What does your SEO need to make your website visible to your local target audience? Why, Google Maps marketing, of course! You must have heard of it already, here and there, on the fly. However, we do not blame you if you do not know what it exactly is. Google Maps Marketing is not a new component of SEO, but it has gained popularity only recently holding hands of local SEO. If you want your company website to stay on top of all Google Maps Listings, you need to perfect your marketing game with Google Maps before you can progress any further.
How does local map SEO help your company?
Local map SEO drives organic traffic to your website. Most of this traffic is from your vicinity, which boosts your sales even from your land-based store. For example – if you are a restaurant located in NY, and you have listed your business with NAP details, it increases the chances of the local crowd discovering your physical location. Your restaurant will enjoy an increased footfall from the local crowd who have the knack for browsing the web before deciding on services.
Research shows that about 73% of all website users refer to Google Maps and online business listings to read business reviews. Among them, about 92% only visit the stores, restaurants and establishments with at least 90% positive reviews. If your business is listed on, Google Maps that makes it easier for your customers to leave reviews and ratings that act as sales magnets. This is why Google Maps optimization has become a powerful tool of local SEO marketing.
Why is your business now showing up on Google Maps?
Optimizing Google Maps is not child’s play. You will need more than just keywords and backlinks to make your business visible. It is more challenging that on-page SEO simply because your business has to be visible in the local 3-pack. Organic SEO is a breeze compared to Google maps marketing.
Here are a few of the ranking factors we count on, for giving your website a push:
- Verification of a company’s Google My Business page
- Cross-referencing across social media platforms, review platforms and business listing platforms. Your business name must be present on Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, YellowPages, and whatever else people check out regularly.
- The average rating and the frequency of reviews on Google My Business Local Page.
- How well you are using your Geo-target.
- Your website’s domain authority.
These are 5 simple factors that contribute heavily to your Google Maps 3-pack game.
What do you need for Google Maps marketing?
You need gears for every new adventure in life. Marketing is no different, especially when it’s Google Maps. You will need at least 3 of the following things before you can start your new marketing campaign –
- Google My Business Account: this is a single dashboard that will enable you to content your business information from the search results. You will need complete and verified NAP to make sure that people can find your location.
- Claiming your address: this might sound very redundant, but this is the basic step towards being listed. Include zip code. Use USPS verified address information on your website and mentions. In addition, make sure, you use the same address everywhere your business is mentioned.
- Business radius: this is important for businesses that offer home services. You need to define your area of delivery before orders can start pouring in.
- Business category: your business category can become your USP in your locality. For example – if you run a dog spa, your business can be the only one in a 5 miles radius. So defining the category of your business is very important to get noticed by potential customers as well.
- Getting verified: the verification process can be a little taxing. You may have to wait a couple of weeks before you can verify all your business details over phone. You will be given a unique PIN on your local address with which you can verify your web listing.
- Optimize your listings: after you verify your business, you will need to get other information updated. This includes your open hours, business descriptions and your consolidated contact information on your website.
Do not forget to include photos of your business. Including images of a restaurant’s food, menu and kitchen has shown to increase footfall. You should not forget that Google Maps is also a visual platform where your customers can interact with the images. Optimize your images by adding meta data rich in information and targeted keyword.
- Collect reviews: the key to being noticed on the web is collecting as many mentions as you can find of your business. People love social proof before making a decision and your potential customers are no different. Curate all reviews and ratings from business directories. You can even encourage your customers to give reviews (do not manipulate reviews) in return of discounts and gift coupons. Here are a few ways you can collect effective, authentic reviews:
- Ask them immediately after delivery via email or SMS.
- Interact with your customers via your website or Facebook page and ask for their valuable feedback.
- In case you get a negative review, do not try to delete it or refute it. Ask your customer what was unsatisfactory and try to resolve the issue amicably.
- If an old customer returns, ask them what brought them back and request them for reviews. Repeating customers are your asset and you must not waste the opportunity of getting a review from them.
Digital marketing campaigns like these cannot be a success overnight. You need to invest time and energy in perfecting your stance. It may be a month or even more before you see the results. These months can become trying if you are a novice. It always helps to have expert help and expert advice during your marketing endeavors. Having a team of expert SEOs while designing the campaign will give you confidence. Besides, experienced marketing teams are the best assets while trying out new digital marketing gigs like this one.
Is there an easy way to master Google Maps Marketing?
Google Maps Marketing is not as easy, and you have probably gauged it by now. There are no “hacks” for perfecting the marketing strategy. Sadly, there is no magic wand either that can get your business to #1 rank within 24 hours.
However, you can definitely follow 3 quintessential steps that will work towards boosting your Google Maps ranking.
- Increase the accuracy of citation –
Google spiders never sleep. They are always crawling the internet (and your website) for accurate data. They can find and relate all the mentions of your business from various websites. This is why you should list your NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) correctly while listing your business. The correct NAP is very important for your business profits. If you include incorrect or incoherent data in multiple places, it gives Google spiders a hard time to relate relevant data.
You can look up your own brand name to understand what users and bots are seeing right now. Simply type your name into Google search and look for citations. You will commonly find your mention in AOL, YellowPages, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The business directories depend on the country you function from. For example, if you are a restaurant in India, you should be able to find citations in Zomato, FoodPanda and TripAdvisor.
You may want to list your business twice, because, well, “two is better than one!” but
Matt Cutts from Google advices against it. New Google updates including Panda penalizes duplicate listings. So, if you find your business listed more than once in multiple places simply log in and delete one of the lesser populated listings. Alternatively, you can request the website admins to merge the listings if possible.
If you had old phone numbers, try using that as a search term as well or Google using an old business address. If these are still linked to your business, simply severe the ties. Anything old and out of business should be removed from your business listings.
- Create new local landing pages for your business –
The information provided about your business on your website and other listings affect Google ranks directly. If your website is filled with local information that Google can access and index, the search engine makes it available to the local audience.
Be sure to use original content. Include address, directions, landmarks and mention local places along the way. You should also include case studies with local references. Do not forget to use reviews and testimonies from customers as well as a part of your website content. In addition to being great on-page SEO elements, they contribute towards a better Google Maps marketing endeavor.
Local content is not very different from website content. It is just more focused on your business location and your services that are available in a particular area.
- Build your website links –
This is one factor common between off-site SEO and Google Maps marketing. You need to invest good amount of time in building backlinks to your website. If your friends, business partners, neighbors and family members have websites, simply link your content and web pages to them.
Since you are working on local SEO, linking to your neighbors is a good idea to be noticed by the local crowd. For example – if you have a tourism company that is advertising your locality, you can insert a link into their “eat out” or “restaurants” section to be noticed by the travelers.
Linking is an ingenious way to increase business without investing a lot of money. It takes some time to build a resourceful link repository for your website however; it is an investment that will pay off in the long haul.
Why go for Google Maps marketing?
This is Google’s way of streamlining all business data. If you have your Google My Business Account in place, you can update your data from Google Search, Maps and Google+. Management of local business data will not be a nightmare anymore thanks to the coherent efforts of Google.
This is a great opportunity for SMBs since they can mend their business data and update their Google Business Accounts without spending a single buck. According to Google, “It is an easier way to connect with your business associates, clients and other people, wherever you are”.
Why should you get professional help with this marketing venture?
Learning the ways of this new digital marketing strategy can be time consuming. There are more factors in play than you can count on two hands. It depends on the continually updating Google Algorithm as well as PPC rules and regulations. The recent changes brought in by Google on their Google Business Maps has also had a great effect on the business listing and visibility. Now you can only see 3 results instead of 7. The competition to be noticed has become tougher than ever.
There are a number of tools and software programs that you can use to work on the points we have mentioned above. But, you will have to learn about the strategies before you can employ these tools. Keeping track of SEO and algorithm changes is not easy. In 2017, the only thing constant is the change in SEO and marketing. Keeping your business visible is quite impossible unless you have expert help round the clock. A good agency can never promise you to get the #1 spot in a week or in 30 days. However, they can definitely increase your CTR and website traffic after the implementation of necessary changes.
Do you need help from a niche Google Marketing Agency that knows the Google Webmaster policies and Google algorithm changes inside out? Then contact us without any delay. We have the best plans and strategies to give your business the boost it deserves without compromising your business values and finances.