Google Maps Ranking is the result of your business listing being displayed in search results in the Google Local Pack (also known as a ‘Google 3-pack’). As more and more people use their phones to find local businesses, appearing in the Google Maps pack can lead to an increase in online reach and potential conversions for your brand.
Google has fine-tuned algorithms for deciding what to show to searchers, and there are certain factors that can help you optimize your GMB profile to rank higher in the local pack. These factors are similar to traditional SEO, with relevance, proximity and prominence being the primary drivers of your Google Maps rankings.
Getting your business listed on the first page of Google Maps can drastically increase your organic reach and boost customer traffic to your business store. To achieve this, it’s important to understand the basics of Google Maps ranking. Having a complete and accurate Google Business Profile is essential, as is making sure that the information you have provided to Google matches the keywords your customers are searching for.
One of the best ways to do this is by optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) profile. You can start by double checking all your data to make sure it’s completely accurate, and adding in relevant keywords in your description and category fields. It’s also important to update the business details for any new services or locations you may have, as well as removing duplicate listings that have incorrect or contradictory information.
Another way to ensure your GMB profile is optimized is by generating reviews for your business. Reviews are an extremely powerful ranking factor, and can improve your Google Maps ranking significantly if done correctly. However, it’s important to remember that a good review is not merely based on a high number of positive reviews, but is more about the quality of those reviews. It’s also important to respond to any negative reviews you receive, as this shows that your business cares about its customers and their experience with the company.
GMB profiles can be further optimized by using schema, which is the markup code that makes your listing appear in a more structured and informative manner. This can help you stand out from the competition by displaying key pieces of information like your phone number, address or website directly in the search engine result page.
Finally, the prominence of your business is determined by a combination of things, including your reputation, online presence, star rating and SEO. Prominence is one of the few factors that you can actively influence by campaigning for reviews and posting content, though you should be careful not to generate fake reviews, which can harm your Google Maps ranking.
The bottom line is that your Google Maps ranking can be influenced by a wide variety of factors, but the standard pillars of local SEO – relevance, proximity and prominence – remain the most important. Thankfully, with the help of tools such as Semrush’s Listing Management tool, you can get a clear understanding of how your Maps rankings are positioned and what you need to do to optimize them.