Google Maps is the go-to tool for local searches. It’s used by consumers when they are looking to discover new products or services, whether it’s finding a great lunch spot in a neighborhood they don’t know very well or looking for a mechanic to help with an emergency flat tire. It’s vital for local businesses to ensure their website ranks high in the search engine results page (SERP) and maps pack, so that they can receive clicks and incoming clients from this powerful platform.
Getting to the top of the Google Maps results can be a challenge for even the most established local businesses, especially with all the competition fighting for that prime position. The good news is that there are still a few tricks you can use to make your way into the first 3 listings, so that you can get views, clicks, and incoming clients from this important local marketing channel.
One of the most overlooked tricks for boosting your Google Maps ranking is to optimize your website. This includes optimizing your headings, titles, and other on-page SEO.
It’s also a good idea to enrich your site with local keywords and to monitor your organic SERP rankings (using a ranking tracking tool, for example). It’s often the case that there’s a correlation between your organic rank and your Google Maps visibility rank.
Another important strategy is to focus on your reviews and ratings. According to Google, prominence (which was recently revamped after the Vicinity update) is based on your business’s overall brand recognition, both online and offline. This is supposedly measured by your GMB reviews, your backlinks, and the number of reputable local citations you have. The key to a strong reputation is consistency, so be sure to regularly update your reviews and monitor any incoming negative feedback.
In addition, it’s a good idea to respond to reviews in a basic customer service fashion and encourage customers to leave additional feedback on your listing. This will help boost your rating and show that you’re invested in your local presence and care about your customers’ experiences.
Finally, it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the competition. If you notice a spam listing that is outranking yours, consider submitting an edit to Google’s redressal form or contacting them directly to request removal.
Google Maps website ranking is a complex issue, with many factors playing into it. However, the steps outlined above can be easily applied by any local business with a desire to increase their visibility and incoming client flow. Using a local SEO monitoring tool like Semrush can help you keep a close eye on your Google Maps ranking and ensure you’re taking all the right steps for maximum visibility. To learn more about how to optimize your Google Maps profile and drive traffic, sign up for a free trial of Semrush today.