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Why Advanced Optimisation for Google Maps?
Making sure that your business ranks locally is vital when it comes to leads, driving in-store traffic and most importantly, increasing revenue. More people are using their mobile devices to find what they are looking for and that means that you need to be appearing locally. Below we look at some advanced optimisation techniques for Google Maps.
What is a Google Maps listing?
So, what is a Google Maps listing and how is it going to benefit your business both online and offline? Well, a business listing will include all the important information a user needs to find you in the SERPs, including business name, address, phone number and opening hours. No one uses a phonebook anymore and as such being listed on Google local business platform is key to helping clients and customers find you.
Why is a Google Maps listing important?
When someone searches for your business chances are, they have a local need for it. Using search engines helps a user narrow down their list of potential choices, and that is where a Google maps listing can be helpful. For example, let’s say you searched for ‘indian restaurants near me’ Google’s map pack will show the top three most relevant listings near you. This is called the 3-pack and if you can optimise your local listings page correctly it will help not only your click-through rate but conversion rate as well.
Optimising your Google Maps listing
But how do you get into the 3-pack, well, there is no guaranteed way to get there but if you follow Google’s best practices then you will give yourself every chance. Below we break down the top advanced optimisation techniques.
Claim your listing
First and foremost, you will need to claim your listing. This will allow you to manage all aspects of your business information and how it looks to those people searching for you. Most businesses will have a Google maps listing without even realising it and as such some of the information may be incomplete - so make sure to claim your listing before doing anything else.
There is no point having a business listing with inaccurate information. Once you have claimed your listing you will need to update and ensure that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are all correct. They must be consistent across all platforms that you are using to promote your business this includes Bing and Yelp. If they are not the same, then your business may not appear due to inaccuracies.
Google uses categories to help people find what they are looking for quickly, so make sure you consider this when setting up your listing. Choose ones that accurately describe your business and the products and services it provides. You will have the option of selecting up to five categories, so it is a good idea to use them all and make sure that the category matches the primary keywords as close as possible.
Add photos and video
Another great way to really optimise your business listing is to upload photos and videos of your business. Images and video give your potential customers a visual insight into what it is your business can offer them and it will influence their buying journey and a reason to visit you directly.
Making sure that your opening hours are easy to find is an obvious one, but you would be surprised by the number of business owners who forget about or don’t update them with increased regularity. If they are not updated then it can have a negative effect on your business.
These are a huge benefit, getting reviews about your business is a great way to optimise your Google places listing and in the long term, improve your ranking. You may already be displayed in the 3-pack but there is no harm in getting ahead of the competition and one the best ways to do this is with brilliant reviews and lots of them. Users will be influenced by the reviews they read, so if they are good ones then make sure you use the Google Maps review link in your online marketing material.
Optimise your website
Lastly, and probably most important, ensure that you are regularly reviewing and optimising your on-site SEO. The Google Maps listing is a small part of your overall digital strategy, so you need to be on top of it. Make sure you are adding keyword rich relevant content and that the website is mobile and tablet friendly. Mobile search has now overtaken desktop so if your website is not optimised for mobile then you are going to struggle.
Is a Google Maps listing worth it?
Very much so, but you need to be patient. Do not expect to be in the 3-pack overnight, advanced optimisation techniques take time. But if you follow the above techniques as well as Google’s best practices then you will give yourself every chance for users to find and connect with your business.