SEO companies and agencies alike are most likely to agree that tactics for search engine optimization (SEO) are no longer confined to achieving higher ranks in the search engine results pages (SERPs). True enough, the battle for prominent online presence extends to different places on the world-wide-web.
And if your eyes are set on the current search engine market share leader, also known as Google, then you know that your SEO methods and other online digital marketing efforts will have to transcend its basic web search feature.
You do not need to be an SEO expert to be aware of and to understand that your ranking in its popular web mapping app and service — Google Maps— also affects your overall visibility online. After all, what better way to direct more customers to your business than through a navigation-friendly tool that can literally pinpoint your location to the dot?
With this in mind, you’re probably wondering just how you can make it to the top ranks of Google Maps. Search no more. Here are some SEO expert tips that you can implement to help boost your site’s ranking:
Optimize for mobile search
It is no secret that the trend for search engine optimization is skewed in favor of sites that are mobile-friendly. Google itself has devised a means to test out just how optimized your website is for mobile use. Aside from the growing trend in mobile search, this highlights why it is logical to aim for mobile optimization if you want to gain a higher spot in Google Maps’ results listings.
Typically, a website is tagged to be mobile-friendly if it has an impressively quick page loading time and is compatible across all mobile devices and platforms. So, if you want to get a good rank on Google Maps’ business listing, make sure to speed up your mobile site and ensure that it has no formatting and design issues when loaded and can be displayed on any smartphone or tablet.
Leverage Google My Business (GMB) listing
by Google to bring control to business owners (in terms of their
business profile), Google My Business
helps you take charge of what shows up when someone searches for your business
name online. Aside from appearing in the SERPs, your listing in GMB also
appears in Google Maps’ results. That being said, GMB can clearly
be leveraged to get your business’ website to rank higher in Google Maps.
Apart from being a free tool, it is fairly easy to set-up your business listing under Google My Business. And once you claim and verify your listing, there are many aspects of Google My Business that you can use to improve your site’s Google Maps ranking advantage.
For example, your business’ NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) may seem to be a trivial detail, but it can actually help propel your website’s ranking in Google Maps. Ask any SEO consultant and you will hear about why listing accuracy is important if you want your business to be recognized and trusted by search engines such as Google. Simply put, if you display inaccurate and inconsistent information about your business, Google will not prioritize to offer your website as a match to search queries simply because your details seem shady. So, set up your business listing in such a way that the details you provide display complete, correct, and current information about your company. You can even go beyond the basic information and provide additional and relevant business titbits like opening hours, price range, and the like.
Another useful yet not fully-maximized field that you will fill out in the Google My Business listing is the category. Initially, you will be asked to choose a primary category to describe what your business is. Make sure to choose the correct and closely-related one so as to get the right customer match. Check out your competitors if you need some idea on your niche. You can also add secondary and related categories to broaden your reach, for greater SEO advantage.
Google My Business also allows you to create enticing posts which you can also leverage for Google Maps rankings. You can use this feature to show Google’s system that your profile and business is active as you post regular updates, thus giving Google a signal that you are definitely up for business. Aside from this, you can use each post to appeal to your online visitors’ vision through high-quality pictures, you can use the alt-text attribute for these images to be optimized with keywords that you want your site to rank for.
Strategize with links and reviews
Ranking factors for Google Maps results for business listings remain to be within the domain of SEO. As such, SEO tactics can also be effectively used to gain ranking on Google’s web mapping app and service. And when it comes to effective off-page SEO strategies, building quality links is fairly common.
That being said, any link building company that you hirewill encourage building strategic links that you can connect with your business profile. As an example, consider building location-based/location pages that target users’ search intent, particularly in relation to location. Tapping on the power of location and how it can give a glimpse as to the current intention of the user making the search at the time can help your business’s website rank higher in Google Maps. Search for a high-volume keyword phrase that responds to location intent. Subsequently, use this keyword to create a location page and optimize them accordingly. Throw in your NAP at the bottom of your location-based page. And finally, link it back to your Google My Business profile for an SEO boost.
Similarly, you can bank on customer reviews to boost your site’s ranking advantage. Show Google and prospective customers that your business is trustworthy as you gain positive reviews, and help your site climb up the ranks. You can do this by encouraging customer reviews about your business by creating a link which customers can click on if ever they want to write their reviews. You can readily add these links to your Google My Business profile or let them naturally appear alongside your business listing on Google Maps and in Google search, in general.