When a local consumer in your area searches for a specific product or service, their first stop will likely be Google Maps. Appearing among the top 3 results on Google’s Maps Pack can increase your brand’s online visibility, leads, site visits, sign-ups, and phone calls exponentially.
While Google’s algorithm is complex and constantly changing, there are a few fundamental things you can do to help improve your website ranking on Maps. These include claiming your business listing, optimizing your website, running a review campaign, and monitoring your Google Maps ranking performance with a Google Maps rank tracker.
One of the most important things you can do to optimize your website ranking on Google Maps is to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Since more than 60% of Google searches are made on mobile devices, a website that isn’t responsive and requires pinching and zooming will hurt your Google Maps ranking. It’s also important that your website loads quickly and that all links are working properly.
Embedding a Google Maps widget directly on your website can significantly improve your Maps SEO. This will show searchers that you are located where your listing says you are, and it can also boost your Maps SEO by signaling to Google that you are a trustworthy source of information. You can embed a Google Maps widget by opening your business listing on Google Maps, clicking “Share,” and then selecting the ‘Embed a map’ tab. Copy and paste the link on your contact page or other relevant landing pages.
Another essential way to enhance your Google Maps website ranking is to regularly post on your business’s Google Business profile. Adding content like events, updates about your company, and special offers to your business profile will signal to Google that you are active and engaging with consumers. This can have a positive impact on your Maps ranking as well as your organic search ranking, as Google places a high value on businesses that proactively manage their listings.
When creating your business’s listing, be sure to choose a primary and secondary category that best reflects your offering. You can select your primary category through your Google My Business dashboard, and you can add up to 5 additional categories to your business listing. It’s important to keep in mind that Google will prioritize listings that have the highest relevance for the searched term, so try not to choose multiple categories that are too similar or that have broad scope.
Reviews are one of the most influential factors in determining your Google Maps website ranking. A large amount of positive reviews will boost your ranking, and a tool like Podium can automate the process of collecting reviews from customers to help you grow and improve your rankings.
One of the less obvious factors that influences Google Maps website ranking is distance. Google will prioritize listings that are close to the searcher, and it is believed to use an algorithm based on Edsger Dijkstra’s Algorithm – which determines the shortest path between two points in a network.