It’s still powerful to make your business stand out above the competition, as customers trust this app a lot and check it before making any decision.
It’s a free channel to attract new customers and to receive reviews from your clients.
But in order to exploit all the potential from this tool, first you need to reach a good position in the listing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Google will rank your business in searches just because you’re listed in a certain area.
Location is just one of the multiple factors that are important for listing. In the following guide we will share with you different ways to rank higher on Google Maps results and make the most out of this tool.
Why rank higher on Google Maps?
According to new surveys, Google Maps (67%) is the most popular navigation app by a wide margin. It is the preferred navigation app for nearly 6x more people compared to the second-most popular app Waze (12%).
As The majority of customers looking for a place to go usually consider just the first few results, it’s very important that you optimize your listing on Google Maps to ensure you show up in the top results.
Also, 84% of the Google Maps listings are from a keyword, leaving business name searches way behind. Therefore, it’s important to optimize your listing for the first terms.
Searches on Maps are linked with regular google searches, and depending on the search, like looking for a place for example, the top three Maps listings will appear with the rest of the google results. Optimizing your business on Maps can take you to the top three listings, increasing the visibility of your business in regular searches.
The third reason to rank higher on Google Maps is because 86% of consumers check Google Maps to look up for businesses. The tactics you do to rank higher will improve the quality of your listing and add different ways for consumers to engage with your business.
9 Steps to make your business listing rank in Google Maps top results
How to create and claim your Google Maps listing if you haven’t done it already.
Before jumping on the on-listing and off-listing optimization for your business, you need to get listed on Google Maps and claim your listing:
First step is to add your business to Google Maps. If you already have one, skip this section. If you don’t, follow these steps for adding your business to Google Maps:
- Go to Google.com/maps or to the Google Maps app on your smartphone and search for your business name.
- If it appears in the drop-down menu with a location next to it, then you have a listing! Skip to the next section.
- If your business name doesn’t appear, you’ll see an option in the drop-down menu to “add a missing place.”
Once you click that, you’ll be asked to give your name, category, and location.
It’s always best to check and make sure your business listing doesn’t exist already, as anyone can just add a business to Google Maps. In any case don’t worry, as only the person who claims the listing has control over that listing. And here’s how to do it:
- Claim your Google Maps business listing
- Complete every section of your Google My Business
The process isn’t completed until you claim your business listing.
When you do so, besides certifying that the business is yours, you can start adding more details about your business. The more info you provide, the higher Google Maps will rank your listing.
First you need to create a Google My Business account, which is totally free. Then go to your Google Maps listing, and select “Own this business” o “Claim this business” and follow the instructions.
After completing the first two steps you can start optimizing your business to rank higher on the Google Maps listing. Again, the more info you include in your listing, the higher it will rank in the results.
To start adding information to your listing, login into your Google My Business account to access your dashboard.
Down the side you will see an “Info” tab. Press on it to include name, category, and other important details. Here are some tips:
- Choose the right category for your business
- Be consistent with name and address
- Use a local phone number
- Include both your tracked and main number
- Always update your opening hours
- Create a good business description
In terms of ranking, the category of your business as it appears on Google Maps is very important. For your primary category, choose the category that best represents your core business. You can add secondary categories if applicable.
Be consistent across all your channels and make sure the name and address information are identical on all of them.
Google isn’t keen on toll-free numbers (800 or 877) because these types of numbers are often spam. To rank higher and verify for searchers that you are located in that area, try to use a local telephone number. Remember to include the area code of your location.
Google Maps business listings tell users if that business is open, closed, or opening or closing soon. Also, useful to share special hours on dates like holidays or situations like the pandemic. Keeping these hours updated shows Google that you are active and will help with your ranking. It will also prevent customers from having the bad experience of going and find the store closed.
Make sure that your description is both informative about your services and attractive to customers. Use a tone that goes in line with your brand. Be sure to include keywords in your description to allow customers to find you both by products and services and by your name.
- Add photos to your listing
Just as with onsite SEO, you will rank higher on Google Maps if you update your photos in your listing regularly. It shows you are active and also because Google can display them in image searches. Also, users tend to prefer visual content, and will be more likely to click on a business that has one.
Go to the “Photos” tab in your Google My Business dashboard and click on the plus icon. You’ll be able to drag and drop several photos and/or videos at once.
- Get Google reviews
Google Maps will favor business listings with positive reviews on the rankings. When you create a business listing on Google Maps, it opens your business up to reviews automatically.
Actively ask for customers to leave reviews and try to answer the comments in your listing.
- Integrate your Google Maps listings
Google will only rank one listing for one true business, so make sure that you create just one listing with your actual info.
- Post regularly to your Google Maps business listing
Regularly posting on this app (like you do on Facebook) sends signals to Google that you proactively manage your listing, and it is considered for ranking. Also, this is a channel where consumers have high intent or interest in a certain product, so it’s a way of getting your offers in front of an audience that is ready to buy.
How to use your website to rank higher on Google Maps
In addition to taking action directly on your business listing, there are some optimizations you can perform on your website to support higher Google Maps ranking.
- Make sure your website is responsive
If your listing takes users to a website that is slow to load, requires zooming to see the content correctly, or has broken links, your Google Maps ranking will suffer. Make sure your site is responsive, which means that it works consistently across different screen sizes and types of device.
- Add location-based keywords to your main pages
Be sure to integrate local keywords to the main pages of your site, as this can help you both get ranked higher in Google and Google Maps searches.
It’s also a way of assuring Google that you are relevant in your local area.
- Embed a Google map on your website
Embedding a Google map is just another way of assuring Google that your business is really located where you specified on the listing. Use the same address that you have on Google Maps.
To embed a Google Map on your website, go to your business listing in Google Maps, click on “Share” and select “Embed a map”. Copy and paste this link on your business’s contact page.
Rank higher on Google Maps to benefit from all its potential:
Here’s a summary of the strategies that we’ve covered to rank your business higher in the listings:
- Create and claim your Google Maps business listing
- Add all the important information to your Google Maps business listing
- Keep a consistent name, address, and phone number
- Describe and categorize your business properly
- Update your photos and posts to your listing frequently
- Try to increase your reviews
- Make sure you eliminate duplicate listings
- Make sure you build a responsive website
- Target your website for local keywords
- Embed a Google Map on your website
Google Maps’s listings are constantly evolving, to easily and quickly provide consumers with the information they need to make their decisions.
Consider the 9 tips we gave you to improve your business listing and rank higher on Google Maps. If you manage to optimize your listing properly, you will soon start to benefit from all the potential this app offers!
For more info on how to give your business more online visibility, send us a message! 🙂