SEO Google Maps Ranking is a key part of local search engine optimization. As more people use Google Maps to find businesses and services, this has become one of the most important ways for a business to attract new customers and build its online presence. Optimizing your GBP is essential for getting noticed by customers, standing out from competitors and generating quality leads.
In 2021, Google introduced a major redesign of the Maps SERP that put businesses in a “map pack” right at the top of the results page (Select Image). This made it easier for people to see what services and products they offer and increased their visibility by a significant margin. Since then, there’s been a growing number of businesses who prioritize optimizing their Google Business Profile and getting in the map pack, but there’s also been a rise in spammers and other bad actors trying to manipulate the rankings to gain an unfair advantage.
Proximity is one of the most important factors in determining your Google Maps ranking. This factor is calculated by comparing your business to the search query. If your business closely matches the user’s intent, you’ll appear higher in the maps results. Keeping your Google Business Profile filled out with accurate, detailed information will help you maximize this ranking factor.
The second most important ranking factor is relevance. This factor looks at the keywords that are used in the search query to judge how well your business matches their needs. Having relevant keywords in your business name and in the descriptions of each listing will increase your relevance.
Another important ranking factor is prominence. This is a difficult factor to pin down but Google’s documentation suggests it’s based on how prominent your business is offline and online, including the quantity of reviews you have and the prominence of your website.
Other important factors in determining your Google Maps rankings include the number of reviews you have and the consistency of those reviews. Having a large amount of positive reviews helps you appear trustworthy to prospective customers and can increase your sales. It’s also a good idea to include local business schema markup on your website, which is a form of code that doesn’t display to visitors but is read by search engines.
Finally, make sure you have only one official Google Business Profile. Duplicate profiles are a serious problem and can hurt your Google Maps ranking. They can be caused by mistakes like interns setting up a profile years ago or even by unscrupulous actors who create them to steal your traffic and reviews. Using a tool such as Semrush’s Listing Management can help you keep track of and fix duplicate listings.