If you want to improve your chances of ranking in Google Maps, (3-Pack), there are four areas you need to get right. This will improve your website and your GMB listing.
First lets cover the WHY of being found in the top three of the Maps listing. When consumers are searching online there are normally just a few key words or phrases that they will use to find the business or service that they are searching for. Each of the most common keywords or keyword phrases will have their own search engine results page. The maps listing appears in the top section of the page just under any paid ads that may be listed. This is prime real estate for a local business. Especially considering that more people are on mobile phones and scrolling these days. Being found at the top of the page and having your Google reviews prominently listed for the potential customer to see is a local businesses best shot at being noticed in the crowd of competitors. Also, if the consumer is on a mobile phone they can press the phone icon next to your listing and immediately call your business.
Those businesses listed at the top of the search in the Maps have more credibility to most consumers and get the lion’s share of the clicks on page one.
So now you know that as a local business you absolutely want to be in the Maps listing. How do you get there?
1. First is to realize that Google is very keen on proximity. A searcher across the street from your business is much more likely to find you in the 3 pack than a searcher using the exact same search phrase on the other side of town. There are a few ways to overcome this but most are beyond the scope of this article and more effort than most businesses will want to attempt. The point would be that you want to be the best and the strongest listing in your immediate service area to insure that you do in fact make the Maps listing in a several mile radius of your business.
2. It goes without saying that your Google My Business must filled out completely and accurately. This includes details such as business hours and holidays. This is for Google but more than that it is for potential customers looking for information on your business. When completing your GMB listing there are a couple of tricks of the trade to include.
You will want to have lots of images on your GMB page. That means much more than you have now! Before you upload the images right click on the image, go to the bottom of the pop up and select “Properties”. In the next pop up click on “Details” on the tabs at the top. Fill in the “Title” with your keywords and keyword phrases even loosely related to what the photo is about. In the “Subject” fill in more keywords and terms closely associated with your business services. “Rating” give yourself 5 stars. “Tags”, “Comments” are more places to include information about your business and services. The “Authors” area is a great place to include your business NAP, name, (address and phone). The search engine bots will read all this information and associate it with your business and services.
While working on your photo’s you will want to geo-tag each one. That is to put your latitude and longitude in each photo. For a local business this verifies your location to the search engines. Travel over to Geolmgr here. Enter your business address in the upper section the software will grab the Lat/Long for your location. Next drag the images into the image box on the right side. Click on the blue “Write EXIF Tags” button then download the images back in a separate file that you label as completed images. From this file you can upload to your GMB listing. Each image will have information that ties your keywords and your business location to your GMB.
3. When you first filled out your GMB listing you selected a primary business category. Now is the time to edit that section in your listing and add as many secondary categories as apply. A great tool to help you with this task is PlePer.com. Travel to the bottom of the page and click the check box “Show results in a table”, then the blue “Fetch”. On the results page scroll down and find a huge list of categories. This is hard to grind through but it is worth the time. When you find a category that relates to your business click on “Related Categories” on the right hand side. This will give you more ideas of possible categories. You will want to include as many categories as possible in your GMB listing. It is important however that each category that you select is a service that your truly provide. Each category that you select should have a well constructed web page or landing page that informs and assists visitors to your website, and tells Google that you really have meaningful content and are in that business. This exercise gets your business listed in as many Maps Packs as possible for your services.
4. Lastly, if you are a single location business, the footer of each page of your website should have a google maps embed of your business location and/or service area. The footer should also have your business NAP, (name, address, phone). There are other items you may choose to put in the footer such as social icons, business hours, etc. but for the best chance of scoring points with Google the map embed and NAP are helpful.
5. Bonus item I’ll add is schema for your website. Schema is a structured data mark up that ensures the search engines have accurately understood the information on your site. All the details are beyond the scope of this article, but most businesses have an individual or a company that can help them with their website. As a business owner you simply need to insure that proper Schema is included on your website.
For questions or for assistance in getting your business into the Local Maps Pack for your primary search terms, or for any digital marketing requirements contact Gideon Marketing.