Here’s a simple fact.
If you want to expand your customer base and increase your revenue, you have to have a strong online presence.
And when it comes to online visibility, Google Maps plays a crucial role. According to recent studies, 86% of customers use Google Maps to find businesses in their area.
That means you could be missing out on HUGE numbers of customers if you aren’t reaching them on Google Maps.
In other words, you CAN’T afford to ignore your Google Maps ranking.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss why Google Maps Ranking is crucial for your business and how you can improve it.
Let’s get started!
- Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore Google Maps Rankings
- 11 Foolproof Tips to Rank in Google Maps
- How to Track Your Google Maps Rank
Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore Google Maps Rankings
I know what you’re thinking.
“I already put all this work into getting my site to rank on Google, and now you want me to put in even MORE effort trying to rank on Google Maps too?!”
The short answer is “Yes.” You do need to put in some more effort to ensure that you’re ranking on Google Maps in addition to the Google SERP.
If that makes you want to just give up, you’re not alone. A lot of businesses never fully access the power of Google Maps because it feels like just another mountain you have to climb.
Before you throw in the towel, it’s important to go over a few reasons why you CAN’T afford to ignore your Google Maps ranking.
Customers Search for Businesses on Google Maps
When was the last time you used a physical map to find a new restaurant or store?
Chances are, it’s been a while.
Nowadays, customers rely on Google Maps to find businesses in their area. Whether it’s to grab a cup of coffee or to get a haircut, customers use Google Maps to find nearby businesses that meet their needs.
As we mentioned earlier, almost 9 out of every 10 consumers use Google Maps to find businesses in their area. That means you could be missing out on 90% of the foot traffic that Google has to offer if you don’t rank on Google Maps!
To put it plainly, if your business isn’t showing up on Google Maps, you’re missing out on potential customers. It’s as simple as that.
Your Google Maps Ranking Affects Your Online Visibility
The top 3 results on any local search on Google Maps are known as the Snack Pack. If you want your business to get as many clicks as possible from Google Maps, you NEED to land a spot in the Snack Pack.
For example, the top Snack Pack spots have a 15-18% CTR (click-through rate), but the options below those are hidden behind a “More Places” box that users have to click, so the CTR of all subsequent Maps ranks drops off drastically.
The higher your business ranks on Google Maps, the more visible it becomes to potential customers. This increased visibility can lead to more foot traffic, phone calls, and website visits.
You’ll Lose Customers to Your Competition
If your business is not showing up on Google Maps or it’s buried below a ton of other businesses, you’re losing customers to your competition.
Think of it this way: When was the last time you looked for something on Google and spent 20 minutes looking through the top 20 or 30 options? Probably never.
Most people choose from the top 3 options and go on about their day.
Customers are more likely to choose businesses that are easily visible and accessible. They want to know that they’re making the right choice, and having a high Google Maps ranking can provide that reassurance.
That means that having a lower rank on Google Maps could mean that you’re basically sending free business to your competitors who rank higher than you.
11 Foolproof Tips to Rank in Google Maps
It should be fairly obvious by now that it’s REALLY important to rank in Google Maps. Not only is it important to rank, but it’s important to rank as high as you possibly can.
However, there are over 200 MILLION businesses trying to stand out on Google Maps just as much as you are.
With so many businesses trying to stand out, it can seem nearly impossible to get your name front and center on Google Maps. But, believe it or not, there are things you can do to help your business improve its local SEO.
For the remainder of this post, we’ll explore some foolproof tips that can help you rank higher in Google Maps and get your business noticed.
1. Claim Your Listing on Google Business Profile
This first step is one that a surprising number of businesses forget to do.
CLAIM YOUR BUSINESS ON GOOGLE!
If you don’t claim your business, you have ZERO control over what appears on the listing.
Zip. Zilch. NADA.
You can’t change the address or phone number, you can’t add hours, you can’t post promotions, and you can’t reply to comments.
If you haven’t claimed your listing on Google yet, do it right now.
Seriously. I’ll wait.
Now go through your profile with a fine-tooth comb and make sure that all your information is filled out. That means:
- Name, address, and phone number (NAP for short. More on this in a second.)
- Hours of operation
- Social media links
- Any current promotions or updates
2. Optimize Your NAP
Your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are critical pieces of information for a couple of reasons:
- Google doesn’t like to rank businesses that don’t have these critical pieces of information filled out optimally.
- Customers don’t like to call or visit businesses that don’t have optimized NAP online.
So, other than filling these sections out, what do I mean by “optimize?”
I mean that you should make sure your NAP is consistent across all online directories and platforms. Any discrepancies could hurt your ranking and decrease trust in your brand.
If you have listings on Yelp, YellowPages, Maps, Facebook, Instagram, BBB, or any other directory, make sure they all have the EXACT same info for your NAP. Otherwise, customers could get confused and may have trouble contacting or finding you.
3. Keep Your Information Up to Date
Sometimes, your business information will change. You might change your location, your phone number, or your hours.
The WORST publicity you can give your business is not updating your online profiles when something changes. After all, how angry does it make you when you check a business’s hours online only to drive there and find out that they’re closed?
Make sure to update your hours of operation, address, phone number, and website as soon as possible whenever changes occur.
4. Use Keywords
Make sure to include relevant keywords in your business description on Google Maps.
Remember that Google Maps is still a search engine, so keywords are important. You shouldn’t keyword stuff your description, but it should include 2-3 of your main keywords to help it rank higher for targeted searches.
This can help Google understand what your business is all about and help rank your business higher in local search results.
5. Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Many businesses sit around and wait for their customers to leave reviews, but that’s actually a bad strategy.
Instead, you should ask your satisfied customers to leave your business a positive review on Google as soon as your transaction is done (while it’s still fresh in their minds).
When customers leave genuine reviews of your business on Google, it demonstrates your business’s value and credibility.
We’ll also talk later about how to respond to reviews (both positive and negative).
6. Share Updates and Promotions
Are you running a deal or a promotion?
Post it on your Google Business Profile!
Posting regular updates and promotions on your Google Business Profile listing shows customers that your business is active and keeps them engaged. Regular promotions also give them a reason to check your listing on Google Maps.
You don’t have to treat your Google Business Profile like it’s another social media, but posting a few times a month clues Google into the fact that your business is active and can help boost your ranks.
7. Add High-Quality Photos
Adding high-quality photos to your Google Maps listing can make your business more visually appealing and increase engagement.
Notice that I said “high-quality” photos. The worst thing you can do here is post pictures that paint your business in a bad light.
If you’re capable of taking really good pictures, do it. If you’re not, hire someone who can. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward online with great photos.
Make sure to include photos of your business’s interior and exterior, products, and menu, if applicable.
8. Optimize Your Website for Local Search
You can give your Google Maps ranking a boost by making some adjustments to your website. Try the following strategies:
- Create location-specific pages on your website and include relevant local keywords on those pages.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Optimize your website for quick loading speeds to provide a better user experience to potential customers.
There are other steps you can take as well, but starting with these 3 can drastically improve your ranks (both on the Google SERP and in Google Maps) if done properly.
9. Include Links to Your Website and Social Media
This one is pretty straightforward: Just make sure your Google Business Profile listing includes links to your website and social media accounts.
There is a dedicated section on your Google Business Profile for both of these pieces of information, so make sure they end up in the appropriate sections.
This can help drive traffic to your website and help customers find all the information about your business in one place.
10. Respond to Reviews
Reviews are a massive part of success on Google Maps, but they can be difficult to navigate – especially when you get that dreaded negative review.
Most people just ignore negative reviews, but that’s the wrong approach. Instead, you should publicly respond to the negative review to kindly apologize for the experience and let them know that someone will be reaching out to rectify the situation.
Doing so lets all future customers know that you care deeply about their experience. It can actually turn the negative review into a great ad for your business!
Similarly, you should show appreciation for positive reviews and thank them for their business.
Make sure that you type a personal message to each review. Some businesses have a copy/paste response that goes out to each positive review and a different one for negative reviews. Avoid doing that, as it makes it look forced and like you don’t care enough to respond individually.
11. Add Your Business to Local Directories
We briefly mentioned local directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and others earlier in this post to emphasize consistency across the web.
If you haven’t yet added your business to those directories, you should go ahead and do so. Even though these directories aren’t as big as they used to be, they can still contribute traffic – especially in certain demographics that use them more than others.
It certainly never hurts to get your name out there to a few more places online – just make sure your NAP and other information is consistent everywhere online.
How to Track Your Google Maps Rank
Once you start working on your rank in Google Maps, you’ll quickly realize that keeping track of your rank is just as hard as improving it!
That’s where ProRankTracker comes in.
Input your Google Business Profile into the Add Wizard tool to start automatically tracking your Maps ranking for your specific location.
After you put your Google Business Profile information in, you can use the dashboard and other ranking views to easily see how your Google Maps ranks change over time.
If you aren’t already signed up for ProRankTracker, I highly recommend signing up for a 14-day free trial to see just how much it can help your business on Google Maps!
Why am I not ranking in Google Maps?
Some of the common reasons why your business may not be ranking on Google Maps include a lack of consistent NAP (name, address, and phone number), inaccurate information, a lack of customer reviews, an incomplete Google Business Profile, and a lack of location-specific pages on your website. Keep working on your profile consistently, and you’ll see improvement.
How can I rank up immediately on Google?
As much as you may want quick results, achieving immediate ranking on Google Maps may not always be possible. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve quick results with proper optimization. Follow the tips above and you should see quick improvements within a few days or weeks.
Ready to Take Over Google Maps?
Many businesses make some random changes to their online info and then sit around and hope that it helps their Google Maps ranks.
These 11 tips take the guesswork out of the equation and help you rank higher in Google Maps.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming more visible on Google Maps.