If you are a business owner in any part of the world, you need to find a way to attract new customers. The growth trajectory of any business, irrespective of its size or capacity, is highly dependent on the traction of new customers. With the rise of social media and online marketing modes, it has become very crucial for any business to have an online presence and visibility. Most brands that aim to drive sales and go beyond offline revenue have been experimenting with numerous online parameters to generate additional revenue for their business.
When we talk of online platforms, most people think of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Google Ads. Although these platforms are very popular and frequently used by businesses to market their products/services, a true marketer will go beyond these platforms to ensure brand visibility for their clients. Google Maps is one such underrated platform that can effectively boost your visibility and lead to frequent business queries.
Before jumping to the details and the tricks to making your business visible through Google Maps and successfully ranking higher on Google Maps, let’s take a deep dive into the basics.
What is Google Maps?
Google Maps is an online portal containing detailed information about the lanes, bylanes, and relevant information about all the commercial spaces and other establishments located in any given geographical area of the world. Google Maps is an efficient tool for businesses to list their offline stores or offices that can attract the attention of their target audience, leading to an increased store visit and offline business conversion.
What Does Google Maps Marketing Mean?
Google Maps Marketing is the process of utilising Google Maps in order to provide visibility and credibility to any business online. Google Maps ensure that any business is easily found by your target audience when they type the keywords related to your products or services. Although Google maps can be equally leveraged by giant corporates, it has been noticed that small businesses benefit the most from this feature.
Having a well-ranked presence on Google Maps is a full-proof technique to boost sales and generate higher revenue for your business. Additionally, great ratings and other available descriptions of your business make it easy for the target audience to find you. Great marketing strategies include Google Maps Marketing to improve brand visibility and drive better results for their clients.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is another powerful tool that helps businessmen list their recently opened offline stores or claim their already existing stores on Google Maps. Google My Business would help in displaying all relevant information about your business to anyone looking for products or services that you cater to. Crucial information such as an address, website details, phone number, email address, as well as a description of your brand etc., can be available on Google for potential buyers. Furthermore, previous clients have an opportunity to add their reviews, adding credibility to your brand image.
Google My Business helps your brand to rank on Google’s top page for any particular keyword. This leads to an influx of website traffic and boosts store-based sales as well. Basically, Google My Business helps in maximizing business revenue in both ways- both offline and online.
What are the Various Types of Google Maps Marketing?
Google Maps Marketing doesn’t only ensure profile visibility and audience traction, it also plays a crucial role in achieving a higher placement among the local businesses in your city. As users, we are well aware of the fact that our Google searches never go beyond the first page of Google. All businesses with an online presence have been competing against each other to improve their Search Engine Result Pages (a.k.a SERP) results. Advanced SEO strategies are being improvised by corporate giants to ensure that any user lands on their business information when they type in keywords relevant to their niche.
In order to successfully market your business on Google Maps, experts usually resort to two means of ranking. They’re as follows:
-> Proximity-Based Google Maps Results
Proximity-based Google Maps results refer to the search results that appear when a user searches for a particular keyword near them. For Instance, if you’re a cafe owner in Bangalore and someone makes a Google Search looking for “best cafes near me”, your cafe should pop up as one of the options on the very first page of Google.
With the increase in Mobile based google searches wherein the user has their location turned on, proximity-based Google Maps Results have gained massive popularity. In fact, it has turned out to be a great platform to market your business online and gather maximum traction by establishing a lucrative advantage over your local competitors.
Also Read: What is Local SEO, And How Does It Work in 2022? [Ultimate Guide]
-> Rank-Based Google Maps Results
Rank-based Google Maps Search Results is another option for making your business visible to your prospects based on your geographical location. Although smartphones are available and GPS locations can help in landing relevant search results, rank-based google maps results can also be of use to individuals who don’t have location data enabled in their system.
Google maps are available for any geographical location on the planet. Rank-based google map searches help individuals find the best products/services at any particular place in the world, whether it is located in their vicinity or several miles away from their location. For Instance, if you’re a resident of Delhi who’s trying to plan a luxurious holiday in Goa, you can find the best hotels, cafes and adventurous sports destinations from the comfort of your home through Rank-based Google Maps results. Rank-based Google Maps marketing is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to drive not only a local audience towards your business but also can expose your business to a much wider audience, independent of their geographical locations.
10 Key Steps to Rank Higher in Google Maps
Life is full of unexpected surprises. People may require unexpected services at any given point in time. Imagine driving by an unfamiliar neighbourhood and getting a flat tire all of a sudden. What would anyone do in this situation? Having relevant suggestions through Google Maps is not only profitable for businessmen, but it also helps individuals navigate an unfamiliar location effortlessly. If you’re a marketer looking to help any business rank higher on Google Maps, you may want to check out these steps to help you out!
1. Create an Optimised and Verified Google My Business Listing
As we’ve already mentioned, Google My Business is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to build an impressive online authority for your business. Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is an online search index created by Google that keeps a record of all the enlisted businesses on their server. Creating an impeccable Google My Business listing can help you rank better on Google, consequently improving your Google Maps ranking.
After you’ve created your GBP profile, the next crucial step involves verifying the business listing in order to build credibility. Creating a GBP ensures that Google has a record of your business’s existence. Google cross-verifies all the information in your business listing with your business websites and other linked resources to establish credibility for your business. Verification of GBP is a simple procedure, and the unique verification PIN is delivered to the registered business address within 14 working days.
2. Clarify Areas of Service
If your business is an online product or service that can serve any target audience independent of their geographical location, the “areas of service” is not a feature you need to be worried about.
However, if your services have location restrictions, they must definitely be listed accurately in the “areas of service” section under your Google My Business listing. For instance, if you have multiple outlets within a city or you have restricted locations where you deliver your products, you must mention the exact location or a broad geographic radius within which your service can be availed by any individual. Clarifying the areas of service, especially with the relevant keywords containing the name of the place, can boost Proximity-based Google Maps ranking.
3. Upload Linked Images with Optimised Alt Tags on Your Google My Business Listing
Ranking on Google Maps doesn’t only include working on Google Maps, it includes improving all the other aspects that work together to build brand authority and maximize visibility on Google.
One of the most effective ways to improve Google Maps ranking is by uploading numerous linked images of your business on the Google My Business listing. Ensure that all the uploaded images have alt tags containing relevant keywords you’re trying to rank for. A surplus amount of professionally clicked photographs with a crisp title on your listing will attract the target audience to check out your business, maximizing the chances of conversion. It also boosts profile optimization and contributes to improved Google Maps ranking.
4. Business Introduction Must Contain Keywords That You Aim to Rank
One of the key focus areas that can significantly help to boost your Google Maps ranking is the Introduction section of GBP. The introduction paragraph serves as a glimpse of your business that you let your customers view before they opt for your products/services.
Complete optimization of the introduction, enriched with primary and secondary keywords, ensures maximum profile visibility and boosts Google Mapa ranking. While crafting your introduction, ensure to highlight what benefits the consumer will avail yourself of from your business. Insert all the relevant target keywords frictionlessly into the paragraphs for an additional SEO boost.
A well-optimised, properly constructed business introduction will contain the following options:
- A clear business objective
- What products/services do you offer
- Your Unique Selling Point/ Features that make you stand apart from your competitor
- Business address, location etc
- The key benefits that your customers/prospects can avail from your business.
- Any relevant contact info to reach out to
You can also add links and other available resources related to your business in the introduction. However, ensure to maintain a balance and avoid keyword stuffing, as it may have an adverse effect and result in blacklisting your business profile by Google.
5. Focus on Receiving Genuine Reviews
Business reviews are the backbone of any business trying to establish a strong business authority online. Customer reviews can make or break the reputation of any business online. Gathering genuine and positive customer reviews is the best way to maximise credibility and attract new customers to your business.
Claiming ownership of a GBP profile, followed by its verification and optimization, is fairly easy and is under your control. However, receiving positive customer reviews solely depends on the quality of your product/service and the experience that the said customer had with your business. Even if there are any negative reviews, ensure to deal with them by sending a prompt reply and resolving the issue. Google crawlers scan through the reviews and the replies to understand if your business is credible or not.
6. Provide “Business Category” Tags Relevant To your Business in the Listing
Business category is the sub-section that helps to categorise your business under a specific niche. Business category options are provided within Google My Business, and it plays a crucial role in the optimization of your GBP. While categorising their businesses, most business owners make a rookie mistake and give up on a magnificent optimization opportunity.
When you’re enlisting your business category, dive deeper and go beyond the scope of the primary business category. Enlisting the primary business category is mandatory for any business listing. However, enlisting secondary categories gives you an opportunity to rank for multiple keywords relevant to your business, thus maximizing visibility.
For instance, if you are a web development agency that also works with website designing, landing page creation etc., ensure to add the secondary services under your business category to boost visibility.
7. Work on Your Local Business Schema
One of the primary yet most underrated ranking tools that very few marketers pay attention to is the business schema. Since search engines, especially Google, prefers to rank standardised content, encompassing the listing content around a set of specific code would make it easier for Google bots to read through. Local Business Schema is a tool that encodes all the relevant information about a business, allowing web crawlers to comprehend the content easily, check cross-references for credibility and record all the information frictionlessly within no time.
The easier it is for Google crawlers to read your business information, the higher your content will rank on Google. Local Business Schema paves a full-proof way to help your business rank higher in Google Maps.
Here is the tool for you to create a “Local Business Schema“ This tool will help you to create the scheme from scratch. And below, it will also tell you how to create a Local Business Schema. Try it out now!
8. Introduce Google Maps on the Contact Us Section
If you intend to rank higher on Google Maps, you need to ensure you’re backlinking your google maps link to relevant places that improve its visibility. Introducing Google Maps to the contact us section of your website or your GBP profile can really be beneficial in this case.
Just like other steps, embedding your Google Maps to the Contact Us section enable Google to crawl the linked websites for information, improving the SERP ranking for your business listing. An overall improved SERP ranking also ensures that your business will rank higher on Google Maps.
9. Create Relevant Backlinks
As a marketer, backlinking is a white-hat SEO tactic that you cannot compromise on. Backlinking is a renowned SEO strategy that involves establishing business authenticity by building credible inbound links of relevant local businesses to your website.
If you’re new to the concept, think of backlinking as building good relations with your neighbours. During times of emergency, your neighbours can vouch for your credibility and vice versa. Similarly, building strong backlinks is a way of letting Google know that your website is credible and other local businesses are interested in having your website linked to its content.
Building strong backlinks with reputed local businesses provides validation to your business as well as the product/service that you have to offer. When Google crawlers crawl through any content and find a link to your website, it recognises your website as genuine. Authentic websites with a verified business listing are more prone to have higher SERP rankings. This will eventually also boost the Google maps ranking for the business.
10. Insert Long Tail Keywords to Improve SERP Ranking
While primary keywords play a crucial role in GBP or business listing, stuffing in the primary keywords unnecessarily can affect the scope of your ranking. Instead of using the primary keywords monotonously, replace them with long tail secondary keywords.
Using long tail keywords have evidently improved SERP ranking and helped websites rank high on all search engine platforms, including Google maps. Building a balance between long tail keywords that are relevant to your business as well as reader-friendly will ensure higher SERP ranking and maximised website traffic as your audience will relate to your content.
Explore Google Maps Ads
During May of 2021, Google introduced a wide range of new features, including Google Maps ads that has transformed the face of Google Maps marketing and pushed several businesses to establish strong brand visibility on Google Maps.
The Google Maps ad feature introduced by Google has four different categories of ads that can be leveraged by businesses to boost revenue. They include: Pins Promotion, customizable business pages, local inventory search pages, in-store promotions etc. Marketers can use one or a combination of these ad options to boost the SERP ranking of any business profile and build visibility for its target audience on Google Maps website page, mobile search page as well as on Maps app. When a user types a relevant keyword, Google Maps will display the businesses running ads on the top of the search page.
Building an online presence for your business and aiming to rank higher on Google Maps is not an overnight possibility. Marketers will require building unique strategies, working on the backend to finetune any errors and building foolproof Google Maps ad campaigns to achieve a great SERP rank on Google Maps. Although the process is time-consuming, achieving the desired ranking will maximize business revenue by drawing more target audiences to your business pages.
If you’re looking to learn more about the tips and tricks of SEO and explore how you can bring traction to your own business by leveraging Google Maps, enroll in the best online digital marketing course. Implement those tactics in your business to bring lucrative results for your business. Fill out the below form to know more about the course.