease if no one clicks on your listing.
The final set-up job you have is to make sure there's a Google Map on your website. You can embed this in a footer, on a contact page, on the about page...but it should be somewhere on your website.
Practice Makes 3-Pack
Practice doesn't really make perfect, so let's not kid ourselves. Nothing can attain perfection, but you can get one step closer if you get your business listed in the Google Maps 3-Pack.
There are three practices you simply must engage in to help reach this coveted spot:
Yes, we mentioned NAP listings already, but they apply in the practice section of our guide too, because you can have more than one. There are directories all over the internet for businesses, and you want to make sure your business's name, address, and phone are correctly listed across multiple directories.
Niche citations, aka local citations, mean that your business is listed in your industry. Are you a plumber? Then your business should be listed and mentioned as a plumbing service across the web.
Google reviews are important because they tell the search engine and other users that your business is the one to go to (and shop at). How do you get good Google reviews?
Well, there are lots of ways, but inviting happy customers to leave you a review is one of the best.
Hint: Don't ask people to leave you "good" reviews. The nature of the review should be up to the customer.
But you might not want to ask someone who storms in and out of your business in a tirade to leave you a review. Even if you've done nothing wrong and that mood is entirely their own, some of that negativity could ooze into their review of your business.
They Will Come
Now that you know how to rank higher on Google Maps, you're ready to grab a spot in the 3-Pack. Of course, digital marketing, and especially all forms of SEO, are constantly evolving. They can also be complex.
That's why it's perfectly natural to have questions. If you find yourself in that position, let us help you chart your path to maps marketing success.