An extremely efficient way of using the functionality of Google Maps to make your business easier to find on Google Maps by someone looking for your product or service.
Google Maps Marketing is a great tool if you want to target your local audience. Not only does it help you reach locals but also builds awareness for your brand. The best part is you aren’t going to have to break the bank to include Google Maps Marketing in your arsenal. So, if I have your attention now and you are not aware of this new path for local marketing, help is here. Below is a brief scenario about Google Maps Marketing and the basics of how to do it right.
So what Is Google Maps Marketing?
Google Maps Marketing is nothing more than using Google Maps’ functionality to make your business easier to find on Google Maps when a potential customer searches for a keyword related to your business. Simply put, if done correctly you can make your business listing appear on Google Maps when somebody searches for a keyword related to your products or services.
If you Google for any keyword, most often, you will also see relevant Google Maps listings in search results. Most importantly, Google Maps results appear above the organic search results. Because of this it becomes imperative that your business should rank higher on Google Maps for keywords related to your products or services if you are a local business.
The Basics of Google Maps Marketing
If you want to get your business featured on Google Maps, you need to create Google My Business listing and get it verified by Google.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool from Google for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Google Maps and Google Search. Now, the question comes how Google determines local ranking on Google Maps.
Local results are based on three three factors — distance, relevance, and prominence. Google combines these three factors to determine ranking on Google Maps. You must optimize your Google My Business listing so that Google can easily establish relevance and prominence of your business.
Here are a few best practices for optimizing your Google My Business listing:
1- Enter Complete Data
When registering with Google Business, make sure to enter complete and accurate information for your business, such as address, phone number and category. When you are adding your address information to your Google My Business profile make sure that you use your USPS-approved business address otherwise you may run into problems.
2- Verify Location
You must verify your business to get higher ranking on Google Maps. Usually, Google sends a postcard with a PIN to your address for verification. Some businesses (very few) qualify for phone and email verification as well. Once you receive your postcard with the PIN, you have 30 days to confirm your business before it expires.
3- Make Sure to Keep Your Hours Accurate
Enter opening and closing hours accurately. If you have seasonal hour changes make sure to update these on a timely basis. This will allow your potential customers to know whether you are open or not at any given time. It also helps Google establish the relevancy of your business. If you are opening your business in special hours for holiday seasons, it’s important to update this as well.
4- Manage and Respond to Reviews
Google factors reviews numbers and scores into their local ranking as well. It is very important to encourage your happy customers to write reviews about your business. You may also get negative reviews, and you can do nothing about it except responding to them following Google’s guidelines. It is highly advisable to always respond to negative reviews.
5- Build High-quality Backlinks and Local Citations
High-quality backlinks and local citations help build prominence for your business. This supports your Google Maps Marketing efforts. Remember, never go for low-quality links. As your position in web results plays an important role in local results, you should follow SEO best practices to get top ranking on Google Maps.
Google Maps Marketing is an economical yet highly effective marketing tool to target local audience. We recommend including it in your marketing plan to boost your search results in Google Maps, in turn increasing your sales by being more relevant than your competitors.
Need help with Google My Business Marketing or AdWords to boost your business? We can help you with that. Give us a call and let’s talk about how we can be of assistance.