The importance of being found on Google Maps cannot be over-emphasized. Online businesses have web addresses that make them easy to locate. For an offline business, it’s not the same thing. Even though you may have a website, you need people to visit your physical location to do business with you.
For instance, if you run a restaurant, you cannot serve food to your customers online. You need them to your physical location to enjoy your meals. The same thing goes for hotels, salons, airliners, and malls.
As an offline business, making it easy for customers to find you should be a top priority. And that’s where Google Maps comes in.
But with Google Maps, all is not as they seem. Listing your business on Google and including your physical address doesn’t guarantee you a top spot in the Map results.
So, what does guarantee you a top spot in the results?
Yes, you read that right. There are no guarantees with Google. But there are certain factors that can improve your chances of being in the top three spots.
While some authors may tell you that proximity is important (and that’s true), it’s not the only influential factor.
Here are 3 factors to consider if you want to rank high on Google Maps:
This is the first on this list because it’s the first thing Google looks out for when ranking your business. When a person enters a search term, Google compares the search term with the names of businesses in that category. Google then ranks the business whose name and/or content has the closest match to the search term.
For example, say someone searches for ‘gluten-free barbecue’ (if there’s such a thing), and you do offer gluten-free barbecue. If your listing on Google doesn’t mention that particular term, you will miss a potential customer.
Ensure you consistently update the details on your listing to include new products or services you now offer. This is important because it lets Google better understand what your business offers.
Thanks to advancement in technology, it is a lot easier to find our way around a city. Before now, you would need YellowPages to find the location of a business. These days, nearly every digital device spots a GPS feature that enables users to know where they are and where they want to go.
Google uses the distance between the searchers location and your business’s physical location to rank you on the map. If your business happens to be too far from the searchers location, a closer business will be ranked higher in the search results.
There’s little you can do about your business location. You can’t lift your building and move it any time a customer searches for a business like yours. You could open several branches in a few more locations to improve your chances of being found. But that would be daunting, especially when you aren’t financially ready to expand.
Instead, you can run a location marketing campaign to raise the awareness of your business in your immediate environment.
Yes, your reputation is a ranking factor. Google wants to promote only the most reliable and trusted businesses. So, regardless of how close or relevant your business is, if your reputation is poor, you will not rank at the top.
And how does Google measure your online reputation?
Google actually measures the number and quality of the reviews you have and scores you with it. This makes customer reviews an important tool for climbing to the top ranks. Read our article on how to ask your customers for reviews to learn how to do it right.
To increase your chances of being found on Google Maps, you need to consider all three factors together. Monitor your Google listing regularly to ensure that your business information is up-to-date. Actively collect customer reviews and make sure you engage with your customers when they leave you a review.POSTED ON November 9, 2019