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Google Maps SEO: Boost Your Local Rankings Today

Picture of Chris Kirksey
Chris Kirksey

CEO, Direction.com

Google Maps SEO

What is Google Maps SEO?

Google Maps SEO refers to the process of optimizing a business’s online presence on Google Maps to improve its visibility and ranking in local search results.

It involves implementing various strategies and techniques to ensure that a business appears prominently when users search for relevant products or services in their local area on Google Maps.

By focusing on Google Maps SEO, businesses can increase their chances of attracting local customers and driving more foot traffic to their physical locations.

This optimization typically includes optimizing the business’s Google My Business profile, ensuring accurate and consistent information, generating positive reviews, and using location-specific keywords in the website content.

For entrepreneurs looking to establish a strong local presence, forming an LLC can also be a strategic move.

Why Rank Higher on Google Maps?

67% of consumers choose Google Maps as their go-to navigation app.

Additionally, when people search for a place to go, they usually only look at the top 3 results provided by Google: ie., the map pack.

So, if your business is one of the first to show up on Google Maps, you have a better chance of getting customers.

Research also tells us that people find businesses on Google Maps more often through keyword searches rather than searching for a specific business name.

To rank higher on Google Maps, you want to make sure your business listing appears when people search for terms related to your business. This will increase the chances of potential customers finding you.

10 Steps to Ranking Higher in Google Maps

1. Claim and Complete Your Google My Business Profile

Let’s start with the basics.

To boost your business’s visibility in Google Maps, you must first claim and optimize your Google My Business Profile (know called Google Business Profile). If there is not a profile to claim, create one — they’re free.

Once claimed or created, ensure your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) are added and consistent with information on your website and other online directories. 

We highly recommend adding as many relevant business categories as possible. If you can max out at 5 for 5, then you’ll be in better shape than a business that’s not filling our their business categories in full.

Here’s what a fully optimized Google Business Profile looks like:

Optimized GBP listing

2. Enhance Your Google Map SEO with Photos and Links

Let’s talk visuals on your Google Maps listing.

Add photos that display how remarkable your organization is.

Include some top-notch pics that show off your finest offerings – be it products, services, or personnel.

Pro tip: Ensure you post an exterior and interior photo of your business. This helps with wayfinding and establishing credibility.

Moving on to links…

Incorporating relevant links within your GBP posts can drive traffic back to specific pages on your website while ensuring a seamless navigation experience for users.

This means more eyeballs on those crucial product pages or blog articles.

  • Action Item #1: Choose eye-catching images that represent the essence of your business.
  • Action Item #2: Include descriptive alt-texts for better SEO performance.
  • Action Item #3: Add relevant internal and external links where appropriate.

Maintaining an active presence is key to improving local search results.

Beyond adding contact information and photos, consider sharing engaging content to keep potential customers informed about what’s happening at your establishment.

When it comes to posting on your Google My Business profile, it’s important to understand that your audience is deeper in the sales funnel than someone looking for more information about a solution to their problem.

They’re on your profile and ready to buy, so point them to your offerings and don’t’ be afraid to provide them with a financial incentive.

3. Leverage Customer Reviews for Better Visibility

Let’s face it, folks, in today’s digital world, customer reviews are a game-changer when it comes to your Google Maps ranking.

So how do you make the most of this golden opportunity?

The Impact of Positive Customer Feedback on Rankings

Google cares about what people think of your business (no surprise there). The more positive reviews you have, the higher your chances of appearing in local search results and consequently increasing foot traffic to your physical location.

Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile by sending them a direct link or even offering incentives like discounts for their next purchase.

Branding Strategies that Foster Engagement

A strong brand personality is like catnip for customers – they just can’t resist engaging with it. To achieve this level of allure, focus on creating an authentic voice and consistent messaging across all platforms – from social media to website copy and beyond.

  • Create a compelling story behind your brand that resonates with customers’ emotions. People love stories; let them connect with yours.
  • Showcase real-life experiences by sharing customer testimonials or case studies. These help build trust among potential clients while also providing valuable insights into their needs and expectations.
  • Be responsive. Engage with both positive and negative feedback online as quickly as possible. This demonstrates that you value each customer’s opinion while working towards continuous improvement – something Google loves seeing too.

4. Localize Your Website Content

Keyword research is an essential part of any successful SEO campaign, and it’s even more critical when targeting local searches.

To rank higher in Google Maps and localized search results, we need to identify those high-performing keywords that customers use when searching for businesses like yours within your area.

You can start by using tools such as Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer or Google’s own Keyword Planner.

  • Analyze competitors’ websites to see which keywords they’re targeting locally.
  • Consider long-tail keyword variations specific to your region or city.
  • Evaluate user intent behind each keyword – are they looking for information, products/services, or something else?

The next step is integrating these targeted keywords strategically throughout your website content:

  • Include them in your page titles, meta descriptions, and header tags.
  • Add keywords to image alt-text for improved search engine visibility.
  • Create local content like blog posts or landing pages that cater specifically to the needs of your community.

5. Embed Your Google My Business On Your Website

After optimizing your website content for local searches, be sure to embed a Google Maps hyperlink from the address on your contact page or footer.

This will help reinforce your Google maps SEO.

6. Use Local Business Schema

Schema markup is a structured data format that helps search engines understand and categorize your website’s content better.

Local business schema specifically provides information about your business, such as its name, address, phone number, opening hours, and more.

To use local business schema, you need to add the appropriate schema markup to your website’s HTML code. You can do this manually or by using plugins or tools that generate schema markup for you.

When implementing local business schema, provide as much detailed information as possible. This includes your business’s name, address, phone number, website URL, business hours, accepted payment methods, customer reviews, and any other relevant details.

The more information you provide, the better Google can understand and rank your business in local searches.

7. Ensure NAP Consistency On Other Local Listings

A big part of ranking on Google Maps is ensuring your NAP information is consistent across all of your local listings. 

We don’t just mean some. We mean all.

Now, you can do this manually, which will eat up some time and still lend room for human error. Or you can use software automations to get this done for you quickly and accurately. 

There are various tools available that can help you clean up your NAP. For instance, our tool, Direction Local, has a citation cleansing automation built in. Whatever you choose to use, know that these nifty tools are your secret weapon to supercharge your Google Maps SEO game and dominate local search results quickly.

To get started, choose a reputable listings management software that fits your needs (think: budget, features, and user-friendliness).

From there, simply activate the software and sit back as the system crawls your citations and fixes any discrepancies.

8. Acquire Local Links

Local backlinks can play a crucial role in increasing Google Maps rankings for your business.

Basically, when other local websites link back to your website, it signals to Google that your business is relevant to the local area. 

Aim to get local links from high-authority websites in your area. Google considers authoritative backlinks as a positive signal, which can contribute to higher rankings.

Sourcing high-authority backlinks is certainly a challenge. So, don’t be afraid to settle for less authoritative links so long as they come from a relevant local source.

All in all, local backlinks will positively impact your organic rankings in Google Search. As your website gains more authority through local backlinks, it can result in improved overall visibility on Google Maps.

9. Engage with the Local Community

Ranking high on Google Maps  isn’t just about optimizing your website or GBP.

Participating in activities related to your industry or community can be a great way to raise awareness of your brand, while also boosting your Google Maps SEO.

Consider sponsoring a local event, such as a charity run, food drive, or even an art exhibition. 

If that’s too much for you, then just become an active member of local organizations and associations. Chamber of Commerce meetings and trade shows are excellent places to start.

10. Balance Google Maps SEO with Ads

If you’re willing to spend the money, a fast way to dominate Google Maps rankings is to blend paid ads with your organic marketing.

Paid advertising can give your business an instant boost in visibility while you wait for organic results to kick-in in full force.

Now, paid ad spending doesn’t have to be permanent. The aim here is to have your organic SEO offset any advertising costs in time. But if you’re looking for a quick leg up, this strategy shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • Start by setting up a well-targeted Google Ads campaign.
  • Optimize your website content for the local keywords you’re actively bidding on.
  • Continue posting on your Google Business Profile.
  • Track your results constantly — when ROAS starts to decline and organic traffic starts to increase, it’s time to pull the plug on the ad-spend.

Start Boosting Your Google Maps Rankings

Optimizing your Google Maps SEO is essential for businesses looking to increase their online visibility and attract local customers. By following the 10 steps we’ve outlined in this article, you can significantly improve your chances of ranking higher on Google Maps and driving more organic traffic to your business.

Remember to focus on key factors such as accurate NAP information, positive reviews, relevant categories, and local backlinks. Regularly monitor and update your Google My Business profile to ensure it reflects the most current information about your business.

If you’re ready to take your Google Maps SEO to the next level and achieve even greater results, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with our expert team at Direction.com. Our dedicated professionals will analyze your business’s specific needs and create a customized strategy to help you dominate the local search landscape.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to maximize your online presence and connect with local customers. Schedule your free consultation today and let us guide you towards Google Maps SEO success.

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