Google Maps SEO: 3 Easy Wins to Help Increase Rankings

When SEO’s and Internet marketers hear about Google Maps SEO, most immediately turn to the local 3 pack listings. No doubt, the local 3 pack is the most valuable and highly-sought means of search exposure for locally-focused entities. But many professionals in the search marketing community remain stumped as to going about optimizing for these listings.

Google Maps SEO

Reserved for only three of the most relevant businesses (depending on the search query,) Google Maps SEO and 3 pack optimization has exploded as bee’s knees to increasing search visibility. In this post, we discuss which factors influence Google Maps SEO and optimize each of these areas accordingly.

Website Citation

Even if your business’s website is 100% SEO-friendly and optimized with keyword-rich content, there’s one small detail that can dramatically influence your Google Maps SEO performance. This detail is your businesses citation, and it must be properly mentioned on your site.

In the local SEO context, a citation is a term that defines the mention of business’ Name, Address, and Phone number (otherwise acronymed “NAP” by the SEO community.) Your citation must be completely accurate and cited in that exact structure (see the example below of perfectly aligned citation.)

citations for google maps seo

The citation above for Fidler on the Tooth, a top ranked dentist in Seattle, is located in the footer of the website. Because this citation is site-wide (on all pages of the website,) it can further help with SEO. Just know that any discrepancy or inaccuracies in the data and structure of you business’s citation can diminish your ranking potential.

Google My Business

When it comes to Google Maps SEO (especially the search rankings in the Google Maps interface/non 3 pack), your Google My Business (GMB) page is the most important asset next your website. This listing is a significant ranking factor in how/when Google ranks your business in both the 3 pack and ranked Google Maps results (with the latter placement being the most influenced by GMB.

As a result, it’s vital to claim, optimize, and verify your business’s GMB page accordingly. Follow some of these best practice tips on how to set-up your GMB listing in SEO-friendly fashion.

  • First, search your business name and location to see if you already have a GMB page. If you do, you’ll want to claim it. If you don’t, establish a new GMB page.
  • Next, populate your GMB page so that it’s 100% complete. This includes the minute details, like hours of operation, about summary, tagline, email, contact information, etc.
  • Choose the most relevant categories for your business and make the primary category the most relevant (or aligned with your SEO keyword targets.)
  • Define the areas in your business services (such as the names of nearby cities or towns that you serve, or a specific radius from your business’s address.)
  • Include a link on your business’s website to your GMB page (ideally in the header, footer, or other site-side placement.)
  • Lastly, make sure to verify your GMB listing (via phone verification or postcard submission.)

By taking care of these essential GMB elements, you can greatly boost your businesses potential to rank in both the 3 pack and Google Maps search results.

Business Reviews

Customer reviews on your GMB page are subtle yet addressable Google Maps ranking factor. Although less impactful compared citations and GMB optimization, reviews can give some businesses a big edge, especially in competitive search markets.

For example, this dentist in Minnesota is dominating the competition with 100 customer reviews on his GMB page.

dentists google maps marketing

But how does a local dentist in a small Minnesota town earn so many 5-star patient reviews? It’s not by chance. This practice has established a creative review generation strategy that all local businesses can adopt.

Below is image of this dentist’s “Reviews” page in which he and his staff incentivize patients to visit and leave positive reviews on the practice’s GMB page, as well as other business listings. In addition to Google Maps SEO, acquiring favorable reviews also improves the company’s reputation (which can be a huge conversion rate booster for a dentist.)

While there is more to Google Maps SEO then what you see here, these three tips will greatly help your business increase its ability to rank in both the 3 pack and the Google Maps search results.

Local SEO Tips to Promote Your Business in 2016

When it comes to local SEO, most local business owners and professional service providers are often clueless when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). They often have a notion of what SEO seeks to achieve, but many business professionals, even those in marketing, have no idea at where to begin.

When it comes to locally-focused companies, Google local SEO can beneficial and practiced in-house with some know-how. Below are four ways that you can use to leverage local SEO to promote your business in 2016.seo google local

Make Use of Long Tail Keywords

Most local businesses are usually trying to rank for very competitive and broad terms. But since Google’s algorithm throws a lot of weight to larger directories such as Yelp or Yellow Pages, it can be really difficult to reach the top ten in some of these terms.

If you are a business owner and you want to capitalize on Google local SEO, you will need to capitalize on long tailed keywords. Try to optimize your content around keywords that are very specific. For instance, you can add your city or location to the keywords in order to narrow down your approach, start ranking quickly, and drive more targeted traffic to your website.

Get Listed

You should get featured on as many listings as possible if you want to promote your business far and wide. If your website is listed across major directories and online maps, it is going to give your local strategy a really huge benefit.

Even though it can be extremely tedious and time consuming to find the directories to list your website on, it will be worth the time and effort. To make the process easier, you can take advantage of free tools that allow you to scan sites and check how you are ranking locally.

To get started, scope out the Local Listings resources from Moz. Here you can see actionable insights to get listed on relevant directories, helping to promote and proliferate your business across the web, all while supporting your local SEO efforts.

Take Advantage of Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization is very important nowadays. Not so long ago, Google released an algorithm that is mobile specific. It is aimed at impacting the ranking of websites depending on their mobile-friendly status. Local search on mobile devices can help promote your business and make it known by many people across the world.

The mobile devices have a higher lead to conversion ratio because most people are using them to access the internet nowadays. You just have to make sure that your mobile site is friendly for it to attract a lot of visitors. This may require a mobile website re-design, or potentially mobile web development services to build you  a mobile-friendly website.

Use Social Media

You can leverage popular social media platforms such Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat to increase the ranking of your website on search engines. Google+ can be particularly useful in promoting your business if used correctly. It can be a very powerful weapon in your SEO arsenal. With just a few tweaks on your Google Plus profile and business page, you can build a very strong foundation for SEO success.

Some of the things you will need to do to leverage Google+ for local SEO is make sure that you have an attractive SEO title, avoid going overboard with the content you post, put your links in the Link Attachment area in order to get the benefit of a DoFollow link, and track every piece content you post on Google+.

If you are looking to grow targeted traffic that converts, local search will be a very powerful tool for your business. Whether you’re doing search engine optimization for surgeons or a local retailer, by using the above-mentioned tips, your business will start moving up the ranking. This will in turn drive more sales to your business.