Google Maps website ranking is becoming increasingly important for local businesses. Appearing in the Google Maps pack can increase footfalls, sign-ups, site visits, phone calls and other desirable conversions significantly. Although a business must have a GMB listing to rank in Google Maps, organic SEO has a big impact on Google Maps performance too. The Vicinity update has brought proximity back as one of the top three factors for Google Maps, but there are many other aspects to optimize for if you want to rank higher in Google Maps.
The Google algorithm looks at on-page and off-page factors to rank businesses. On-page factors are those that are specific to the Google My Business profile, such as keyword optimization and building a robust online presence through local citations. Off-page factors are those that are outside the Google My Business profile, such as links and reviews. Google Maps SEO is different than traditional SEO in that it has its own unique set of on-page and off-page SEO factors. Here are some tips for optimizing your Google Maps SEO strategy:
It is crucial to have a consistent and complete online presence. A strong brand image is a positive signal to both Google and consumers, and it can help a business rank higher in Google Maps. In addition to having a robust online presence, it is also important to list your business with relevant online directories, such as Yelp and Foursquare. This helps build credibility and instills trust in customers.
A quality, professional photo on a Google My Business profile can improve the visibility of a business listing and encourage more consumers to visit. The human eye is drawn to photos, and Google rewards listings that have plenty of them. In addition to posting images, a business should post updates on a daily basis. This can include new products, special offers and other information that will be helpful to customers.
Posting a high volume of reviews can also boost Google Maps listings. Consumers tend to favor businesses with a high number of positive reviews, and this can increase the likelihood that Google will rank a business higher in Google Maps. A business should proactively seek out reviews, without making people feel pressured to leave them. In addition to asking for reviews on social media and on Google My Business, businesses can also include a link to their review page on invoices and in their email signatures.
Another way to improve a Google Maps ranking is to enrich the website with relevant local keywords. This can be done through the content, meta tags and URLs of a website. In addition, it is important to have a fast website that renders well on all devices and doesn’t require pinching and zooming or side-scrolling. Google will reward websites that are optimized for mobile use by giving them better rankings in Google Maps.