In order to successfully compete in the modern online space, you have to dominate all available channels. One of the most important and fastest growing channel to win on the local market is Google Maps. In this article, we will figure out how to effectively use Google Maps for local businesses.
Why Google Maps Marketing Is Important for Your Business
Today, consumers can do a Google search and find a list of businesses around them within seconds. Therefore, having an online presence can do wonders for your business and its overall exposure.
Being in possession of such statistics, business owners should have no doubts about the importance of using Google Maps in order to make their business easier to find. To succeed in the local market, online marketing specialists are engaged in Google Maps marketing – the process of optimizing your Google Maps for getting the highest positions in search results.
So if you thought that Google Maps marketing isn’t worth it, you have been missing out on a ton of business opportunities. But not to worry, we will bring you up to speed in no time!
How to Get Started with Google Maps Marketing
How to Add Your Business To Google Maps
The best thing about Google Maps is that it is very business-friendly. Since Google wants to update its collection of businesses as soon as they go live (this enables Google to present users with more options), Google dedicates a webpage solely for registering new businesses into its database. The same is possible for the businesses that are not new to Google, but did not have a listing in Google maps before.
Step 1) Head over to the Google My Business page. This page is set up to help business through the process of creating a business profile on Google. Click “START NOW” to begin.
Step 2) A login page will be shown if you are not logged into your Gmail account. This window will not be shown if you are already logged in. Click “Next” to continue.
Step 3: In this window, you can add the name of your business. Make sure there are no discrepancies (uppercase/lowercase, syntax, or punctuation errors) in your input. Click “Next” to continue.
Step 4: In the following window, you will be asked to enter your business location. You can type in the address manually and click “Next.” Then Google will show you a map with the pointer located at the address that you entered. You can move the pointer to let Google know the exact spot where your business is located. After optimization, click “Next” to continue.
Step 5: Enter your business category. Google will categorize your business based on your input to better segregate it when a search is made by the user. Click “Next” to continue.
Step 6: In the following window, you will be requested to enter your phone number and website address. Though it’s not mandatory, it is a great way to help customers reach you quickly or know more about your business. Click “Next” to continue.
Step 7: After the concerned details regarding your website are recorded, Google will instruct you to verify your business. You can do it either by regular mail correspondence or by a call back from Google. We recommend the call because it will start the review process faster comparing to the postcard.
Step 8: After the verification window, the next page will offer you a service called Google Site. It is one of the easiest methods to create a simple business website that portrays your business and its services.
Step 9: The following window will mark the end of the “How to add your website to Google” process. Here you can verify location, add photos, create ads etc. You can find these options on the left sidebar.
You can see how easy it is to add your business to Google maps. The only information Google will ask you is about the nature of your business and its location. Enter all that and you are ready to go!
The process of leveraging Google Maps to boost your business is known as Google Maps marketing. The crux of Google Maps marketing is to make your Google Map business listing pop up in the search results anytime a search is made related to your business. And the best thing about getting into the features is that your business will be placed in spots where users tend to click the most! Let’s have a closer look at why Google Maps Marketing is important for your business.
Be In Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are a great way to get traffic to the websites and for Google Maps snippets, it is the best way to get inquiries from possible prospects. The reason is pretty simple; snippets are shown directly on the search results page, and users don’t even have to click the Google Maps section to view it. See how the map suggestions are placed atop the organically ranked links in the picture resulting in greater visibility.
Be In the Answer of a Voice Search Assistant
The map snippet isn’t just restricted to computer-based searches. They are also shown to the users when they ask Google Assistant for something like a physical shop. Again, the users will be more inclined to click on the featured business rather than spend their time searching through the never-ending list of businesses presented by Google Maps.
How to Rank Higher in Google Maps Results
Now that you have your business added to Google Maps, it is time to optimize your business so that it shows up first in the search results. Once we go through each optimization method detailed below, you will see that this approach is very similar to the good old SEO practices.
When optimizing in Google Maps, we are essentially doing the same thing – raising the over quality and relevance of your business profile so that it looks pleasing to Google’s ranking algorithm.
It’s always good to know how well your business website is ranking in SERPs since it will affect your Google Map rankings. If you don’t know where your website stands, use SE Ranking Google rank tracker to evaluate its performance.
Let’s look at some of the proven ways that help your business rank higher in Google Maps.
- Google reviews matter a lot
There is nothing more of an appraisal for a company than a happy customer’s online review. Having good reviews on your business will do wonders for your business’ rank in Google maps. You can ask your customers to leave a review on Google Maps if they are satisfied with it.
- Follow a multi-platform strategy
In addition to Google Maps, there are other websites that actively look for new businesses to add to their collection such as Yelp, Bing Local and Yahoo Local Listings. Make sure that you have your business profile set up on these search engines too as it gives your business more credibility.
- Make use of Google posts
Google posts are an exact way to let Google know that you are serious about your business. Google posts is a relatively new feature brought in by Google in 2016. It essentially allows you to add additional content to your business portfolio like videos, pictures, stories etc. It’s a great way to make your Google Maps listing more engaging and at the same time, it adds more relevance to it.
- Have a business website set up
In this day and age, a business website speaks a lot and many customers use it to gauge the credibility of the business. A good, SEO optimized website will do wonders for ranking your business inside and outside of Google Maps.
- Embed Google Maps in your website
After you have your website up and running, embed Google Maps to it. This will help Google to recognize your business faster and makes it easier for the visitors of your website to find your business.
- Double down on social media
Many users get to know businesses through social media. So make your business public on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
How to Promote Your Business on Google Maps
If you don’t want to wait for organic traffic and appeal to the customer directly, Google helps you to promote your business in Google Maps with the use of Google Ads. This is the most effective way to drive up traffic and audience with very less downtime.
Step 1: Enable local extensions
Local extensions help the ad to show your location, address, and distance to the business. Make sure that you configure the extension first by clicking the option “Ad Extensions” in your GoogleAds account.
Step 2: Target the location where your ad will run
Click the “Locations” tab placed under the Campaigns tab. Then click “Edit” to start editing the location information.
Step 3: Keyword targeting
You can edit the target keywords by clicking the “keywords” button placed under the campaigns tab.
That’s it! Your ads will now run on Google Maps, ensuring maximum visibility for your business. The process is simple and it’s all about tweaking your existing ads to add more ad placement.
With the majority of the population already enjoying the benefits of digitalization, its high time that you give your local business an online outlook. Google Maps is a great way to drive local traffic and helps a lot when it comes to generating revenue. You should definitely use Google Maps for online marketing; it’s getting competitive out there and each step matters! Make sure that you follow our tips and tricks, and you will have your local business attract buzz in no time.