When you get your business on Google Maps, it helps you get business on Google Maps. The reason is simple: Consumers, and in many cases business buyers, use Google Maps to not only find your location, but also to get a thumbnail sketch of your business and read what your customers think about your products and service.
For SEO, especially local SEO, getting your business on Google Maps is standard operating procedure. Organizations with a Google Maps listing can get prominent exposure on Google SERPs (search engine results pages), and that exposure usually translates into qualified organic traffic to your website — that is, traffic likely to convert into an online customer or solid sales lead.
How Do I Get My Business on Google Maps?
1. Google My Business Profile
“My business isn’t showing up on Google Maps.” To answer with another question: Do you have a Google My Business profile?
Google My Business (GMB) is Google’s platform for customer engagement — its tagline is “Engage with customers on Google for free.” Pretty good value proposition, isn’t it? The better your profile and more robust the content on your page, the more exposure you will get on Google. When you set up your profile:
- Use your complete, USPS-approved address. It must be a physical address. This is important because it helps Google verify you are using a legitimate address, and it helps customers find you with precision.
- Indicate all geographic areas you serve. This helps Google know when to display your results based on the geographic locations of Google’s search engine users.
- Verify your GMB listing. This is a bit of a hassle, as it involves a waiting period of two or more weeks and mailing a postcard. However, Google goes to these lengths to ensure that its GMB listings are legitimate businesses with real, physical locations. This gives its search engine users confidence in doing business with you.
- Write an introduction to your business that conveys your value proposition, an accurate description of what you do, what sets you apart from the competition, and links to relevant and important pages on your website that potential customers would most be interested in viewing.
- Check all the categories of business that pertain to your company: Cast a wide net, but make sure all of your category selections are relevant.
- Include high-quality photos of your business, products and services if applicable. Remember that a picture is worth 1,000 words, so make sure your photos convey a positive Fuzzy, grainy, poorly composed images suggest a lack of quality and professionalism — big deterrents to new business acquisition.
- Obtain positive customer reviews on GMB. This is a big one because GMB reviews get a lot of exposure on SERPs and can strongly influence prospects to become customers. You need at least five to have them display with your GMB listing. It’s OK to ask customers to give you a review on GMB, but keep in mind a lot of people are not registered Google users and/or familiar with GMB. You’ll have to give people easy-to-follow instructions. Negative reviews? It happens, but GMB enables you to respond and even provides guidelines on how to do so.
2. Obtain Links and Citations
Another key to get your business on Google Maps is to obtain links and citations (mentions) of your business on directories, media websites, industry websites and blogs, and other relevant online sources. One of the three key factors for Google in determining how often and strongly to display your business on Google Maps is the prominence of your business (the other two are relevance and distance). Links and citations signal Google that your company is reputable, reliable, knowledgeable and, in short, worth consideration.
Directories such as Yelp, BBB, Yellowpages.com and many others not only strengthen your Google Maps profile, but also are valuable as sources of website traffic and leads — as usual with SEO, good execution enables you to “double-dip.” If your industry has trade organization websites and/or news websites and blogs, obtain listings there if you are able — these listings are especially relevant and therefore strong in the eyes of Google.
Links to your website can be obtained by writing guest articles for websites and blogs in your industry and in related industries. Normal business practice is to allow authors to include a link in the bio of their articles, and some publishers allow links to your company within the text of the article. There are many other strategies for building links to your website, but this is one that tends to work extremely well because the demand for good content far exceeds the supply. If you lack the time or skill to write an article, professional copywriters can write on your behalf as long as you supply creative direction and factual input to help them.
Get Your Business on Google Maps … Now
There’s no time like the present to set up or improve your GMB listing and build up your links and citations. Not only will these activities strengthen your Google Maps exposure and SEO campaign in general, but they also will open new channels of lead generation and new business acquisition. While a Google Maps presence is arguably a necessity for any business, it matters most for local businesses that rely on foot traffic. All marketing talk aside, Google Maps helps people find you. If you make it easy for them to find you — and nothing does that job better than Google Maps — you’re sure to build revenue no matter what product or service you offer.
To discuss SEO and how to get business on Google Maps in more detail, contact us now or call 855-883-0011.