Google Maps is one of the most frequently used applications by Android phone owners. It helps them navigate to their place of destination, helps them pinpoint their location and calculate the shortest route to a place they need to go to.
Also, as they browse Google Maps, users see various pins that indicate various businesses: shops, restaurants, banks, insurance agencies, etc. Moreover, they can type a service or product name, such as “coffee shop”, and get suggestions close to their location.
Make Your Business Rank Higher on Google Map
All the above are the reasons why local businesses are trying to rank on Google Maps. Instead of spending a lot of money on Google Adwords, business owners have a free and effective strategy available to them. And we will detail it below, step by step.
But first of all, let us see what Google takes into consideration when it selects local search results for Google Maps and the Local Pack. According to the latest algorithm, the following elements matter:
- 25.12% Google My Business signals;
- 16.53% link signals;
- 15.44% review signals;
- 13.82% on-page signals;
- 10.81% citation signals;
- 9.56% behavioural signals (click-through rate, check-ins).
With these ideas in mind, here’s what you should do in order to rank higher on Google Maps:
1. Register a Local Number on Your Google My Business Profile
Google does not like toll free (800, 877) numbers. The number one reason for this is that a lot of scammers and spammers (telemarketers) use this kind of numbers. The second reason why a toll free number won’t help you rank on Google Maps and local searches is that it does not contain a verifiable area code.
Thus, always use a local phone number that helps Google verify the location of your business.
2. Do Not Use a Tracked Phone Number
Tracked phone numbers are used to track and measure specific marketing campaigns – for instance how many people called to claim a gift card. However, these numbers are also on Google’s black list. And the effort to white list such a number is too complicated to be worthwhile.
It doesn’t mean you can’t use tracked numbers at all. Just don’t add them to your NAP citations and on your GMB listing.
3. Select Adequate Subcategories
When you create a GMB listing, you have to select a business category. Once your business profile is complete and verified, go back and, if appropriate, select subcategories that match your business activities. For example, a web design company can add the subcategories graphic design, digital marketing and web hosting if the company offers these services.
4. Optimise Your Business Description
Your Google My Business listing description should include the following:
- 1-3 high ranking keyword
- Your location(s)
- Your unique selling proposition – what makes your business stand apart from competitors.
Also, make sure that you avoid including any links, promotions, sales pitches or misleading information.
5. Monitor and Respond to Reviews
Google relies on reviews to determine which businesses rank higher on Google Maps. Thus, you should encourage your clients to leave reviews and take the time to respond to them. Even a simple “thank you” is enough.
In some cases, the customers leave negative reviews. In such a situation, respond and ask for further details and attempt to solve the customer’s problem. If the negative review is simple spam, report it to Google.
Last, but not least, strive to build local links, either by sharing your involvement in community projects and activities or by nurturing a bartering network with other local businesses that are not your direct competitors.