In the SEO business, it’s a given that ranking well in Google Maps is crucial for businesses that sell local products or services. Getting listed in the “Map Pack,” or the top 3 results on SERP, will significantly boost your sign-ups, site visits, phone calls and other desired conversions. That’s why most companies are focused on optimizing their maps ranking. But with Google constantly updating its algorithms, it can be challenging to keep up.
One of the most important factors in Google Maps ranking is relevance. This is determined by how closely your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) matches the user’s search query. This is why it’s crucial to have your business’ NAP data fully updated and accurate.
Another factor is distance, which is based on how close your business is to the searcher’s location. This is why it’s important to optimize your website with local keywords. Optimizing your site will help boost organic positions, which in turn will improve your Google Maps ranking.
Finally, there is prominence, which is the most difficult to rank for and hardest to define. According to Google, this is based on how well-known your business is both offline and online. This is influenced by a variety of factors, including your GMB reviews, ratings, and social signals. Getting your business’ name out there is vital for your Maps ranking, as is promoting and participating in events. You can also create posts that appear on your Google My Business dashboard and which will display directly on your business listing. Regularly posting like this shows Google that you proactively manage your listings and will boost your Maps ranking.
It’s also important to add photos to your Google My Business account and include them on your website. Google searches for images when conducting a Maps search, and listing without photos will not rank as highly as those with photos. In addition, you should try to get citations from other websites and directories that mention your business’ NAP information. This includes industry-specific listings and directories.