The importance of being in the top 3 of Google Maps search results cannot be summed up into any post. While related, Google Maps Optimization (GMO) is something to be considered as separate from your website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices.
Few people go outside the box and into the "more places" listings beyond the top 3. In addition, mobile searches are on the rise and will continue to increase, where the maps listings are more regularly utilized.
If you provide a localized service, sell products or operate a restaurant and are not appearing in "the Golden Three", this means that you are giving business away, losing out on the "free" clients. Simply put, within the geographical reach of your business, being optimized and appearing in location search results is paramount to maximizing your businesses potential.
A couple of tips that we offer to our clients to help out their GMO search rankings include the following:
1. Choose the right Category.
It is important to choose the right category for your business when creating and managing your Google My Business location. Starting off with the wrong category or a category that is not optimized for your services can have you appearing in unrelated search results. You may still appear on the searches related to your business; however, you will have a hard time climbing the rankings no matter what you do.
2. Your business name and phone number.
Your phone number is important. Local phone numbers help to show that your location is where it says it is. If you have an 800 or toll free number as your main number on your profile, the search engine will trust your profile a bit less.
This relates too your business name as well, localize terms in your business name help your ranking in a specific area; however, it is not always recommended to do this unless your business is strictly location based within that specific area. It also can pose challenges for future expansion plans as well.
3. Citations and back-links in business directories.
It is paramount that all your business citations and directories match your Google My Business profile. Google will develop trust in your profile with more citations proving its existence.
Using the exact address, email, website, phone number and business name in your website and back-link submissions is how you will accomplish this. Some directories will force you to have small variations in your address; however, make sure that when the address listed points to a map, it is in the same location as your actual office.
4. Positive reviews and overall review count.
Reviews are probably the most underutilized but important part of your google maps ranking location. It is not necessarily about having simply alot of reviews, but rather having many, diverse and detailed positive reviews over a period of time. Through showing this correlation, over time, Google will begin to trust your profile more and move your business location up the rankings.
5. It is all about trust.
We like to explain SEO and GMO in one word, "Trust". Having the right category chosen based on the information on your website, having your business information match business directories and back-links, having positive reviews over time, in the end, it all comes down to trust. How much your profile is trusted by the search engine algorithm directly correlates to your Google Maps Search Ranking.
If you are looking for some help increasing your maps ranking or organic search ranking, Magnolias has digital marketing packages and programs designed to fit within all company budgets and parameters. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about our services.