As many as one billion people use Google Maps each month, making it by far the most popular navigation app of the moment. Admittedly, general directions do make up a large part of this usage, but 86% of people also search for business listings through this navigational must-have.
For company directors, this makes Google Maps an invaluable marketing tool that requires ample attention. Even better, getting started on this free business listings service is as simple as setting up an all-important My Google Business page.
However, just as with any marketing focus, taking full advantage of a Google Maps listing is about more than simply making your mark on the map. Instead, Google Maps requires a dedicated marketing plan and a range of notable efforts for listing improvements, the most pressing of which we’re going to discuss here.
# 1 – Customize your GMB profile
As mentioned, getting your business listed on Google Maps is as simple as registering for a Google My Business profile. That said, companies who skimp on profile details will struggle to enjoy returns, and even risk looking unprofessional.
Instead, it’s vital to provide as much information on your Google Maps pinpoint as possible, a goal that’s best achieved through well-thought and ample customizations on your GMB profile. Something as simple as adding images and videos of your business can certainly help to transform the conversions you enjoy here, while further steps including the use of profile subcategories can also help your professional image. Furthermore, statistics reveal that making sure to complete all elements of your profile can significantly help Google to ensure your Map listing always appears in the most relevant possible searches.
# 2 – Optimize your website homepage
Website optimizations are a standard element of marketing success and are certainly essential for companies looking to reach new heights. Ensuring that your website is as good as it possibly can be is also becoming essential when it comes to ranking higher on Google Maps.
Ensuring your homepage is up to scratch is especially essential considering that you should provide a URL for this the moment you create your GMB profile. This is, after all, how people are truly going to find out what you have to offer if they like what they see on your map listing. Google will also draw data from the URL you provide and use this information to rank your authority in local searches, as well as ensuring everything from keyword targeting to business category relevance and domain authority that always gets the right people looking your way. With this in mind, you especially need to optimize your homepage using images, carefully-selected keywords, and informative content that keeps you at the helm of Google Maps listings for good.
# 3 – Prioritize your local ranking
Google Maps itself is at the helm of local SEO solutions, but considering that most people who search here will be looking in the local vicinity, further steps are also necessary to ensure the competitive edge necessary to convert. This is especially crucial for businesses operating outside of city areas who can easily find themselves overlooked.
In this situation, the best things you can do include the use of location-dependent landing pages ensuring plenty of keyword-rich content, and adding outbound links from your website to local business resources using Google Maps ‘nearby’ recommended businesses. In each case, you’re building the strongest Google Maps listing you can, thus ensuring that you’re always considered a relevant authority in your area regardless of how far out you’re located.
# 4 – Build trust with reviews
Google Maps has a review function that allows consumers to both write reviews and leave photos. As many as 63.6% of consumers refer to these reviews when choosing a business, meaning that this is another crucial area to consider.
The good news is that, when considering your Google Maps listing, Google generally doesn’t discriminate if you have a mixture of positive and negative reviews. That said, as well as ensuring you end up on the wrong side of Google, lacking reviews or overwhelmingly negative ones will never help you convert. To avoid this, make sure that you’re asking for feedback on your GMB profile, and that you’re tracking your reviews to make improvements, rectify negative experiences, and generally build the most trusting Google Maps listing you can hope for.
Google Maps is a marketing must that too many companies forget. Don’t make the same mistake if you want to perfect local service, or just get your name on the map at last.