As a business owner serving a local area, your Google Maps listing is a crucial basic marketing tool for your business. Being listed on Google Maps will help you stand out among the hundreds if not thousands of competing small businesses in your city, and generate more business-all for free. These steps along with having a dedicated digital marketing agency, who knows how and what to do when with your digital marketing on Google Business Profile / Google Maps will greatly increase your efficiency and ranking capabilities.
Many small businesses get left behind because Google will not necessarily rank your business even if you list it, if everything isn’t done properly. You can also get left behind the lengthy list of competitors if consistent efforts to rank aren’t kept.
Maximize the Value of Google Business Profile
Maximizing the value of your Google Business Profile (GBP) is an essential step in improving your rankings on Google Maps. A well-optimized GBP listing provides a strong signal to Google that your business is relevant, trustworthy, and valuable to potential customers.
To maximize the value of your GBP listing, you should focus on providing accurate, complete, and up-to-date information about your business. This includes maintaining consistent Name, Address, Phone number, and Website (NAP+W) information across all online platforms, selecting the most appropriate business categories, and regularly updating your business hours, products or services, and descriptions.
Additionally, engaging with your audience through your GBP listing can have a significant impact on your local search rankings. By responding to customer reviews, posting regular updates, and answering questions submitted by users on Google Maps, you demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and establish your credibility. This engagement not only fosters trust with potential customers but also sends positive signals to Google, which can ultimately improve your visibility on Google Maps.
By maximizing the value of your Google Business Profile, you can enhance your online presence, drive more customers to your business, and achieve long-term success in the competitive local search landscape.
Add your business to Google Maps
Adding your business to Google Maps is the first step towards improved local visibility. Here’s how to do it:
- Sign into your Google account and navigate to Google Maps.
- Click on the “Add a missing place” option, usually located in the bottom-right corner of the map.
- Provide your business name, address, and category, along with any additional information requested.
- Submit the information and wait for Google to review and approve your submission.
Claim and verify your Google Business Profile listing
Claiming and verifying your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing is essential to ensure the accuracy of your business information. Follow these steps to claim and verify your listing:
- Search for your business on Google Maps and click on its name.
- Follow the prompts to claim your profile. You may be required to sign in to your Google account.
- Verify your listing through one of the available methods, such as postcard verification, phone call, or email.
- Once verified, you will have full control over your business information on Google Maps.
Fully complete your GBP listing
A complete and accurate GBP listing can improve your chances of ranking higher on Google Maps. Be sure to:
- Update your business hours, ensuring they are accurate and up-to-date.
- Add your website and any relevant social media links.
- Include a comprehensive list of services or products you offer.
- Write a brief but informative description of your business, incorporating relevant keywords.
Use consistent name, address, phone number, and website
Consistency is crucial when it comes to your business information. Ensure the following across all online platforms:
- Use the same business name, address, phone number, and website (NAP+W) on your GBP listing, social media profiles, and business website.
- Regularly check and update your information to maintain consistency.
- Inconsistencies can confuse Google’s algorithms and negatively impact your ranking.
Use a local phone number
Using a local phone number can signal to Google that your business is genuinely local, improving your chances of ranking higher in local search results. Keep the following in mind:
- Avoid using toll-free or call-tracking numbers, as they may confuse Google’s algorithms and harm your ranking.
- Update your GBP listing and other online profiles with your local phone number.
Ensure your GBP category is accurate
Your business category plays a significant role in how your business ranks on Google Maps. Here’s how to optimize your category:
- Choose the most accurate and relevant primary category for your business.
- Add secondary categories if applicable, but avoid overly broad or unrelated categories.
Add high-quality photos of your work, place of business, and team
Visual content is essential in attracting potential customers and improving your online presence. Be sure to:
- Upload high-quality photos of your work, place of business, and team to your GBP listing.
- Regularly update your photos to keep your listing fresh and relevant.
Accelerate real customer reviews with photos
Reviews play a significant role in how your business ranks on Google Maps. Encourage your customers to leave genuine reviews on your GBP listing and include photos of their experience with your business.
- Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, to show that you value customer feedback and are committed to addressing any concerns.
- Share your positive reviews on your website and social media platforms to showcase your customer satisfaction.
Post regularly to GBP
Regularly posting updates to your GBP listing can help improve your online visibility and demonstrate that your business is active and engaged with its customers. To do this effectively:
- Share news, promotions, events, or other relevant information on your GBP listing.
- Post consistently to keep your audience informed and engaged.
- Google may reward active listings with better visibility in search results.
Avoid duplicate listings to game the location system on Google
Creating duplicate listings for your business in an attempt to game the location system on Google Maps can backfire and lead to penalties, negatively impacting your search rankings. Instead:
- Focus on optimizing your existing listing and following the best practices outlined in this blog.
- If you find duplicate listings, claim and remove them to avoid any negative consequences.
Understand the Local SEO Basics
Mastering local SEO basics can help you rank higher on Google Maps and improve your overall online presence. To get started:
- Conduct keyword research to identify relevant search terms for your business and incorporate them into your website content and GBP listing.
- Optimize your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, and structured data markup.
- Build high-quality, local backlinks by reaching out to local organizations, participating in community events, and creating valuable content that others want to link to.
- Monitor and track your local SEO performance using tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and specialized SEO software.
We’ve compiled a full list of basics for small business owners to understand on Local SEO basics that is extremely informative and can help you know what you need to manage on a weekly/monthly basis and what you can leave to your marketing agency to take care of consistently.
Start Ranking Higher on Google Maps With These Simple Steps
Ranking higher on Google Maps is an ongoing process that requires regular updates, engagement, and a focus on local SEO basics. By understanding and implementing these best practices, you can stay ahead of the competition and make the most of the powerful tools offered by Google Maps.