Every company looks forward to having their business on Google Maps Search Results. Having your business on Google Maps means that your business listing has better chances of appearing on Google’s organic search results.
This means optimizing the business in Google Maps will ensure that you rank top for local search results. Optimizing your GMB listing may ensure that you rank on Google Maps, but the question you should be asking here is how to rank higher on Google Maps?
You might be well aware of the fierce competition between local businesses to appear in Google’s local pack. This is because the business listings that appear in the local 3 pack gets the most exposure and hence more website traffic and conversion.
This post will discuss how your business can show up in local search results and the factors that help to rank your business on Google Maps.
How to Improve GMB Ranking?
The primary reason for getting your business listed on Google My Business (GMB) is to create awareness about your business. There are a plethora of tactics you can employ so that Google places the business on top of the local listings.
Optimizing your Google My Business and ranking on Google Maps is the way forward for local businesses to increase the foot falls.
Search Engine Optimization helps websites rank their content on top of Google SERP. As you already know, any position outside of Google’s first page is usually considered as an abandoned graveyard.
If you are a local business owner, the same rules applies when it comes to ranking on Google My Business and the coveted Google Maps Pack. These are massive traffic drivers to your websites/store/shop if your business is top-ranked.
The Google local business listing optimization is so robust that it drives you umpteen customers without you necessarily knowing a great deal about SEO.
The better you rank in the business listing, the more trustworthy you become. The more trust you gain, the stronger your business’s impact will be on the target audience.
As we already mentioned, a simple website is not a prerequisite to create a Google My Business account or to add your business to Google Maps. However, it is always beneficial to have a business website in the long-run.
If you want to rank better, understanding Google My business SEO and Google Maps ranking factors are essential. We hope you follow this post to learn how to get your business on Google Maps to rank higher and improve rankings through Google local business listing optimization.
Why Rank Higher on Google Maps Pack?
If you own a business that sells products and services to the local audience, then securing one of the top 3 spots on Google Maps listings, also known as Google Maps Pack, is immensely important.
Appearing among the top 3 positions of the Maps Pack SERP Feature will not give your business a large online exposure but also improve sign-ups, site visits, phone calls, and other desirable conversions significantly.
For example, if you own a restaurant in Broadway, New York, then you have more footfalls if you rank on the top 3 spots in the Google local search results for that area.
The reason is when the local people in Broadway search for ‘restaurants near me’ your business listing will appear right on top even before the first organic listing as a part of Google’s local pack.
Earlier, Google featured the top 7 local listings in the Google Maps Pack. However, now it picks only three that best fit the related search query. If you want to see more results, you have to click on the ‘More Results’ option.
So, to obtain the maximum exposure, better credibility, more relevancy, and high traffic inflow, your business must appear in the top 3 spots in the Google local searches.
Although there are several Google Maps ranking factors to consider for it, certain factors can directly affect your Google Maps rankings.
Some of these Google Ranking factors include for Local SEO:
- GMB (Google My Business) Profile
- Quality Backlinks
- On-Page Relevance
- NAPs (Name Address and Phone Number) and Citations
Since most people now use ‘near me’ queries on Google Maps to find local businesses, appearing in the first 3 spots on the Google Pack Page could help you ace the local SEO game.
Listed below are some of the key benefits of getting ranked on the top 3 positions of Google Maps.
Key Benefits of Getting Ranked in the Google Maps Pack
- Over 85% of consumers, who search for any local business on the Google Maps, visit that business within 24 to 48 hours.
- As per Google’s report, around 28% of these Google Map local searches usually result in a purchase.
- It has been observed that people are now making quick purchase decisions based on the customer reviews, credibility scores, and online reputation of any business. And Google Maps Listings easily help customers find these crucial pieces of information.
- Since Google Maps results are interactive, consumers can take direct actions from the listing itself in a few clicks. They can make direct phone calls or book reservations instantly. Therefore, ranking on Google’s local listing will ensure better conversions.
Determining the Google Maps Ranking
As we all know, Google Maps results are primarily based on the searcher’s location and therefore, there are two key factors that could potentially influence your business ranking on the Google Maps listings. These two factors include:
1. Credibility & Visibility:
The higher your business’s credibility, the more likely it will appear on top search results in the Google Maps Pack.
Certain factors could influence your business’s local visibility on Google Maps local search results page. These may include mentions on social media, mentions from other websites, and social media tags from influencers.
In addition to this, having citations on local directories could also play a major role in enhancing your business rankings on Google Maps Pack listings.
2. Positive Reviews:
Google takes proper account of the positive reviews to determine your business’s ranking on Google’s local pack. Positive online reviews will add up to the credibility of your business and lead to more conversions and high ROIs.
How to Rank on Google Maps?
It is a well-known fact that getting your business to appear on the first page of the search engine results page can potentially increase web traffic inflow to your website.
Similarly, getting your business ranked on the top-3 positions of Google Maps listing will eventually increase customer traffic to your business store and enhance your conversions. Putting your business on Google Maps paves the way for better online reach for your business.
Since the Google Maps listings include directions to your store, it will lead more people to visit your business store besides boosting your organic reach and conversions.
So, if you’re wondering how to rank higher on Google Maps or how to get listed on Google, then you need to follow three necessary steps to get your business featured among the top 3 positions.
3 Important Steps to Add Your Business to Google Maps
If you’re ready to sign up your business on GMB listing in order to appear on Google Maps, then you can consider following these 3 easy-to-follow steps:
1. Check out whether or not your business is already listed
Before adding your business to Google Maps, it is imperative that you check out the Google Maps listing to see whether your business is already listed on Google Maps. You can type your business name on the search bar and if it shows up, then it means your business already exists in the Google Maps Listing. However, if your business doesn’t show up, then you will notice a prompt below the search bar to add the missing place.
2. If your business is not listed, create it
In order to add your business in the Google Maps listing, you need to click on the prompt that appears on the search results page. This prompt will allow you to add a new place.
While creating a new business place, you need to provide your business name, business address, and the appropriate category. Choosing the apt category will eventually enable your business to show up for relevant search results and allow your target audience to connect more effectively.
3. After being listed, Claim your Google listing
Creating a new GMB listing for your business will simply put your business on Google Maps. It doesn’t mean that your business will rank higher on Google Maps. Therefore, in order to acquire top search rankings and appear in relevant local searches on Google Maps, it is imperative that you optimize your Google My Business listing.
Optimizing your GMB listing requires submission of appropriate business information as well as its timely revision on Google Maps listing. It is important for you to know that anyone can add a place on Google Maps listing but in order to add or update your business information on Google My Business, it is imperative that you first claim your business listing.
For that, you need to click on the ‘Claim this Business’ tag after you’ve added your business as a new place on the Google Maps listing.
How does Google My Business work?
Opening an account and claiming your business on Google maps is the first step to doing local SEO for your business.
Once you’ve filled in all your information alongside selecting the right business category, Google will verify your business by sending you a postcard to the address added in the Google Maps listing.
The postcard that you get contains a secret verification PIN, which has to be entered to complete the Google My Business verification process.
You can also opt for options like email verification, phone verification, or instant verification to complete your business verification process if available.
Completing the verification process will help you claim the ownership of your business. You can make as many changes as you want in the business listing once your account is verified. You must look into your account at regular intervals to check the total clicks, subscribers, and impressions received for your business listing.
Frequent interactions and activities on your Google My Business listing is a signal for Google that your business is worth displaying on the Google Maps Pack. However, listing a business in Google My Business is not the only thing that’s necessary for local SEO. You have to superintend on-page and off-page SEO as well.
How Do I Rank Higher in Google Maps?
It is proven that getting into the top 3 positions on Google Maps can actually benefit your business and prove to be extremely profitable for you as well as your prospective clients.
In addition to this, the top Google My Business ranking of your business also acts as a key performance indicator for your clients as well as other online visitors who come to search for local SEO services.
9 Easy steps to follow in Google Maps to top 3 pack.
1. Include Main Keywords in your GMB Business Name
This is one of the most crucial Google Maps ranking factors that you need to consider in order to improve your business ranking. If you want more and more customers to connect to your business, then you must optimize your GMB listing with the target keywords.
Google sometimes shows a business name for a high-ticket-money keyword and shares the company’s information with the customers. So, utilizing this method of including the primary keyword in your GMB name will help your business win an uphill battle against its competitors.
2. Select the Right Business categories and max them out
It is possible that the listed GMB categories to not perfectly fit your business. Therefore, in order to rank higher on Google Maps listing, you need to make sure that your primary business categories are matched properly in close context with the main keywords.
The best way to do this is by typing in your main keywords in the category box and maxing out your second business category with the relevant options. In this way, you can enhance your impressions for other business category keywords and achieve high rankings on Google My Business listings.
3. Create Local Relevance and Citations
Building local relevance, niche, and citations via on-page and off-page optimizations is a big aspect of local SEO. For off-page optimization, you can consider building niche and local relevance. You can also focus on building local citations and get them indexed by linking them to your business website via the Google mobile-friendly testing tool. Sending these citations to an indexing service is also a great way of getting them indexed.
4. Secure Your On-Page
If you aren’t aware already, you should know that on-page elements are a crucial factor in SEO, and therefore, you must fix and secure your on-page to acquire top rankings on Google Maps.
There are certain elements that you need to take into consideration while fixing your on-page issues. Some of them are listed below.
5. User Interface(UI)/User Experience(UX)
Make sure that your business website is mobile friendly and has its SSL certificate installed in order to allow your website to rank higher on Google Maps and organic search results page.
Choosing a mobile-friendly design and having an SSL certificate installed will not only offer direct ranking benefits to your business website but also benefit it indirectly by building trust, increasing conversions, and lowering the potential bounce rates.
6. SEO Optimized Content
If you want your business to rank higher on Google Maps, then you need to make sure your landing page content is authoritative and attached to your Google My Business listings. Make sure that you use appropriate keywords, geo-tagged images, related geo modifiers, relevant keywords, and their LSI versions, and place them uniformly throughout the page multiple times.
7. NAP Information
Including the NAP (Name Address and Phone Number) information on your Google Maps page is also a great idea. You can consider using proper schema markups and embedded Google Maps and checking it using the Google structured data testing tool.
8. Get Social Signals
Social Signals are becoming immensely important in Google Maps as well as online organic searches. It is important for you to know that these social signals are actually based on your site’s likes, shares, and overall social media appearance.
So, you can acquire these social signals by running social ads or through various social media marketing strategies. It will not only attract more web traffic but also help it reach its potential customers.
9. Acquire More Positive Reviews
Positive reviews can greatly help your website to rank higher on Google Maps. So, if you want to obtain some quality reviews for your business, consider putting up your Google Maps review link on your invoices, business cards, and email signatures.
Although it is technically inappropriate for any business to ask for reviews, you can just try making it simple by encouraging your customers to leave feedback on your product or service.
Following these 6 steps will eventually help your business rank higher in Google Maps and connect the targeted local audience in the best possible manner.
Once you’ve performed all these measures, just keep adding relevant, interactive, and engaging guest posts until you hit the top 3 spots in Google Maps.
The Vital Aspects of Google Maps Ranking
Earlier, factors such as relevance, proximity, prominence, and industry domains used to be the basis for Google Maps ranking. Google, however, has started considering several other aspects for Google Maps rankings.
It has helped many small and medium-sized industries to giddy-up in Google my business listings. Otherwise, they may have been dominated by the well-established big-budget companies.
1. Verify Google My Business Listing
It is cardinal to verify your business listing in Google because it won’t show your business on Google maps until it’s verified.
Verify every category you have mentioned in Google. The more the authority, the better the Google My Business ranking in the SERPs.
Make sure you update everything about your business in Google My Business listing, also add the below features:
A. Business operation timings:
Updating your business hours correctly in Google My Business can fetch incalculable potential customers. This will help the customers to track your working hours before they visit you.
B. Update contact and website address:
Google emphasizes businesses which provide complete information and verifies with them. Hence, it is important to update your information like telephone number, address, and website address so Google can assist users by providing your accurate information on the Google maps.
C. Avoid inept and matching business information:
Google is strictly against businesses providing duplicate information or having multiple listings for a single location business. Make sure to put aside redundant information and update the precise data in Google Maps to get considered for the ranking.
D. Include keywords:
Google Maps uses different algorithms to provide search results, just like traditional SEO. Similarly, it emphasizes search phrases and keywords to rank a business listing.
Since your business is already listed in Google My Business, the results will be incredible if you optimize it with primary and secondary keywords. LSI keywords usage also helps you in getting the plethora of keywords you can use.
E. Include photos:
The photos on Google My Business perform way better than the business owners, and marketers can think. Google reported that the businesses with photos on Google My Business got 35 percent clicks through to the websites and 42 percent driving direction requests than businesses without photos.
2. Invite for Google Reviews
Customer reviews are very important for any website. The first thing people see on any website is customer reviews. Hence, it is important to get reviews on your GMB listing so that they appear on Google Maps listing.
Moreover, you know that Google reviews render a considerable rise in conversion rates than other local SEO strategies.
The surveys prove that the more the number of reviews about a business, the more trustworthy it will be. Typically, a customer views up to six reviews to make up their mind about any business.
3. Insert the Google Map on Your Website
One of the other ways to get a better rank on Google maps is to inserting your Google map location on the website. You may have seen such maps on other websites before.
Inserting Google maps on the website ensures Google that you are in the location mentioned on Google My Business. Add the name of your business to the location, and it outreaches to the audience.
Inserting Google Maps on a website is easy. Get your physical location on Google map, click on the three-lined button beside your venture name and right-click on ‘share map.’ You get a link which you should copy and post it on the business contact page.
4. Categorize Your Business Accurately
Google provides you with five categories to leverage in Google My Business. Don’t miss out on using these categories. You can use these categories while claiming Google map listing.
Most business owners are not aware of this option. Ensure that you utilize it proficiently. The primary category should be used magnificently.
Add your business classification the primary category for example fashion or restaurant and include local SEO keyword descriptions such as Dallas fashion or paradise restaurant that act as additional classifications.
5. Consistently Evaluate Business Ranking
Once you have updated the business on Google My Business listing, you need to track your ranking regularly; if your rank is low, and then you should consider citing your business more. You may do it by:
- Inspecting the citations of businesses that rank above you. Surf through the various directories to find where their business listed and add your listing there.
- Avail link building services from authoritative websites to your Google My Business.
- Make sure your business listing is accurate in Google maps.
- Build strong online tenure and list business on third-party sites like Foursquare, Yelp, and YellowPages.
- If you are new to the business, get citations building services from the GMB-savvy companies.
6. Provide a Local Contact Number
If you crave for the topmost rank on Google Maps, add a local number in Google My Business listing. A local number having the precise area code builds trust with Google as it matches with your right location. You can put a toll-free number on your website if you wish to.
7. Do Your Site Optimization
It looks like we are never going to break-up with SEO, right? Yes, of course not. The motto of optimizing your website is to improve the chances of appearing in Google My Business.
In the screenshot above, the top-ranked local site turns out to be in the top organic listing as well. So, keep optimizing your website for SEO.
Also Read: Ultimate Relationship between Content and SEO to Work Together
8. Integrate Your Business with Google+
Integrating your business with Google+ enhances and builds your business account’s authority on Google Maps business listings.
Uniting business with Google+ will help you to:
- Come up with relevant content that customers will find useful.
- Help you respond to reviews.
- Help in promoting your business USPs in the cover photo of your Google+ profile.
Cheat Sheet to Optimize Google My Business Listing
Getting on Google Maps requires your listing to be on Google My Business. Make sure you add precise and accurate information about your business in it. You will damage your business reputation if you provide inaccurate details.
Cheatsheet helps you claim a rank on Google maps:
- Include your real business name in the business listing.
- Select the appropriate category of your business.
- Include complete information about you in the business listing, update 100 percent profile.
- Update and keep tracking your active mobile number enrolled in business listing.
- Explore the business operating hours to see which time suits your niche customers.
- Upload your business photos, review and see if they can be enhanced to attract customers.
- Do careful about the spam websites; don’t create citations on such websites and directories.
- Include Google maps on your website.
- Respond to customer reviews on Google maps.
- Most importantly, always keep your site up to date.
It is not like listing your business and forgetting about it. The algorithms change, and so do the listed businesses. It is better to keep yourself active, supervise reviews, and analyze tactics to always be on top of Google Maps.
Insight into Business on Google Maps
Everything that we have discussed in this blog adds on to help you rank your business better on Google maps. Following all these steps is a sure way to boost your ranks. However, if that doesn’t happen, don’t be disheartened. There must be something that you might be missing out on. There’s always scope for improvement.
Sometimes, even businesses that don’t have a website rank on top. This happens because the owners take time to get their business listing optimized in every way possible. Listing businesses on directories have its own kind of impact, and thus, can never be underestimated.
Follow the basic steps and keep pursuing more customer reviews on Google My Business, list your business in more and more number of directories, employ optimization strategies.
The more you do, the more you get. If you know any other tactics, you have used to rank your business on Google maps. Feel free to discuss here in the comments section.