If you have a local business, it’s likely that most of your clients are using Google Maps to search for businesses that offer the services they need. Getting your business to appear on the first page of results will help you get views, clicks, and ultimately paying clients.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are a lot of factors that influence your Google Maps ranking, and that optimizing for it is not the same as traditional SEO. It’s a separate discipline that focuses on creating and managing your listing on Google, as well as promoting it and improving its visibility online.
The Google Maps ranking algorithm considers relevance, distance, and prominence when determining the order in which businesses appear on the result page. The most relevant business is placed first, followed by those with a good reputation and strong engagement in the local community.
You can check your Google Maps rank by entering the name of your business and location in the search box on the Google homepage. This will give you a quick, accurate picture of how your listing is performing.
To improve your Google Maps ranking, make sure that all of the information published on your listing is correct and up to date. This includes the NAP data (name, address, and phone number), the category, attributes, and description, as well as the photos and videos. The NAP data must match the NAP information published on your website and any other marketing materials you use. Make sure to avoid cramming keywords in your NAP data as this can lead to a penalty from Google.
Another way to improve your Google Maps ranking is by building more citations. This is one of the few things that Google publicly acknowledges affects your Maps ranking, so it’s worth putting some effort into finding high-quality business citation sources. Ideally, you should look for sites that are also ranking highly on Google and that are in the same industry as your own.
Reviews are also a big part of the Google Maps ranking equation, so making it easy for customers to leave reviews is an excellent strategy for increasing your rankings. Fortunately, there are tools available that can make this process much easier. One example is Podium, which automates the process of collecting and submitting reviews for your business.
While it may not seem obvious at first, optimizing for Google Maps is an essential step to growing your business and attracting more local clients. By following the tips outlined above, you can ensure that your business appears on the first page of the Google Maps results when users perform a ‘near me’ search.
And with a tool like Semrush’s Listing Management, you can easily track your Maps rankings over time to see the effects of your optimization efforts. You can even monitor your competition’s rankings to see how they stack up, so you can be sure that you are making the best possible progress in your local SEO campaign.