Imagine if you could get your business to show up in the top #3 of the Google Map rankings!
You’d probably get more phone calls, more clicks to your website and more paying customers looking to buy the products and services your business sells.
How good would that be?
Pretty good I’d say!
With the days of yellow pages being the go-to place to find local services and products, many consumers are turning to Google instead. Over the past few years, you may have noticed that Google more and more are deliver ‘location based’ search results with the top 3 map listing. These listings are generated from Google’s own online directory, known as Google My Business or GMB for short.
GMB are important features that can help increase your website ranking on the search engine result page (SERP). They can also increase your business reputation, enabling customers to both find and trust your business
In this article, I’m going to show you what you need to do boost your Google Map Ranking.
Step 1 – Research location-based keywords to optimse
Firstly, you need to find out what keywords that consumers are using to find products/services where your business is located. We can find these location-based keywords using a keyword research tool, such as Ubersuggest (free) and Google , to get a list of relevant keywords to sprinkle throughout your GMB listing.
For example, if you are offering website design services in Cheltenham (like me), then you might use a seed search the term like “web designer cheltenham”. When you go to the bottom of Google search, you will find a list of keywords suggested by Google. These keywords are terms that most people within your area search when looking for products/ searching related to your niche.
Add the suggested keywords to a list which we will add to your GMB listing later to help boost your ranking.
Step 2 – Google my business listing optimisation
It is important to ensure that all information included in GMB is correct and adheres to Google’s business guidelines. How you optimise your GMB will determine your local ranking. It is therefore important to ensure that every detail that you provide is accurate and well optimized for the keywords you would like to rank for.
Below is what you need to do to optimise your GBM listing.
Claim your business listing
The first crucial step to optimising your GMB listing is claiming your GMB. Remember that anyone can list your business on Google. It is therefore important to claim your listing to get the right to manage reviews as well as post and edit crucial information.
Google algorithm keeps on changing, so ensure that stay up to date with Google updates and make changes on your listing when necessary to maintain good ranking.
To claim your GMB listing, go here: https://www.google.com/intl/en_au/business/
Complete your GMB profile
This is arguably the most important step in GMB optimisation. Ensure that you fill every field on your GMB listing complete including your business name, Phone number, address website, category, hours of operation, attributes, Q& A, descriptions, and photos.
When filling out the information, your aim should not to meet the minimum requirements set by Google. Instead, you should optimise each field by including a mixture of keywords we found in step 1 to make your listing appear for these searches.
Optimise your description
The description included in your GMB profile should add more juice to your listing. Description optimisation means adding your main keywords and highlighting crucial features that will attract customers. You only have 750 characters, so use them wisely. Also, remember that only 250 characters will be seen in the knowledge panel that is shown in Google searches.
Having your business listed under a certain category will help customers locate your business easily in non-branded searches.
Upload quality photos and videos
Statistics show that customers are 42 percent more likely to visit a business if the listing has a photo. So ensure that you optimise your GMB listing by uploading a quality profile photo and a photo cover. Also, include other general photos. Your profile photo should aim to boost your brand recognition while your cover photos should promote your brand’s cultures and personality.
Collect GMB reviews
If you are keen, then you must have noticed that when you search for services or products online, business results have maps and star ratings. Reviews not only determine your ranking but it also determines if the user will click on your website. Gather reviews and ensure that they are genuine. The more positive reviews your business has, the higher it will rank on local search results.
Post descriptions and images
Use GMB to create events, make announcements, run promotions and highlight your products/services. Ensure that you post information that is relevant, engaging and informative to make the customer choose you over your competitors.
Google maps now offer Q&A features. This means that anyone can ask a question and also anyone can respond to those questions. Create a Q&A to make it easier for your clients to know more about your business and product/services that your business offers.
Step 3. Embed Google map on your website
Another great way to improve your ranking on Google maps is to insert a Google map on your website’s contact page. Embedding a Google map on your website is a great way of informing Google that your business is located where your listing says. It also helps customers to stay engaged with your business and learn where to find it. Anything that you can do to make it easy for the customer to find your business is worth doing. Embedding Google maps on your business is simple. All that you need to do is search your business name on Google maps. Click the share button then choose embed a map tab. Copy-paste that link on your website contact page. Ensure that you use the exact address that you have on GMB listing when embedding a Google map on your business.
Below is the actual code output (note – I manually updated the iframe width to be 100%):
Step 4. Claim and verify Apple maps and Bing places
Claiming and verifying Apple maps and Bing places can give you a competitive advantage. Apple maps usually pull a lot of their data from directory sites like Yelp and other major data aggregator sites. So before claiming and verifying the listing on apple maps, it is crucial to ensure that the information provide is accurate. Claiming Bing places can also help to boost your Google map ranking. Bing places listing can be claimed via phone verification. However, in some cases, it may require postcard verification. When claiming Bing places listing, ensure that the information provided is accurate. Also, don’t forget to add identity photos.
Step 5. Create top business directories with exact Name, Address, Phone number (NAP)
A major factor that determines your ranking locally is the quality and quantity of your directory listings and your NAP consistency. NAP means name, address, and phone number. This feature is critical for any business that wants to rank high on Google’s local search.
People usually refer to the occurrence of NAP information on the web as a citation. Citation is when your business NAP information shows up on blog posts, newspaper articles, and directory sites. Out of six foundational ranking factors, three are related to citation quality, quantity, and consistency. When determining the ranking, Google usually scans the web to check for mentions on your business NAP, URL among other crucial information. It then compares that data to other sources, including the information provided by major data providers. If the information is correct and consistent, then Google will boost your ranking.
Now you should have a good idea on what it takes to give your GMB a ranking boost.
Here’s a quick recap of the main takeaways:
- Research location-based keywords: find the keywords that customers are using to find businesses in your location
- Optimise your GMB listing for the keywords you found
- Embed the GMB map on your actual website
- Get your business verified on Bing and Apple Maps
- Get your business listed on website directories