Google Maps is an application that is quickly turning into the default GPS framework for businesses and consumers everywhere in the world. Google has had the option to use its inconceivably enormous versatile quest crowd into a route for organizations to gain visibility to local users looking for the products and services they’re selling. Google Maps has additionally become a ground-breaking geographic hunt program that is utilized a large number of times each week. Getting your business listed on Google Maps is free, however as a local business, you may need to take a few additional steps for your business to rank higher on Google Maps.
Earning a spot in the top three positions (Local Three-Pack) on the local map search results could the difference between a “good day” and a “record-breaking sales day.”
Tips #1: Google My Business Listing Optimization
The Google My Business (GMB) platform has been around for quite a while, however, it has become a more important promotion tool since its integration to Google Maps. Google My Business now allows nearby all business types to benefit from Google’s search, getting new traffic, leads, and calls from their listing in Google Maps. Optimizing your business listing, posting new content, offers, and images is a simple but effective way to increase the chances your business will show up when a user searches for products and services you offer.
Here are a few additional details to get started with your GMB listing optimization.
Tip #1a: Complete All Information
An incomplete GMB listing makes it hard for Google to understand what your business has to offer and which searches are relevant to your offerings. Google’s algorithms are amazingly complex, which is the reason you need to provide them with as much information as possible in your listing, making it easier to distinguish between your business and organizations with comparable names or offerings. Simply put, the more detail you put into your profile, the easier it is for Google to understand your business and return it as a potential match for a user’s search.
There are a lot of assets you can use to expand the completeness of your GMB profile, one of them being MOZ Local as it is quite possibly the most complete assets for GMB advancement. An asset like this will show you precisely what you need to do to make a far-reaching GMB profile and assist you with learning the best strategies for keeping up your profile appropriately.
Need help making sure you have the most complete, best-optimized listing for your business? Run over to Moz Local and use their free Presence Check to make sure you’re getting the most from your listings!
Tip #1b: Add Keyword Modifiers in Your GMB Name and Description
Use this tip with caution, because abusing it CAN get your Google My Business listing rejected.
That said, we have witnessed jaw-dropping boosts in rankings for listings that include keywords in the title. Google has changed its ranking algorithms more than a few times since 2010 to help ensure only the most relevant business listings for a search are returned, but we still see that businesses with highly relevant keywords included in the title outrank businesses with a better-optimized listing. But again, use this tip with caution.
Tip #1c: Google Posts
It is also important to regularly update your GMB listing to ensure all available information about your business is current. Google My Business has a great posting tool to allow businesses to provide searchers with details on working hours, seasonal promotions, offers, and more. Google includes this information in search results that are relevant to your business.
Tip #1d: Add Videos to Your GMB Listing
Video marketing is where it’s at – for at least five years now. Be sure to upload your product demo videos, how-to videos & instructional videos to your Google My Business account (and not just Facebook and Instagram). This is an often-overlooked or under-utilized part of video marketing for many businesses, so including it on your Google My Business listing will help set you apart from your competitors.
Tip #2: Get More GMB Reviews
Quantity over quality? Well, yeah… sorta. There needs to be a balance of getting new reviews, getting great 5-star reviews, and using negative reviews as an opportunity. More on that shortly…
The total number of reviews is almost as important as the overall rating in this case. While we all want a perfect 5-star rating it’s more effective to focus on getting more reviews for your business. Google gives higher rankings priority to businesses getting new reviews. After every sale, every completed job, there should be an effort to reach back out to the customer to get their feedback on your product or service.
Tip# 2a: How to Get More Reviews
- Remind your clients to look at your business on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or other review sites
- Google My Business now included a customizable URL you can use to collect new reviews. Include this link in an email or text follow-up a few days after every sales transaction
- Include review links throughout your website
- You can share your best reviews on other online media platforms and encourage your fans and followers to post their reviews on GMB, Facebook, Yelp and different platforms also.
Tip #2b: What to Do with Negative Reviews
I said it earlier, we all want that perfect 5-star rating… Sometimes there’s just no making a particular customer happy though, despite your best efforts.
That’s OK though, negative reviews are an opportunity to turn a customer’s bad experience into a learning experience for your business and publically show how you’re listening to your customers and using their feedback to improve your service level. When this is done right, it’s a chance to convert your negative reviewer into a raving fan! Additionally, Google looks for responses to reviews (positive and negative) and gives additional ranking weight to businesses who are actively engaged with their customer’s reviews. Use this opportunity to:
- Apologize for the bad experience
- Explain how you’re addressing their specific problem
- Explain how you’re changing things to make sure it doesn’t happen again
- Invite them to come back to do business with you again
And leave it at that.
Replying to the negative review shows Google and the search engines that you’re listening. Following the steps outlined above provides social proof that you’re trying to provide the best customer experience possible. Going on a tirade about how the issue was the customer’s fault or getting defensive does nothing for your rankings or your public image. Period.
Tip #3: Implement Schema (Structured Data Markup)
In 2011, Google and other search engines developed a coding language called Schema Markup (or structured, data, or microdata) to crawl and categorize a website better. At its core, Schema Markup is a language that web crawlers use to get a much deeper understanding of every element of a page’s content, including information about the business that owns the website, product and service pricing, information about an article’s author, etc., and present that data in an easy to understand way on search engine results pages.
As a business attempting to rank higher on Google Maps, you should utilize, at the very least, “Local Business” schema markup onto your site. By adding this correctly, you are making it easier for Google to present the correct information about your business when it does show in the SERPs.
By executing schema onto your site, you are placing yourself above the other 90% of businesses who are not using it on their site. If coding is intimidating, there are a ton of tools available now to help put the right markup in the correct places on your site, depending on what platform your site is built on.
Google has consistently been an astounding marketing asset for local businesses. By utilizing these tips to your local marketing plan, you will be well on your way to higher rankings in the SERPs as well as Google Maps.
If your team doesn’t have the time or technical expertise to implement these tips The Conversion Mill can help you. Just schedule a meeting with one of our experts today!