Optimizing your business website for Google Maps is essential for enabling your site to appear in local search results. Appearing in local search results allows you to access customers in your immediate geographic location. Accessing customers in your immediate geographic location is obviously critical to growing your business. As such, optimizing your business website for Google Maps will help you expand your business. So, how do you optimize your site for Google Maps?
First, let’s take a moment to understand local ranking on Google. In short, local results will show in searches by people in a particular geographic location – in other words, these are search results that are geographically near the person searching. These results can show in Google Maps and even in the regular Google search ranking page. In most cases, business owners want their website and business information to appear in searches for customers nearest them. If your business can’t be found, you need to ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date.
Relevant and Accurate Data
Local search results will reflect the most relevant results for particular keywords. Businesses that provide complete, accurate information for their business are easier to match. All your business information must be entered in Google My Business so that customers can find out everything they need to know about your company, your location, your hours, and your products/services. Make sure your physical address, phone number, and business category are entered and accurate and update this information regularly as it changes.
Verifying your business locations will give you the best chance of appearing in local results across Google platforms (Maps and Search). Start by creating a Google My Business listing and then follow the verification process which can be done by postcard, telephone, and email.
Maintain Updated Hours
Always keep your business hours up-to-date, including amended hours for holidays or special events. Maintaining accurate hours lets your customers know when they can reach you and it’s easy to edit your hours even in advance.
Respond to Reviews
Customer reviews have an increasingly powerful impact on your business. Google reviews allow you to interact with your customers and show that you value their input and feedback. Quality, positive reviews will improve your search rankings and thereby the visibility of your business, whereas unchecked negative reviews can have the opposite effect.
Including photos of your business, goods and/or services not only helps to paint a picture of your business, but also can improve your local search rankings as they help to establish the relevance of your site to specific searches.
Finally, optimizing your business website for Google Maps involves understanding how Google determines rankings. Relevance, distance, and prominence are the three cornerstones to local rankings. Relevance relates to how closely a listing reflects a customer’s search. Distance relates to the physical distance between your potential customer and your location. And prominence reflects whether your business is well-known or not.