Google Maps Ranking is a critical component of local search for businesses that wish to increase their visibility and engagement with consumers. Securing a top spot in the Google Maps pack boosts website visits, inquiries, sign-ups, and other business conversions that stem from local search queries. But, with every local competitor vying for that coveted spot, how do you get there?
The local pack, which features the top three local listings based on relevance, distance, and prominence, occupies a large space on the SERP and receives the majority of clicks. Securing a top position in the local pack increases your exposure, credibility, and traffic inflow and should be the primary focus of any local SEO strategy.
While anyone can create a Google My Business profile and ensure its basic information is up to date, achieving a high Google Maps ranking requires comprehensive optimizations on a number of levels. This is why it is important for local marketers to use tools like Semrush to monitor their Google Maps rankings and optimize their listing if they want to increase their chances of appearing in the local pack.
For starters, it is critical to ensure your Google My Business profile is filled out with as many relevant keywords and phrases as possible. This includes optimizing your product and service categories, as well as adding any applicable industry-specific keyword phrases. Additionally, you should also include a link to your website in the description of your Google My Business profile, as this helps Google validate the information on your site.
Another factor that can significantly impact your Google Maps ranking is the quantity and quality of your reviews. Google pays particular attention to both the amount of reviews your business obtains and how actively you respond to those reviews, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. This is why it’s essential to encourage your customers to leave reviews for you on Google Maps, and to monitor your reputation regularly to spot and address any potential issues that may arise.
A final ranking factor that can be difficult to manage is prominence, which is a complex and ever-changing metric. Since the Vicinity update, Google’s documentation states that it evaluates prominence by examining factors such as your GMB reviews and ratings, your website’s organic positioning for relevant local keywords, and your backlinks.
Lastly, you should consider embedding a Google Map with your pinned location directly on your website to further promote your business. This will help establish your brand’s authority and credibility with consumers. While it is not guaranteed to improve your ranking, this method can be a great way to demonstrate to Google that your business is prominent in the area you are targeting with a search.