Aside from online organic SEO, Google Maps ranking is one of the most crucial factors for businesses to rank well in local search results. In fact, getting your business to appear in the top 3 of the Maps Pack (or local 3-pack) can significantly increase sign-ups, website visits, phone calls and other desirable conversions.
Achieving a high-ranking position in the Google Maps packs is not easy. Unlike traditional search engine optimization, Maps rankings are decided by a combination of algorithms that consider multiple elements. Some of these factors include relevance, distance and prominence. Others, such as business citations, social media presence and reviews, are more subjective. In order to achieve a high Maps ranking, you must optimize your entire local online presence from both an organic and Maps perspective. This means optimizing your business name, address and phone number on all local listings, having a strong social media presence, and building quality local links.
Often, the reason why local SEO is overlooked is that many small-business owners don’t understand how to properly optimize their Maps listing. This is a big mistake, as optimizing a Maps profile is extremely important to local rankings. The key to ranking highly on Google Maps is to ensure that the information in your listing matches what searchers are looking for. This includes writing a catchy business description that features targeted keywords, correctly categorizing your business, and keeping all of the information on your Google Business Profile up to date.
Another way to optimize your Google Maps listing is by embedding your Google map on your website. This signals to the search engines that your site is authoritative and has a trustworthy backlink, which can help boost your Maps ranking. However, it’s important to note that you should only embed a Google map on your website if it is relevant and will offer value for the user.
As Google’s algorithm evolves, it places more emphasis on proximity as a ranking factor in the Maps pack. This is especially true in areas where competition for the top spot is high. In addition, there is now a stronger correlation between a business’s ratings and its ranking on the Google Maps. It is therefore very important that you obtain a large quantity of positive reviews for your business.
Google also weighs in social signals in the Maps pack, which can be a good indicator of a business’s popularity. Therefore, it is a good idea to encourage your customers to review your business by promoting your Google Maps page on social media and on your company’s blog. A strong social media presence can significantly boost your Maps ranking. However, be cautious of spamming Google with fake reviews as this can get your business into trouble. Luckily, there are a few tools available to help you filter out spam.