Did you know that 80% of local searches result in a conversion?
If you aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to rank in local searches, you’re missing the chance to reach leads, attract in-store traffic, and generate revenue. How can you maximize local search though? By marketing on Google Maps.
Keep reading to learn what Google Maps marketing is, which search engine optimization (SEO) factors influence your appearance in Google Maps, and how to rank better on Google Maps to earn leads and sales for your company.
If you want professional help for maximizing your presence in Google Maps, check out our local SEO services to see how our award-winning team can drive more local traffic to your business with Google Maps marketing!
What is Google Maps marketing?
When people want to find a business near them, they typically go to Google Maps and search for one close to them. They’ll type in the kind of business they’re looking for, and Google will generate results based on that term.
Google will generate a list of three companies, known as the local SEO 3-pack, that fits the search query best. Users will also see a map with pinpoints of different locations that match their search query.
When you optimize your listing correctly, you can help your business compete with more prominent brands. The results get optimized based on relevancy and quality, rather than brand recognizability.
Google Maps SEO lets businesses like yours optimize for local map searches, as well as reach people searching for companies in your area.
Why use Google Maps marketing?
Google Maps marketing is crucial for attracting local customers.
Marketing on Google Maps helps attract customers to your business. When you have 50% of users visiting a store within a day of doing a local search, it’s vital that you use Google Maps marketing to get those people to find and visit your business.
If a user conducts a local search, it generates a list of local businesses through Google Maps. By optimizing for Google Maps SEO, you’re helping your company appear in these local searches and compete with other local businesses.
When users search through Google Maps, they know what they want. These users are looking to find the right business to fit their needs. If you use Google Maps marketing, you’ll help your company appear in more of these searches and drive them to visit your store.
3 Google maps marketing factors that determine your ranking
When you’re optimizing for Google Maps marketing, there are three essential factors you must consider. These factors can influence when and where your business appears in search results on Google Maps.
Proximity is one of the most significant ranking factors in Google Maps results. Google will often base the search results on a user’s physical location. It wants to deliver a list of businesses closest to the searcher.
If a user has their location services turned on, Google will generate a list of companies near them. It will often put the closest store first, followed by other businesses in the nearby area.
It’s important to note, however, that you can’t influence this factor. You can’t optimize to appear higher or in more searches because this factor depends not only on your location but also a user’s location.
On the positive side, this also means that more prominent companies can’t out-optimize you for the top positions. It puts you on the same playing field as competitors in your area.
Another vital ranking factor is your reviews. People often look at reviews to determine if a business is good. Many people rely on user ratings to help them decide if that company is a good fit for their needs.
Reviews can influence your site’s position in Google Maps search results. While not guaranteed, Google will often rank businesses that have better reviews higher. It will also list companies that have more reviews higher.
If you have an abundance of good reviews, you have a better chance of appearing higher in search results.
This ranking factor mostly applies when users don’t have location services turned on or don’t conduct a “near me” search. If users search for “burger places in Harrisburg, PA,” they’re likely to see a list of results influenced by reviews.
3. Level of optimization
In addition to reviews, another ranking factor is the level of optimization on your Google My Business profile. You may search and see that a business with 20 reviews and a 4.5-star rating ranks higher than a company with 57 reviews and a 4.7-star rating, for example.
So, how can this happen?
In this case, the business with the 4.5-star rating may have a better-optimized profile. If a page is more informative, people are more likely to engage with it. Google may rank that business higher because it has a more helpful and detailed listing.
When you’re marketing on Google Maps, look at your listing’s optimization. Make sure you also take advantage of different optimization strategies and provide users with the most up-to-date information about your business, hours, and services.
4 Google Maps marketing tips to help you get more leads in the door
Google Maps marketing is an excellent way for you to drive local customers to visit your business. Let’s look at four ways to be successful at marketing your business with Google Maps SEO.
1. Optimize your listing
The first, and perhaps most obvious tip, is to optimize your Google My Business listing. This listing is what your audience sees when they search through Google Maps. If you want to help your listing appear higher in Google Maps search results, you must optimize your listing.
If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business listing yet, you can follow the directions on Google’s site for claiming your listing. Once you’ve claimed your listing, fill out all the information on it.
Add your name, address, and phone number
First, start by making sure your name, address, and phone number are consistent and correct. Whether someone sees your information on your Google My Business listing, Facebook, or your website, this information should be the same across all platforms.
Use your USPS approved address too. Having your USPS approved address means that your address includes your room or suite number, if applicable, as well as your 9-digit zip-code (as opposed to the 5-digit zip code).
Select your category
Aside from this necessary information, you’ll want to choose the right categories for your business. Google allows you to categorize your business to help you appear in the right search results.
To have a useful listing, don’t limit yourself to one category. There may be multiple categories that apply to your company. You’ll want to use various tags to help you appear in relevant search results.
These tags don’t describe what your business does or sells, but rather what your business is.
If you owned a dog grooming and boarding facility, for example, you wouldn’t use tags like “boarding dogs” or “dog nail trimming.” Instead, you would use tags like “Dog Groomer” and “Dog Boarding Facility.”
Link to your website
After you choose your category tags, you’ll want to link to your website on your Google listing. It’s vital that you direct leads to your site if they need to get more information about your business.
Next, you’ll want to add photos to your listing.
Photos are an essential part of your Google My Business listing because they engage your audience. It helps them see your company, products, staff, and more.
By filling out your listing completely, you’ll help your business have a better chance at ranking higher in relevant search results on Google Maps.
2. Optimize your introduction
One of the most critical parts of your Google listing is your introduction.
Your introduction is where people learn about your business. Google also uses your introduction to help your listing appear in the right Google Maps results.
When people click on your listing, they will see this introduction and learn about your business. It’s a short description that helps them know if you’re relevant to their needs.
With marketing on Google Maps, you want to create a thorough and informative introduction. It doesn’t mean you have to write a long paragraph about your business. One long and descriptive sentence is enough to tell people about your business.
Your introduction will also help Google understand whether your business fits the search query.
To have a successful introduction, mention the most valuable services or products you offer for your audience. Use phrases and key terms that describe your business and how it’s unique.
As you write this introduction, you’ll want to avoid cramming it with keywords. Many businesses make the mistake of trying to stuff all their keywords into the introduction. You should only use them naturally.
When you compose your introduction, you’ll want to address any questions your audience may have. It’s good to anticipate common questions and provide those answers in your introduction.
If you own a pet grooming business, you might include your services in your introduction.
It’s a question your audience is likely to ask, so you can answer that question by adding it in your introduction. It’s a great way to provide your audience with relevant information while answering their questions.
When you compose your introduction, try to write in the same tone and language of your target audience. It will help you write an introduction that resonates with your audience and helps them get a feel for your business.
3. Invest in local search ads
Local search ads are an excellent opportunity for your business to get to the top of the results.
These ads drive more local store visits and increase foot traffic for your business.
When a company uses paid ads on Google Maps, you’ll see them appear at the top of the local listings with the word “ad” attached. This tag indicates that the ranking is a paid advertisement for your business.
There are two main types of local search ads:
The paid advertisement is your standard pay-per-click (PPC) ad.
These ads appear at the top of the local listings with a green “ad” tag and feature a green pin on the map. Paid ads feature your Google My Business listing, but you pay for your listing to appear at the top of the results.
Promoted pins are another form of a paid advertisement in the local search listings. These local search ads appear at the top of the results and feature a purple “ad” box and pin on the map.
These ads only appear on mobile.
When a user clicks on this ad, they can see information about your local business. If you set up a promoted pin, you can also advertise coupons or in-store promotions to entice people to visit your store.
These special offers can be the final step to getting users to visit your business.
4. Ask for reviews
Reviews can strongly influence how people engage with your listing. People tend to choose listings that have many positive reviews. Having an abundance of positive reviews can also improve your listing’s position.
When you’re marketing on Google Maps, you’ll want to ask customers for reviews. Don’t force people to review your business. Ask them to leave a review about their experience at your company.
By asking for reviews, you’ll help improve your listing’s ranking in the local search results and drive more local customers to your business. Positive reviews will also help your Google SEO perform better for your business.
Create your Google Maps marketing plan today
By investing in marketing on Google Maps, you’ll help drive more local leads to your business. Google Maps marketing is an excellent strategy for getting your company to appear in more local search results and generate more in-store visits and revenue.
At WebFX, we have a team of over 200 experts that will bring their knowledge and expertise to your campaign. With our expertise, plus advanced artificial intelligence technology, we’ll help you optimize your local listing to drive more traffic into your business.
If you want to check your local SEO and Google listings, use our local SEO tool to help you check the status of your current listing.
To get started with optimizing your local listings and increasing your revenue through Google Maps SEO, contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our local SEO plans.
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