You’ve probably heard “location, location, location”, and that’s what we’re going to talk about! A place called the top three is a great place for your business. It’s also called getting more business. Your customers have been living there for a while now AND they have chosen to come back again and again, this is called “social proof”. In a nutshell, it says they are probably going to buy from you, or something along those lines… so why shouldn’t you be listed in the top 3!
Map SEO Basics
We’ve all seen map lists on websites and blog posts, but why should you care about getting your website located in a place called “the top three” zone? What’s the difference between being popular and well-ranked in a list like that? Map listings are used to get more traffic to your website. They’re analyzed by Google Analytics. The higher your position on the page, the more people will see it and the more likely they will be to click through to find out what you’re about.
What Is the Google Map Pack?
The Google Map Pack is a set of three local search results that appears on page one of the Google search engine result pages (SERPs) when a user enters a local-based keyword query. The Map Pack is powered by Google My Business profiles and uses both the searcher’s location and the intent of their search to select which business listings to display in its results. In some cases, this list of businesses can also be filtered using keywords, categories or by a specific business name.
The Map Pack is an important ranking factor for local SEO campaigns because if your business has been selected for inclusion in at least one of these three results, you may see an increase in traffic to your website and footfalls through your front door.
Local Search Visibility & CTR
The visibility and CTR of your business or client is an incredibly important metric to track. Visibility is the percentage of times a business is listed within the Google Map Pack for a given keyword. CTR is the percentage of times a business is clicked on within the Google Map Pack for that same keyword.
A combination of visibility and CTR will give you a strong indicator of how well your business or client performs in the Google Map Pack.
Google Map Pack Success Factors
The quality of your GMB profile is another thing you need to be sure to optimize. You need to make sure that your business name and address matches up with the information you have on other citation sites, as well as correct your NAP data before proceeding.
You also want to make sure that you’re properly utilizing the features built into GMB, such as posting videos, photos and specials. Ultimately, what Google wants is for users to have a good experience when interacting with your listing. If your photos are poor quality or outdated, if you haven’t posted for over a year, or if people leave bad reviews about their experiences at your business, it’s going to affect how people perceive it in search results.
Map SEO Step 1 – Optimize Your My Business Profile
The first step of optimizing your Google My Business profile is to make sure your NAP (name, address, phone) is accurate and consistent across the internet. Check your directory listings to make sure they are correct in terms of spelling and formatting.
Google My Business allows you to add images of your business, logo, cover photo, additional categories, business description and much more that forms the basis for your GMB profile. With the help of these sections you can provide more details about your business which will be visible on Google Maps Listings as well as in local searches.
Adding images – descriptive images give searchers a better understanding about what kind of services or product you’re offering. Also if you have a physical location it gives them an idea about where they can find you.
#Business Description – This section allows you to include detailed information about what makes your business special from others in its category such as special offers or incentives for customers who visit your location or call the landline number listed on the page.
Additional Categories – This helps users discover different services that are offered by businesses like yours that might not be included in the primary listing categories.
Map SEO Step 2 – Increase Brand Signals to Improve Visibility & CTR
Google has made updates recently, specifically with the Map Pack or Local Finder, to make it easier for Google users to find what they’re looking for nearby. These updates have increased the visibility of local brands and made local SEO even more important as a source of clicks and sales.
To better understand how to optimize your brand’s presence in the Local Finder, we first need to examine some of the most important elements of local SEO in general. As you’ll see in this guide, there is no single “silver bullet” approach. Instead, we recommend optimizing all aspects of your online presence to improve your chances of ranking well in both map results and organic search results.
A few key things to keep in mind when optimizing Google reviews:
- Google reviews are also a ranking factor for local SEO, so the more quality, relevant reviews you have, the better your chances of being included in the map pack and potentially ranked higher than other businesses who don’t have enough.
- Even if you’re not listed in the map pack, Google pulls from your reviews and will include them in your expanded listing (the results that appear when someone clicks on your business name), so it’s still important to get as many as possible!
Local citations are an essential part of your local SEO strategy. The more you have and the better quality they are, the more authority you’ll build with Google.
There are three things that make a good citation:
- Relevance to your business
- Consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) across all listings
- Local relevance (i.e., listing is from a high authority website) – this is especially important for citations in the form of links
You have to start somewhere, and this guide was created with beginners in mind. If you’ve never jumped into the world of Google Maps before, or have only a limited understanding of this all-encompassing tool, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to get started with your own local SEO campaign. We even provide some tips for how to get the most out of it when it comes to boosting your local ranking on Google Maps.