Considering the overwhelming majority of searches done on Google are local in nature, the local pack—a box with 3 local businesses and their contact information that appears at the top of search results—is one of the most crucial areas for marketers to focus their efforts on. Achieving a high ranking in the local pack can increase a business’s visibility and dramatically impact traffic to their website and physical location.
In order to achieve a highly-ranked local listing, marketers should make sure that their Google Maps profile is optimized with the correct business name, address, phone number, and website. In addition, the description should be filled with relevant keywords and include photos that showcase the product or service, if applicable. Regularly updating the business profile with content, such as upcoming events, community involvement, and special offers can also help to improve the ranking.
Aside from ensuring that the listing is accurate, one of the most important aspects of an optimized Google Maps profile is to collect positive reviews. In fact, studies show that listings with a 4- or 5-star rating receive 69% more clicks and 42% more driving direction requests than those with no star rating. Moreover, a review with a photo is more likely to be clicked than a standard review without a photo.
Obtaining a good Google Maps ranking requires a significant investment of time and resources. But it is well worth it, as the benefits can be tremendous. Aside from increased incoming traffic, it is also possible to convert Google Maps searches into paying customers.
The main reason why businesses need to prioritize their local SEO efforts is that Google relies on fine-tuned algorithms to determine which listings will be displayed in the search results and in which order they will appear. In the case of Google Maps, the algorithm takes into account a variety of factors, including business name, phone number, address, website, review score, and other local citations.
Whether searching for a restaurant, a hair salon, or a contractor, people are looking for quality local options that will satisfy their needs. Ultimately, they want to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Having an optimized Google Maps listing is the best way to do that.
But just like regular rankings, optimizing for Google Maps involves a complex and constantly changing set of rules and algorithms. It can be difficult to keep track of all the changes and make timely adjustments, which is why using a tool such as Semrush’s Listing Management is essential. This tool can notify you when your business has duplicated profiles and will handle the removal process for you, making it a lot easier to optimize your listing. In addition, it will help you track your Google Maps rankings over time and see how your strategies are working. It also provides a comparative analysis of your competitors. You can even view a list of the top competitors in your area and their ranking data.