One morning I left for work without having breakfast, as the location was new, I didn’t know about the nearby shops. Thanks to Google maps, which escaped me from hunger, as I found a restaurant near to my workplace? I shared this anecdote to tell you the importance of Google Maps in the present time.
Now, I ask you to see this situation from another angle. Had that shop not been on Google Map, I would have faced so much difficulty, probably, had skipped my breakfast. The shopkeeper also would have borne losses. I hope I have successfully created a small bubble over your head about this thought.
Getting to the point, I want to tell you-
What Google Map is?
Why rank your business on it?
How to do it?
Factors for top ranking
What is Google Map Marketing?
Call them strategies, tactics, or processes, that aids to increase the online presence of a business, be it large, small, or even a start-up. Any business can create a profile on Google my business, free of cost and start the process of Google map marketing.
Why rank your business on it?
Traditionally, people circulate pamphlets to increase the brand’s visibility. Many young entrepreneurs choose social media like Facebook & Instagram. It is also a decent idea but Google Map Marketing helps to get customers around you in no time. It sounds incredible but facts don’t lie-
Out of 3.5 billion searches on Google, 77% use navigation frequently. Around 97% of the searches are local. Many store visitors report that they found it through Map.
Social media has a role to build your brand image but for an instant solution, people look for things in Map. It’s become even easier when your brand imaging is already well, a user can type your brand’s name directly and navigate to reach you.
A Brief on Google My Business
This is meant to bloom businesses that serve locally. Sitting in one city you’ll not search for things in another city when every service is available in your area. Google my business is a platform where local business owner registers themselves to get displayed in Google list whenever there is a search. Owners fill in all the relevant details of their business like description, address, phone number, website, etc.
How to do it or a short guide?
Before you start the process, make sure you are signed in. Go to the GMB page and click on the blue button- Manage now.
I hope you are familiar with Google guidelines or get acquainted with the guidelines and rules to escape penalties. Fill in all the relevant details of your business.
Completing all the formalities only will not ensure a high rank. Time to learn some tactics as well.
Google determines your ranking based on three key aspects-
- Vicinity of your business location to that of users
- The popularity of your business
- Relevancy of user’s search to your business
The above three key points cook up some factors that determine your ranking for local queries, I have explained some of them.
- Google My Business Signals
As I told you about it already and also that you have to fill in all the relevant information about your business. Name, address, phone number or NAP should be 100% accurate. Other information like photos, websites, reviews, descriptions, are also important. You are likely to climb up on the list if you provide the complete information.
- Consistency in Citation
Be wary while providing NAP information on different review pages like on Yelp, Yellow pages, city search, etc. Any mismatch in the NAP information across all the platforms may hurt your performance. Provide the same information relevant to your business across all the directories.
- Link Signal
A significant number of links pointing to your website can uplift your rank. It should be a decent quality link. There are various ways to get that. Try to reach the local newspaper to get one. Sponsor something related to your business and ask for a link to your site in return.
There are other signals also- social, review, behavioural, On-page signals and personalization, you can study them separately for further information.
Here I am going to ease your business life by providing pro-tips that will give a kick to your business.
- Online Reviews
And it is not about the maximum number of review.
Indeed, they are helpful because the customer feels a sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction by reading reviews. You could even have a dedicated team for review management.
Ok, don’t get driven by my words, see the logic, you can create an impactful image of your brand in your local area. You are also being transparent to your customers and influence their decision-making.
Google doesn’t work robotically; it checks quality over quantity. Star rating along with text, also the words used by the user like good, bad, awesome, thrilling experience, etc. also counts in Google’s algorithm.
Now, you can sense how important getting reviews (quality ones) are for you. I will not suggest jumping over customers to write to you. You can wait in your initial days of business and slightly encourage your customers to rate you.
- Kick Your Competitors Out
It may sound brutal but I am not asking you to become a goon. You can also do it legally. How?
In the GMB list, many unauthentic businesses have fake addresses, phone numbers, fake reviews or the one with a fake website link. If you kick them out from the list, you can create some space for you in top ranks.
How to Do That?
First, be completely sure about it, you can check it by visiting that place if you have doubts. Dial their number and enquire, or either way. If their website seems spam, you can also report that.
Find them on the list, click on “suggest an edit” and remove this place. If it doesn’t work you can also go for Google’s Business redressal complaint form.
You are helping Google out by doing this in removing Spams that don’t deserve a place in the precious listing.
- Build a Connection
Many businesses can proliferate well with each other. They have a kind of symbiotic relationship. For instance, a boutique running along with a dry cleaner. Each time a person visits a boutique, you can refer them to a dry cleaner or vice versa. You can start with the acquainted one and slowly build a chain of connection.
How to Do It?
Firstly, find out the business in your area working around your niche. For example, a person selling parts of a car can help a car wash business to grow and vice versa. So, create a list of many such businesses.
Reach them by writing them an e-mail or call directly. Plan out how you are going to embrace them in your business from the point of benefit sharing and legalities.
- Performance Tracking
Any sort of effort is incomplete without knowing its results. If you are not aware or ignoring this section, you could spill water over your work. Unluckily, there is no rank tracker but you can predict your rank now also. Go to the insights section and explore it.
So, what you need to check-
Quantity/quality of searches
You can get the number of total searches and how many end up visiting you. Analytics helps to improve your business both the ways- improving positives and removing negatives. Maybe you are showing up for irrelevant keywords, you can cut them off.
Rest you can check the following points
- Frequency of yours showing up
- For which query you are getting displayed the most (work more on it)
- How many people looking for branded stuff end up getting you in list
- Which day you get more visits to your website, get calls/ messages
- Get the areas from where you are getting direction’s request
You can also track customer’s activity-
It is really interesting to know how users are getting their way to you. You can track clicks on a website, phone calls/messages, direction’s request. If they are clicking your sites multiple times, you can catch them up. If they want to reach you but can’t, there is a problem, you can figure it out.
So, putting all possibilities together, you can predict your rank and improve further.
- Ensure Completing Your Profile
One thing that I can guarantee you is you are most likely to reach in the top two if your profile is complete and authentic. Other factors will not work unless you don’t provide every information to Google. Here I am providing a list, to cross-check your profile-
- GMB name
- Valid business address and phone number
- Set up business hours
- Mentioned website
- Mention categories
- Verify GMB listing
- Included original photos
- Image of physical location
Ensure your profile is complete for all points.
- Local Paid Advertising
Paid advertising is a hassle-free option to choose from. When you are tired of organic efforts or your business doesn’t allow waiting for a long duration, you can simply choose this option. You can get in touch with experts for help.
My final words will also suggest that if you are putting so much effort into this, be sure to update your profile. Also, update recent photographs of your place that will attract fresh customers. Also, you can encourage your customers to include a picture of themselves, rate and share their experience. These are little efforts that can make you star in your area. You can have an edge over your competitors the perks of which you will enjoy soon.