The higher you can rank for a local keyword, the more sales your business will (in theory) generate. However, to improve your rankings, you need a solid Google Maps SEO foundation to build on.
While it's a good idea to make sure your site is optimized for each search engine, the Google ecosystem should be prioritized.
Because? Because Google is king. On average more than99,000 searchesare held on Googleeach second.
This means that in the time it has taken you to read this article, Google has performed more than half a million searches.
You want some of that volume to reach your site. We'll show you how.
- Google Maps SEO Vs Local SEO: Is there a difference?
- How are rankings determined on Google Maps entries?
- How can you monitor your ranking performance on Google Maps?
- How do you rank higher on Google Maps?
- Request your Google business profile
- Embed a Google map on your website
- Make sure your nap is correct
- Be (digitally) active in your community
- Get more reviews and photos
- Google Maps Search Engine Optimization FAQ
- How long does it take to position yourself on Google Maps?
- Is a Google business listing free?
- Where can you learn more about local SEO?
Google Maps SEO Vs Local SEO: Is there a difference?
Google Maps SEO is just one component of local SEO. With local SEO, you need to take care of citations, on-page optimization, keyword research, and website structure.
With Google Maps SEO, all you care about is how your listing ranks on Google. Local SEO factors come into play, but you're only concerned with a single search engine rather than Yelp, Houzz, or some other platform you're competing on.
You still have a few things to take care of. optimization of yourGoogle Business ListingIt is not an easy task and requires regular maintenance. But most would probably agree that it's less intensive than optimizing an entire website.
But even Google Maps SEO is not the same as simply ranking your website on Google SERPs. Technically it has to do with placing it within the section of the map that is locally oriented.
The first three results in each local search result are called the "local 3-pack" (or "snack pack," which is my personal favorite).
The Local 3 Pack is an incredibly competitive venue, but if you're lucky enough to finish in the top 3, you'll reap some great rewards. This was the result of a Backlinko study42% of all searchersclicked on one of these local search results.
It will also be a struggle to stay in that position. More and more people are moving their businesses online every day, so you'll need to stay on top if you want to keep your footing.
How are rankings determined on Google Maps entries?
While there are potentially hundreds of different ranking factors, ranking high in the local SERPs essentially depends on three things: relevance, reputation, and distance.
They're mostly self-explanatory, but here's a quick breakdown of each.
- Relevance: Does your business match the search query?
- Reputation: How popular (through online reviews) is your business?
- Distance: How far is your business from the searcher's physical location?
That makes sense. Google wants to show its audience the types of entities that are most likely to match their search queries. Optimizing these three elements is your best chance of getting there.
Of course, you can't physically place your business near every search query, but there is a solution. Most local service companies (doctors, carpenters, and even fitness trainers) have thempages of locationfor each environment.
You must use the other two components for maintenance. Make sure your online reviews are positive (and respond to all of them!) and do some solid keyword research to make your site more relevant.
How can you monitor your ranking performance on Google Maps?
By far the easiest way to monitor Google Maps SEO performance is to use a tool. Ideally, you'd use a paid tool for this, something likehello localoMoz.
If you must use a free tool, try something likeSurfistaLocal.
The biggest downside to using free tools is that they usually don't trackhistoricrows You have to go to the site every day, type your URL with a keyword and see where it shows up.
Then take those ratings and write them down in a table. Over time you will have a better idea of where you stand.
You honestly don't need any tools to do this for you. All you have to do is type your keyword in the search box (in a private or incognito window) and note where your site appears.
Your range may change due to some variations, so be sure to use the exact term each time you search. Otherwise, your rankings may be highly skewed, yielding drastically different results.
How do you rank higher on Google Maps?
To rank higher on Google, you must first have a website optimized for local search. This includes local keyword research, strong on-page and off-page SEO, and a good technical structure.
Assuming you have all of these components, the next step is to go to your local listing and build a few more things.
As a quick warning, it's worth noting that none of these options are "set and forget". You'll want to review these items roughly every month to make sure they stay optimized.
Request your Google business profile
The important things first. If you haven't claimed your Google Business Profile yet, you should do so now. Spot.
If you're not sure if you've claimed it or not, just do a local search for your business. In the listing on the right side of the page, you will see a box. There you will see a sentence that says "Manage your listing" or "Do you own this business?".
A field that does not have any of these options means that someone else has already claimed the list. You must work with Google and the current owner to transfer ownership if you take control of the profile.
The option to "manage" the list means that you already own it. If it says "Do you own this business?" the listing is not claimed.
Claiming a Google profile is extremely important, and yet very few business owners do it. A recent study found that56% of Google listingsthey remained unclaimed, so this one step puts it a step ahead of most of its competitors.
It only takes a few minutes to claim the listing.here is a guidestraight from the source showing you how.
Embed a Google map on your website
Chances are, you already have some kind of map on your website. Most SaaS plugins have an API you can use to create a geo-coordinated location, but if you don't (or even if you do), you should consider replacing it with an authentic Google map.
Because? First, a Google Map connects you more directly to your ecosystem. There is a link right on your profile that you can use to copy and paste it onto your website. Setup takes a few minutes at most.
(You'll probably need to set up a Google billing account to use it with the Google Maps API, but you'll never be charged unless your site gets Wikipedia-style traffic.)
Another benefit of using Google Maps directly is that the search engine gets turn-by-turn directions directly from the list. Other software also offers this, but you will most likely have to pay.
This is free. And works.
Make sure your nap is correct
"NAP" stands for your name, address and telephone number. This allows you to geolocate your business through various directories on the Internet.
It's always a good idea to create listings for yourself on these various directories that may be relevant to your business.
Generally, you will have listings for both your industry and your location.iglesiaangel.comis an example of an industry-specific directory, while your local Chamber of Commerce is specific to your location. Creating listings in both types of directories will help your local SEO.
But it's not enough to have a single input; it also has to be precise. And when I say "exactly," I mean the exact same thing across the board. Except the lyrics.
All aspects of your ad must be identical. For example, if your ZIP code includes the delivery route in addition to the five digits (75807-4231), it must also be included in all other NAP entries.
The cumulative effect of these individual directory listings tells Google where and what you are. If there are disagreements between them, Google will consider it inaccurate and your ranking in the SERPs will likely be affected slightly.
Check all your NAP records through a service likewhite sparkwho can also create or correct these entries for you (for a fee).
Be (digitally) active in your community
As well asbacklinksThey are invaluable to your niche website, just like local backlinks to your business website. They are telling Google that your site is important, so get as many quality ones for your site as you can.
However, getting local backlinks to your website can be more difficult than you think. You can't just write great content and expect it to get shared; You need to contact local institutions and be mentioned the old-fashioned way.
You can do this by sponsoring a local sports team, organizing a fundraiser, or simply writing to the local newspaper. If your business has an event, most local publications will be happy to share it with the community.
Your local business should be seen as an integral part of the community. Whether it's through gaining local backlinks through PR or forming partnerships with other businesses who may link to you on the Recommendations tab, you need to network locally.
Get more reviews and photos
Reviews are the lifeblood of any Google listing. At least98% of peopleRead reviews from time to time, and at least half are motivated by what they say.
If you have an excellent rating, people will notice you, but if you have a bad rating, people will notice you even more.
It's important to collect reviews from your customers regularly, especially when you know they have something positive to say. You can't "seed" reviews by telling them what to say, you can ask them to be specific in their reviews.
For example, one person might say your business is great for kids, while another might say it's affordable. These two words, "kids" and "affordable," act as micro-keywords that send a signal to Google. When others do a Google search for those terms, your listing has a better chance of appearing.
Images are just as valuable, if it weren't for the SEO juice. While you can, and should, geotag your images with a localized name, you should focus on bringing out the personality of your business.
Take lots of photos that show who you are. Images that show the inside of your business, customers talking to employees, and your brand can go a long way toward building trust with a potential customer.
Honestly, the main draw of populating your listing with Google reviews and images is that it shows Google that your listing is alive. Too many Google Maps business listings these days are basically digital corpses (and you can avoid being one of them by following these great tips).Optimize your Google Maps listingHere). They could be claimed, but nothing really happens.
By creating a constant stream of content for your website, you are sending a signal that your business exists and is active, two things Google cares about.
Google Maps Search Engine Optimization FAQ
Google is a tough nut to crack, and many would-be SEOs have been trying to figure out their algorithm for years.
Below are some questions that people have about the platform.
How long does it take to position yourself on Google Maps?
Prepare your popcorn. This topic has many disagreements.
For some, the age of the website has nothing to do with how a website ranks on Google. Manyvery authoritative blogsArgue this point, so it obviously has great merit.
Others argue that anecdotal evidence proves otherwise. While a site's age isn't the only ranking factor, or even the strongest, some argue that it matters, at least a little.
What is the truth? Actually, it probably doesn't matter that much. A new site with great ranking signals will almost always outperform an old site that doesn't have as many. Focus on that and your site will appear faster than most.
From Googlesearch most websitesevery few weeks it is theoretically possible for your website to appear on Google Map Pack within a month.
Realistically, most websites will take a bit longer. With a strong foundation and good linking skills, you should see progress in your Google My Business listing within the first three months of business.
Is a Google business listing free?
Absolutely. It costs zero dollars to claim your Google Maps listing, and Google used to bepay you(in the form of Google Ads credits) for it.
It wants to create the broadest directory possible, so Google has an incentive to recruit so many people.
Where can you learn more about local SEO?
Google Maps marketing is a tricky concept, and this article has really only scratched the surface (and below, you might want to check out our guide on how to improve yours).Google Maps Ranking). We have other items on our site with this addressgoogle algorithm, but your best bet for Google Maps SEO is to read other industry blogs.sterling himmelYMoz.comThey are two of the best, in my opinion.
If you want to rank a website without really worrying about these things, you can always ask an SEO agency for help. Digital marketing experts take care of these and many other services, so it's not a bad idea to outsource them if you want.
Ultimately, the best education will be your experience. Try rating a local website and you will invariably learn your own valuable tricks and tactics in the process.