When looking for a business or restaurant nearby, the first word that comes to mind for most people is ‘Google Maps.’ It’s why many advertising teams ensure their listings cater to Google Maps SEO (search engine optimization) to generate more sales.
SEO plays a major role in improving online presence, helping businesses stand out in their local community. If SEO isn’t your forte, Romain Berg can help you out. Our services ensure you grab and maintain Google’s attention.
How Google Maps Boosts Your Business SEO
In this golden age of online shopping, Google Maps remains the go-to app when browsing local businesses. Indeed, it still stands as the leading giant of mapping apps.
Google Maps can point people to the nearest and most relevant local businesses nearby. It also helps users review what the businesses offer, offering an overview of their products and services.
Integrating Google Maps into your business SEO can empower your strategies in the following ways:
- Serves as an important geotag for your website and media, which improves SEO relevance and more accurate keyword targeting
- Allows you to use and customize embeddable maps that can improve your website’s overall functionality
- It provides another platform for your business media, as it can show photos, videos, and descriptive reviews
- Boosts Google advertisements
In short, Google Maps is an incredible source of quality, organic traffic for business owners targeting their local community.
How Google Determines Local Ranking
How Google works the engine for localized ranking depends on three essential factors:
- Distance: Google favors the websites of businesses that are closer to the city center.
- Popularity: Businesses with a strong reputation and longer operational history are more likely to rank higher on local Google Map searches.
- Relevance: Google algorithms match the searches with query-relevant results, which is why using keywords in the business’s description is a classic SEO strategy.
The Impact of Long-Tail Keywords on Google Maps SEO
It’s trickier to target long-tail keywords than shorter ones, but the impact they have on your Google Maps SEO makes them worth it.
Long-tail keywords are closer to how people phrase their search queries. They have qualifiers that gauge user intent.
For example, if you’re a car wash service company from Omaha, Nebraska, the long-tail keywords you should target will look like this:
- Best car wash in Omaha, NE.
- Car wash near me
- Car cleaner Omaha, NE
- Car wash service in Omaha
Some keyword variations might sound awkward, making them hard to insert into your descriptions. Don’t change your content to fit them. Keep keyword insertions as natural as possible for your Google Maps SEO keyword strategy.
14 Tips to Optimize Your Business SEO With Google Maps
Improving your Google Maps SEO is crucial to optimizing your localized searches. Start by following these effective tips to power up your business listings.
1. Create a Google Business Profile
If you want your local shop to be visible on the map and attract customers, you must set up a Google Business Profile (GBP).
A Google Business Profile is an account for keeping track of businesses on the map, helping customers browse their products and services. It was formerly known as Google My Business.
This profile can help your business rank higher on Google Maps search results, making it easier for potential clients to find you online.
To set up your profile, you must ‘claim’ your GBP name by looking up your business name and verifying it as a legitimate business. The rest of the process mostly involves submitting more information about your business.
2. Keep Your GBP Updated
What use is your GBP if it only has outdated information? Optimize it by keeping the following up-to-date:
- Business name
- Business address
- Business phone number
- Business hours
- Business Category
- Service area
- Status (active)
Keeping these account details up-to-date gives your business a higher chance of showing up on localized and standard searches.
Don’t forget to go over local citations and directories where your business is listed and update your business info there as well. Consistency is key.
Also, make sure you verify your business location. If you have multiple branches, make sure to verify every location.
Although Google lets you skip this step, it’s essential that you follow through to boost your business’s online credibility. Google may call you or send you an email with a special code to verify your requests.
Tip: Approximately 60% of smartphone users contact businesses via the Google Maps ‘Click To Call’ button. Make sure you remember to update every field with consistent and accurate info on your business profile.
3. Fill Your Description With Target Keywords
Keyword relevance is a critical factor for Google ranking, especially if you’re dealing with local businesses that are highly competitive. A detailed description with strategic keywords can make it easier for your customers to find your business.
To add your description, simply click the ‘Add description’ button on your GBP and share what your business has to offer. Make sure to include your opening and closing hours and your schedule during holidays and community events.
You can also embed your Google Map profile on your website. While it only slightly improves your overall SEO, it can do wonders for user experience, as it offers visual aid to customers who want to visit your business establishment.
4. Add Media to Your GBP
Like regular SEO, Google Maps SEO favors well-structured and relevant content that reflects the nature of your services. One way to optimize for it is to add pictures and videos to your GBP.
The Google Map algorithm acknowledges relevance, so only add media that relates to your business, such as photos and videos of the following:
- Interior and exterior space
- Special offers
Links are also critical for Google Maps optimization, so add ones that link to your main website and social media platforms.
5. Upload Posts Regularly
Some businesses never revisit their GBP again once they’ve filled it out with their information and optimized it with media. Don’t make the same mistake.
Let Google know that your business is active and maintain your online visibility by frequently posting media on your profile.
For example, you can publish posts promoting your products and services, new product launches, or upcoming events. If you’re a restaurant, feel free to post your daily menu or specialties. Don’t worry; Google won’t consider it as spam.
Don’t forget to integrate target keywords into your written content.
Regular posts also maintain customer engagement, significantly increasing recognition and brand awareness. They also keep your customers updated on new products and services, promos, and events.
6. Optimize Your Attributes
GBP’s ‘attributes’ feature lets Google know what type of business you run and is essential for your overall SEO relevance.
These tags represent relevant details about your business. Here are some great examples:
- Non-smoking area
By adding the relevant tags in your attributes fields, you notify both your customers as well as Google about the essential details of your business. Make sure your attributes are accurate and up-to-date.
7. Keep Track of Your Reviews
Have you noticed the review tabs on the businesses on Google Maps? Some are negative, and some are positive.
Pay attention to your online reviews, as approximately 95% of customers skim through reviews before choosing a product or service.
Customer trust is crucial in this matter, and Google identifies this through a ranking system. Google notices when and how often customers leave good and bad reviews.
It’s in your business’s best interest to keep reviews positive, which, of course, depends on the quality of your offers and customer service. Maintain a proactive approach to your customer reviews to build your reputation.
Ask your customers to review your business if they’re satisfied with your services. Respond to reviews. Stay professional even when replying to negative feedback.
You can thank positive reviews and give them updates about your upcoming events or new offers. For bad reviews, you can ask your customer to suggest ways to make their experience better.
8. Structure Your Website’s Local SEO
Consider how your local SEO is structured and implement local SEO practices that work for your business. The better optimized your website is, the higher the chance Google will notice your website as a potential placeholder among the ‘3-Pack’ of Google Maps.
Good local SEO practices include helping your website visitors get what they want. A surefire way to ensure this is to structure your website in a way that lets users find what they need as fast as possible.
Optimize your platform format so that your customers have a better overview of the content. Then, focus on critical local keywords and integrate them across your website.
9. Optimize for Mobile Users
Speed is crucial in web browsing, especially for mobile users, so make sure your website loads quickly on hand-held devices. This means optimizing your website on mobile resolutions too.
Nearly a third of all smartphone searches on Google are related to location, so take this very seriously if you’re planning to improve your restaurant’s website or Google Maps interface.
Consider the overall user experience when creating and implementing SEO strategies.
10. Implement a Local Business Schema
The local business schema represents a data code that helps Google crawl bots to identify your business and its services. Google heavily on it for standardization purposes in registering how online content is structured.
Schema structures your content in code, which helps Google better index your website and ultimately boosts your Google Maps prominence score.
Here’s how to add a local business schema for your business website:
- Visit Schema
- Set your category
- Create your ‘About Page’
- Test your schema code through Google’s Rich Results Test
- Add your schema to your HTML code
- Test your schema markup with the Google Search Console
11. Build Local Backlinks
As with any SEO-related marketing, to get the best out of your local search, you should concentrate on building local backlinks to optimize your rankings.
Backlinks are links from another website that direct to your website. Depending on the other websites’ traffic, this can significantly boost your traffic and gain more customers for your business.
Having multiple backlinks, especially from trusted websites, is a green flag to Google algorithms.
Track and manage your backlink catalog to construct an excellent SEO strategy. For example, you can use backlink checkers to check out your competitors’ backlink strategy and compare it to yours.
12. Stay Active on Social Media
As a major ranking factor, social media engagement plays an important role in how Google Maps determine business ranking.
Optimize your social media accounts. Build up your business presence on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you’re running a restaurant, resort, or something similar, you can also post promotions on platforms like Foursquare, Airbnb, or Hostelworld.
Once your website starts gaining popularity and engagement on these social media accounts, Google can increase your Google Maps listing.
13. Boost Local Engagement
Besides digital presence, you must also invest in local engagement. While it doesn’t happen online, it could impact your Google Maps SEO, depending on how people respond.
Engage with your community through events, promotions, and holiday gatherings. It’s a great way to gain a bigger presence, increase mentions and get value-driven coverage. Ask people to tag your business when they post online about your event.
You can also reach out or collaborate with other businesses to boost engagement and make your brand more visible in your area.
14. Run Ads
Last, but not least, it’s recommended that you advertise your business. Google Maps allows businesses to run ads and boost their online visibility.
While it doesn’t generate organic traffic, it’s still an effective way of making your business known out there. The results are the same: better rankings and more customers reached.
More customers mean more engagement and feedback, which are exactly what you need to up your local popularity and gain Google’s favor.
FAQs About Google Maps SEO
If you have questions regarding Google Map SEO, here are the answers to the most popular inquiries about it.
Is Google Maps Important for Local Business SEO?
Yes, Google Maps is critical in boosting your local business’s SEO.
By having a verified GBP with descriptions that are optimized with relevant keywords, you increase your chances of being ranked higher by Google Maps and ultimately improve your listing and organic traffic.
How Can I Rank Higher on Google Maps?
While there’s no surefire way to put your business in the number one spot on Google Maps, you can bump the odds up by:
- Having your Google Business Profile verified
- Keeping your business info and social media accounts updated
- Using suitable keywords on your business description field
- Maintaining a positive user experience score.
What’s a Google Map 3-Pack?
A Google Map 3-Pack is the field that comes up first when a customer searches for a local business when using location-related search query phrases like “near me” or “in state/city.”
This field represents Google’s top 3 most ranked businesses that are relevant to the local intent search query, also known as a ‘3-Pack.’
How Can I Increase My Business’s Local Visibility on Google Maps?
You can make it easy for customers to find your business on Google Maps by optimizing your Google Business Profile with relevant, localized keywords.
Optimize Your Business Listing
You should remember these key points if you want to improve your business listing and your overall SERP ranking. Most importantly, check your SERP rankings by manually searching your business keywords on Google. Determine whether you’re maintaining your rank or if it’s declining.
If you need help with restructuring your optimization strategy or anything SEO-related, Romain Berg can help.
From on-page SEO strategies to user interface designs for your website and visibility-boosting practices on Google Maps, Romain Berg offers top-notch, full services for digital marketing.
Feel free to contact us at Romain Berg today to connect with a team of amazing SEO specialists.