Ranking highly on Google Maps is a victory worth celebrating for small, local businesses, as it is almost equal to a first-page organic ranking.
As you will have limited reach, a superb ranking in a Google Maps listing will inform potential customers you are just a stone’s throw away from them. As a result, they might visit your store or showroom, or invest in your services.
To increase your footfall and revenue, read the following tips on how to rank in Google Local Maps.
1. Verify a Google Business Page
If you want to be found on Google Maps, you must first claim and verify your company on Google My Business (GMB). Before you can enter your details, you will first need to complete the verification process to identify if you are the appropriate person to enter the company’s information.
There are numerous ways to verify your GMB account. For instance, you can do it via your postcode; you will receive a postcode in the mail with a unique verification code to your provided business address, which you should then enter into your account.
Other ways to verify your GMB page include:
- Verifying your business by phone
- By email
The benefits of using GMB are astounding:
- Helps customers find your physical location
- Promotes authority
- Helps you appear in the Snack Pack Results
- Another communication channel
- Displays useful information
Not having a GMB listing can leave your business somewhat invisible. In such a digital age, it is best to have a digital footprint so that consumers can find (and trust) your business. People no longer look for businesses in the Yellow Pages.
Instead, they trust businesses that are on the first page of Google and have reviews as well as social media accounts.
2. Use the Correct GMB Categories
Some GMB categories may not provide a correct fit for some businesses, though, there are numerous types of categories for you to choose from, so ensure you select the right one. For instance, rather than select “Restaurant,” if you specialize in a certain cuisine, focus in this niche instead.
Categories range from “Accountant” to “Accounting School;” from “American restaurant” to “Authentic Japanese restaurant,” so there is no excuse to not selecting the right category for your business.
Also, ensure you use as many relevant secondary categories as possible, which could increase your impressions for different keywords. When searching for businesses online, people are more descriptive so that they can find exactly what they want.
Therefore, your business, in turn, needs to focus on this shift in descriptive language too.
3. Find Local Business Citations
A local business citation will provide Google with a record of your business name, address, phone number and URL. The search engine uses citations to validate a company’s location. So, the more relevant and authoritative the citation sources are, the better your Google Maps ranking might be.
To boost your power, find both websites and directories related to your industry or within your area. It is an effective SEO method that could help to boost your appearance in Google Maps. If in doubt, turn to the experts at SERPs SEO to find out how SEO helps local maps results.
4. Receive More Reviews
It is important to remember that ranking is just the first step to convincing a user to become a customer. Increase calls and clicks by making your business more appealing in comparison to your competitors.
If you want to rank well on Google Maps and increase your click-through rate, you should aim to acquire as many positive reviews on Google as possible.
Google is reportedly pushing for more users to leave reviews, which is why you should try to encourage others to do the same. It is vital to keep an eye on reviews, though, as negative reviews can be false or even be left by competitors.
Always respond to reviews, good and bad. Customers wish to be noticed and heard, and if you respond to them, people will see you as a business who takes care of their customers. Take all reviews into consideration.
While you won’t be able to impress everyone, if there is a consistent stream of customers saying something needs improvement, it may be worth looking into it. This can be an improvement in wait times, how your employees interact with customers or the improvement in food.
5. Don’t Underestimate Social Signals
Social signals are reportedly influencing many companies’ rankings in Google Maps and the organic search results. Social signals consist of likes, shares and other forms of engagement across various social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Increase both your traffic and exposure within your local area by running a social media advertisement, which should feature your company’s URL.
It will inform Google that people are routinely visiting your website, which could help you to rank higher and acquire more customers.
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