How to Improve Your Google Maps Ranking

Whether you operate a local service area business or are a global brand, Google Maps ranking is essential to your online success. With over 85% of Google searchers using the Maps app to find local businesses, appearing among the first 3 locations in the local pack is one of the fastest and most effective ways to attract new customers. Not only does a top ranking in the Maps pack increase sign-ups, site visits, phone calls, and more, it also helps brands achieve a competitive edge by capturing coveted organic search traffic.

Unlike traditional SEO, which relies on keywords to rank, Google Maps ranks local listings based on their proximity to the searcher. This proximity is a combination of relevance, distance, and prominence. Keeping your Google Business profile up to date, accurate, and fully optimized will help you rank well for relevant searches.

The most important step in establishing your Google Maps ranking is to claim and verify your GMB profile. Once you’ve done this, be sure to optimize it for the keywords your target audience is searching for. Ideally, your GMB description should include the services you offer as well as a link to your primary product or service pages on your website.

In 2021, Google released an algorithm update that placed more importance on proximity as a local Maps ranking factor. This update, aptly named “Vicinity,” decreased the value of adding keywords into your business name on your GMB profile and increased the prominence of listing categories.

Getting high-quality reviews is another important aspect of improving your Google Maps rankings. Reviews have a direct impact on how your Google Business listing is displayed in the Maps Pack and can even influence how your location shows up in regular search results. Encourage your customers to leave feedback by providing a link on your invoices, business cards, and email signatures.

Duplicate Google Business profiles are a major issue for businesses trying to rank in the Maps Pack and should be resolved as soon as they are detected. These duplicate profiles can damage your Google Maps ranking, lead to a decrease in visibility and traffic, and potentially affect your overall SEO performance. Luckily, submitting a redressal form to Google is a quick and easy way to remove these fake listings from the Maps app and get back on track.

In addition to claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile, be sure to submit your information to other local directories. These listings will help Google cross-reference your NAP data with other sources to confirm its accuracy and improve your chances of showing up in the Maps pack. Using a tool like Semrush’s Listing Management can be an efficient and cost-effective way to build out your business directory presence quickly and easily.

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