While Google Maps were primarily useful for tourists and people who travel a lot, they have also become an essential application for businesses, especially local brick-and-mortar stores which are just starting out. It’s yet another way to boost your SEO. But, it’s not just about getting your business listed on Google Maps, but also getting it to rank higher, so that it reaches the first page of Google Maps search. The truth is, most people don’t have the patience, especially on mobile devices, to flip through more than a couple of pages to find what they are looking for.
In order to increase the visibility of your business on Google Maps, as well as to improve your ranking, here are 7 crucial tips you need to implement today. Keep on reading.
1. Verify Your Listing
In order to improve your chances, you will need to submit information about your business to Google My Business. There are a few tips you need to keep in mind. Try and provide accurate contact information, such as your business’ phone number, email, address, as well its official website. Another important bit of information that will show up in the listing are your business hours, so make sure to include those as well. Finally, it’s also better to includes just one address or phone number, even though you have multiple, because Google prefers concise and accurate information. You can post the other ones on your website.
2. Invite People to Leave Reviews
According to Harry Donovan, who is in charge of SEO for Rush My Essay, customer reviews are helpful for any business, and that goes double for Google Maps reviews left by local users. The number of customer reviews is connected directly to your visibility on Google Maps. However, try not to force your customers into leaving a good review or pay them to do so, especially to write fake reviews, because Google will be able to figure it out sooner or later.
3. Respond to Reviews
By responding to user reviews, you are showing your customers that you actually care about what they have to say, so that you can provide a better service, and a better overall experience. While it’s pretty easy to respond to a glowing, high-quality review, you will also need to deal with those which are not so favorable. Don’t get into arguments. Be polite, and provide a solution, such as a discount, refund, or an honest apology in order to turn things around.
4. Add High-Quality Images
While it’s nice to have professional images which represent your business online, when it comes to Google Maps, you may need to focus on photographs which show what your business looks like in real life. For instance, if it is a restaurant, upload pictures of guest having a great time and enjoying good food. As long the images are relevant and high-quality, they will add value to your listing, which will inevitably affect your ranking on Google Maps.
5. Pick the Right Category for Your Business
Another bit of information you’ll need to think about are categories, which Google Maps allow you to choose. The good thing is that you are allowed to pick several, which is excellent if you are running a bowling alley, for example, but if your business is just a restaurant, you will be better off with sticking with only one category. Google is all about relevancy, and while you might want to tackle some of the more popular categories, your choice wouldn’t be relevant. In this case, less is more.
6. Embed a Google Map
Embedding a Google Map on your website helps you out in two ways. First, it allows potential customers to quickly see where your business is located. Second, an embedded Google Map bolsters the information which is already there in your listing. However, to make it as useful as possible, make sure that all the information inside the map matches the data provided in the listing. And embedding the map itself is pretty simple. Read how to integrate Google Maps into WordPress sites/blogs without plugins.
7. Make Sure Your Website Is Responsive
Mobile devices have finally taken over as primary devices through which most users consume content, and Google Maps are no exception. In case a user sees your listing and goes to your website, which is not mobile-friendly, they won’t be likely to come back. And on top of that, website responsiveness is also a ranking factor, which means that Google will take it down a few notches in terms of ranking.
Optimizing your business’ visibility on Google Maps will cause you to invest some time and effort into it, but it will be a worthwhile investment, especially if your business is brand new in the neighborhood and is waiting to be discovered by customers. Good luck!