Google Maps is no longer a tool merely for locating establishments; it has become an indispensable marketing platform in the advent of digital browsing. An optimized Google place page is now a great help for local businesses that want to set an edge over competitors. However, ensuring a good spot in the Google Map Ranking is not a simple matter of creating an account and leaving it to accumulate reviews. Getting in the top list requires foolproof strategies that every local business owner must know.
Get your business listed
For ranking purposes, Google first wants to verify that your business is authentic, not a dummy establishment. The verification process is based on the frequency of your business citation or listing on the Internet. The common details captured by Google are your business NAP which stands for name, address, and phone number. How often your business NAP appears on websites and webpages affects how your business ranks in the Google Maps listing. The more citations or listings there are, the better your search ranking will be.
The first place and possibly the most strategic to post a citation is your company website. If you do not have a business website yet, you better create one now. Websites are necessary tools for building brand identity, relaying product information, and promoting sales. You can embed your business NAP on either the header or footer of your website so it is displayed on every page.
For your business to get cited or listed more, you can submit your NAP information to business directories, both local and national. There are also firms that offer citation building services that you can join for a reasonable fee. This should become very handy for start-ups and local businesses wanting to improve their local search results.
Ensure consistency of business information.
Frequency is not enough. You need to ensure that your business information is consistent across all websites, pages, blogs, social networking sites, business directories, and all other possible platforms. On the customers’ side, this prevents confusion, whereas on the business end, this spells higher Google Places ranking.
What you can do is to perform a random Google search yourself and visit every directory or site where your business is mentioned. If there are information errors, or even misspelled words, you can get in touch with the site owner for corrections. If the task seems overwhelming, you have the option to partner with a firm that offers a citation report service. This makes the verification and correction process much quicker and easier.
Embed Google Maps
If you do a competitor check, you will observe that websites normally have an embedded Google map on their contact page. Even on Facebook, businesses opt to embed a Google map on their page. Embedding maps is your way of informing Google that your physical location is exactly the same as the address you cited in directories and other websites. To embed maps, simply go to Google Maps and search for your business. Click on the menu tab just beside your business name and select the “Share or embed map” option.
Know your keywords
Keywords serve as your benchmark. Optimizing your site based on the keywords you would like to focus on is also a great way to jumpstart your Google Place ranking. Yes, as a business, you have the option to compete either in organic or local search results. The former has a wider coverage while the latter is more specific. Local businesses are advised to improve local search results as part of an effective niche marketing. To know which keywords to use for search engine optimization, you can visit Google Adwords, click on the “Tools” tab, and select “Keyword Planner”. Put in the details, such as your suggested keywords and location. The system automatically generates the monthly average searches per keyword. This should already give you an idea on where you want to focus.
Improve your reviews
While visibility in the Google ranking considerably improves customer traffic, negative reviews can still pull your business down. Other conscientious users browse until the top 20 list to check the highest-rated establishment. This is a way of telling that while online marketing greatly helps, it is not a substitute for quality products or services. Improve your operations and products, and you will see more positive reviews on Google. The word of mouth, though a traditional marketing method, is still highly effective up to the present.
Indeed, today’s search engine optimization spells a big difference for your business. You can either swim with the ongoing trend or let your business sink. If you choose to hustle, the above tips will surely help your local business become optimized for Google place ranking.