Google Maps is the preferred navigation app for 67% of consumers, and ranking high in the map pack (also called the local pack or the snack pack) can have a huge impact on incoming traffic. It’s important to understand how to optimize your business for Google Maps so you can gain more exposure and expand your audience.
SEO for Google Maps Ranking: The Basics
Before you can start optimizing your business for Google Maps, it’s essential to make sure you have a complete and up-to-date Google Maps business listing. This includes all your location’s details such as address, phone number, and website.
Adding new information like your location’s zip code, opening hours, and more can help you boost your search rankings on Google Maps. It also helps Google recognize that you are a real business.
You should also update your information regularly so Google can keep up with changes. For example, if you move to a new address, update your business name and phone number to ensure that they’re the same.
To optimize for Google Maps, it’s crucial to focus on keywords that are relevant to your niche and include your location. For example, if you’re a church that has a kids program, your target keyword would be “kids programs near me”.
Once you have an optimized listing, it’s time to take the next step and start generating local online reviews to increase your Google Maps prominence. This is an especially powerful way to boost your search rankings on Google Maps, since reviews are a vital part of the algorithm that determines how prominent a business appears on the local map pack.
Using a tool like Semrush’s Listing Management can help you easily manage your reviews and generate more high-quality content for your business’s profile. The platform also lets you schedule your content in advance to drive more engagement and improve your Google Maps ranking.
What to Do When Your Business Has No Local Google Maps Listing
One of the biggest challenges for many small businesses is getting their location verified on Google Maps. This can be difficult, because not all listings have been updated with a current phone number or address. It’s easy to fall into the trap of having a listing that is inaccurate or out of date, but taking the time to verify your Google Maps business profile is a necessary step in the SEO process.
Prominence is a combination of your online presence, your star rating, and how often you’ve been mentioned in reviews. If you have a large number of positive reviews, Google is more likely to place your business in the top three local results on Google Maps.
To boost your visibility on Google Maps, focus on generating high-quality reviews and engaging with customers. You can also use the platform’s link-building tools to pinpoint opportunities for high-quality citations and build them in the right places. Lastly, make sure your business website is responsive, which means it functions properly on any device or screen size.