How to Optimize Your Google Maps Ranking For Local SEO

Having an optimized Google Maps ranking is a necessity for local businesses. With over 25.5 million downloads in the US for this app alone in 2021, consumers are turning to it for their everyday needs and business searches. Google Maps is also the first search result for 46% of local searches on Google, making it an important ranking factor to consider for your local SEO strategy.

Optimizing for Maps is a different animal than optimizing for organic search, as many on-page and off-page factors influence its success. In addition, the algorithm is constantly changing. The key to a high Maps ranking is keeping up with the latest updates and learning how they can impact your rankings.

In the past, it was possible to rank a business in Maps simply by having a keyword in their name or location in the description. However, this is no longer the case. In fact, since the Vicinity update in 2021, many businesses who had a keyword in their name have seen significant drops in their Maps ranking. While having a keyword in your name can help, prominence and proximity are now more important factors for Google Maps ranking.

When it comes to local SEO, the most obvious thing to focus on is ensuring that your GMB profile is filled out in its entirety and accurately describes the services that you provide. This can be a time-consuming task for busy business owners, but it is necessary to improve your ranking in Maps.

Another way to boost your Maps ranking is to ensure that you have a good amount of customer reviews on your listing. In fact, reviews are one of the most important ranking factors for Maps listings. Not only are they a critical signal to Google that your listing is authoritative, but they also help to attract new customers.

One of the best ways to get more customer reviews is to make it easy for them to leave a review on your business profile. Whether this is done by encouraging them to leave a review on your website or giving them a link to do so directly on your Google Business Profile, the more reviews you have, the higher your Maps ranking will be.

A good number of reviews is also a great signal to Google that your listing has a strong relevance for specific keywords in the geographic area that you serve. To maximize the benefits of this, it is essential to select the right longtail keywords for your business.

In addition to focusing on Google Maps, businesses should also invest in their organic SEO to drive traffic to their website and strengthen their authority in the search engines. Semrush’s Listing Management tool makes it easier to manage these efforts and keep track of the changes in your Google Maps rankings, as well as all of your other online business listings. To learn more about how to use this feature, sign up for a free Semrush account.

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