Google Maps Marketing: Best Practices You Must Know
What is Google Maps Marketing? Why you need it? This guide has everything you need to know about Google Maps Marketing.
Google Maps is not merely an application anymore to reach uncharted territories.
In fact, it has become a powerful marketing tool to target the local audience.
Suppose, you run an Italian restaurant in Manhattan. And hungry Joey searches online to order Italian food.
Don’t you think Joey would be more likely to order from one of the restaurants featured on Google Maps?
In my opinion, he would.
My friend, Google Maps offers excellent opportunities for local marketing.
In today’s post, I am going to share seven Google Maps Marketing best practices. After reading it, you will know what you need to know to feature your business on the top Google Maps results.
What determines Local Ranking on Google Maps?
If you want to dominate Google Maps results, you should know how Google determines the local ranking.
Primarily, local results on Google Maps are based on the following three factors:
Google establishes relevancy by matching local listings with what people are searching for. The more a local listing matches with a search query, the better it has the potential to rank higher.
Google calculates the distance of each potential search result from the location mentioned in the search query and shows the most relevant results that are nearest to the searched location.
Google considers prominence an important factor when it displays local results on Google Maps.
Prominence means how popular a business is. Many people know famous brands, hotels, or stores. So, Google is more likely to rank those popular establishments higher in local results.
Google also considers other factors such as backlinks, directories, local citations, reviews, etc. to establish prominence.
You must note that Google combines these three factors to determine the local ranking on Google Maps. One factor alone cannot make a difference in the local ranking.
Google Maps Marketing Best Practices:
Google Maps Marketing is nothing but optimizing Google My Business listing so that Google can easily establish your relevance and prominence when a potential customer googles for a product or service similar to yours.
Here are the seven steps to optimizing Google My Business listing for higher Google Maps ranking.
1- Fill USPS-approved Address in Google My Business Profile:
Filling complete business address in Google My Business profile is very important for higher ranking. You should always enter USPS- approved address (Or any other postal agency applicable to the address of your business).
Here are a few points that you must consider when you are filling address in Google My Business profile:
· Make sure you use the precise address (accurate physical location) for the business
· Everything in your address lines must be pertinent to the physical location of your business — never use ULRs or Keywords in the address
· You should never include landmarks unless the official address doesn’t pinpoint your business location accurately
· You can include suite numbers, floors, and building number to identify the accurate address of your business
Google My Business account also allows a business to display/not to display address. You should always opt to display address information. The more data you give to Google, the better it will be for higher Google Maps results.
2- Add Service Area
Not all businesses serve from their brick-and-mortar stores. Even some businesses operate from homes. What kind of business are you?
Are you a service-area business or a phone-only company? You must state it. This is very important for effective Google Maps Marketing.
Like the Pizza Hut Company, if you are serving at your physical location and delivering services to the customers at the different locations, you should add serving radius for your business and check ‘I also serve customers at my business address.’
And don’t forget to enter opening hours accurately.
3- Optimize Google My Business Profile Introduction
It is very important that you should optimize the introduction of your Google My Business Profile.
How can you do that?
First off, you should never try to cram the introduction of Google My Business with all the possible keywords related to your business. Most businesses commit this common mistake. You should avoid it.
Instead, you should provide information about why you started your business, what problems you solve, and how you are different from your competitors.
In a nutshell, you should include all the information in the introduction, which your potential customers might want to know.
As the introduction of your Google My Business profile helps Google establish the relevancy of your business when somebody searches for the keywords related to your products or services, optimized Introduction helps your business rank higher.
4- Get Google My Business Profile Verified
This step is very important for Google Maps Marketing.
You must verify your business with Google so that it can appear on Google Maps. The verification process helps ensure that it is you who is the real owner of the business.
Also, the verification ensures that your business information is accurate and up-to-date.
Usually, businesses are verified by postcards. Google sends business owners postcards with verification codes.
However, some businesses are eligible for the phone and email verification. You should check it whether you qualify for the same or not.
My friend, you should not edit the address, your business name, category, or request a new code while you are waiting for the postcard. Doing so will delay the Google business verification process.
5- Don’t Forget Customer Reviews
You should not forget to request your happy customers to write reviews for your business. Why?
Google reviews are factored into local search ranking. If you have more positive reviews and positive ranking, it can improve ranking on the Google Maps results.
In addition to playing an important role in the local ranking, Google reviews also make your business look authentic.
As 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, having tons of reviews means more customers will trust your business. This will result in more sales.
You might also get negative reviews. Instead of ignoring negative reviews, you should respond to them according to Google’s guideline for reading and replying to reviews.
6- Build High-Quality Backlinks
A backlink works as a trust vote for your website.
As high-quality backlinks build prominence for your business, it will eventually improve your Google Maps ranking.
Google itself said,
“Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.”
My friend, build high-quality backlinks and follow the best SEO practices to rank higher on Google Maps results.
7- Create Local Citations
Local citations help build prominence for your business; as a result, they improve your Google Maps ranking.
What is a local citation?
Local citation, as it implies, is a mention of your business by a local body.
Here are the top three places to look for local citations:
· Local blogs
· Locally focused directories
· Industry specific directories
Local citations from reputed bodies, such as the Better Business Bureau or the local chamber of commerce is very much helpful to build prominence.
Reviews of your business on Yelp, Yahoo local, or any other similar website work as local citations and can support your Google Maps Marketing efforts.
Google Maps Marketing, like any other digital marketing strategy, takes time. There is no formula for success. Your Google My Business listing should be relevant and you should try to build prominence. This is the only way to rank higher on Google Maps.
Do you want to share any other Google Maps Marketing tip? Leave it in the comment section. I would love to hear about it.