Google Maps website ranking is a key factor for businesses to get visibility, clicks and eventually paying clients. However, optimizing for Google Maps may seem challenging, especially with the increasing local business features in SERP (say hi to the local pack). In order to rank well on Maps, your business needs to optimize its listing with relevant information and provide high-quality content. It also needs to work on its online reputation and social proof.
Unlike traditional SEO, which is based on keywords and search phrases, Google Maps SEO uses different algorithms to determine the results. The main factors that influence Google Maps rankings are relevance, proximity to search users and prominence.
Relevance is how well a local business matches a user’s query. For example, if someone searches “pizza shop”, the relevant results should have a pizza menu and phone number to contact. Google focuses on ensuring the accuracy of the information in its listings to ensure that it is showing the best results possible.
Prominence is another crucial factor that is based on how popular and widely known a business is. According to Google, this metric is determined by how well-known a business is both offline and online. The most well-known companies are shown at the top of Google Maps, which is why it’s so important for local businesses to be active on their social media and run reviews campaigns.
While it’s not as important as the other two factors, a business’s physical location is still a big influencer on its ranking. Having a good location can mean the difference between a business that gets lots of traffic and one that doesn’t.
The quality of a website is also a factor that Google takes into consideration when ranking websites on search result pages. A website with a lot of likes, shares and engagement sends a positive signal to Google that it is worthy of a higher position on search results pages.
Another ranking factor that is not directly related to your SEO efforts but does have an impact on your Google Maps ranking is the quality of your images. Google will give priority to photos with good resolution, clear pictures and proper description. It is important to upload all the necessary pictures for your business to rank well on Google Maps.
Another way to improve your Google Maps ranking is by running paid ads. Paid ads can help boost your business’s visibility, resulting in more clicks, reviews and other forms of positive engagement. In addition, this can also increase the amount of traffic to your website, which is another metric that helps with your Google Maps ranking. However, it’s important to note that this is not a substitute for SEO as it doesn’t provide the same long-term effects. However, it can be a useful tool to use while you wait for your SEO efforts to pay off.