It’s such a consistent part of all of our lives that it’s very easy to take Google Maps completely for granted. I know I do. Announced on the Google blog and launched later in the same month of February 2005, Google Maps went from strength to strength before becoming a smartphone app for Android and iOS by 2008, and from strength to even greater strength by August 2013, at which time it became the world’s most popular smartphone app.
1 – Why should my business care about Google Maps?
Google’s own statistics demonstrate the scale of Google Maps usage worldwide.
There are tens of thousands of updates made to it every day. It utilizes over 20 petabytes of aerial and Street View imagery, combined. It has live traffic data in over 600 major cities, driving directions for 194 countries, and schedules for more than 1 million public transit stops worldwide. There are more than 1 billion monthly active users, and more than 50% of global Google Maps usage is mobile.
So whether someone is using a PC at home or work, or they’re using their smartphone as they walk, drive, or catch public transport, there’s a high chance a potential customer is going to use Google Maps.
2 – How do I get my business onto Google Maps?
The first thing you’ll require is a Business Profile on Google. This contains important information such as your business name, address, phone number, and opening hours. You may need to create one, or one may already exist, in which case you would need to claim it.
Once created or claimed, you will then need to verify it by a two step process, which can be completed by postcard, phone, or email. This is to ensure that only the business owner and authorised representatives are able to make adjustments to the business profile.
You will then be able to choose a short name and URL for users to find you more easily, and optimise your profile for Google Maps.
3 – What should I consider for best SEO results on Google Maps?
Complete listings are seen as more reputable.
Make sure that every section of your profile is filled out in as much detail as possible. Research shows that the vast majority of users view businesses with complete listings as being more well-established and reputable. Photos are popular with customers, so adding your business’ logo, a cover photo, and other business photos will also help with Google Maps rankings.
Remember broader Google services as well as Google Maps.
The information in your business’ profile is that which will be presented not only to users of Google Maps, but also to users of Google Search as well as any other Google services, whether app, browser, mobile, or desktop. So make sure your business name, address, and phone number are all correct and up-to-date.
Google Maps cares about your business’ trustworthiness and it will rank you accordingly. One means of gauging your business is the consistency of information about your business from across the web. Make sure your business name, address, and phone number aren’t differently formatted or abbreviated across your Google Business profile, your website, and your business’ profiles on any social media accounts.
Consolidate your Google Maps listings.
With trustworthiness factoring in again, Google will rank you down if you have multiple locations of contact details listed for a single business. Check there aren’t any superfluous listings, and consolidate them if there are.
Your website needs to be versatile.
Customers care about a straightforward user experience, and therefore, so does Google. Your website needs to function consistently across different browsers, different screen sizes, and different devices. Nearly 60% of Google searches are made on mobile devices, and a website that won’t work properly for nearly half of Google searches is going to harm your Google Maps ranking.
Embed Google Maps on your website.
Most businesses do this on their “Contact Us” page. This additional step of engagement with Google’s services helps your rankings. Just make sure that you follow the steps above and use consistent information.
4 – How can LDM SEO help my business with Google Maps rankings?
LDM SEO can provide full search engine optimisation services, and ensure that your business has an improved presence on Google Maps. We can assist you with creating or claiming your business profile, ensuring your profile is up-to-date and accurate, and making sure that your business is associated with the right keywords to see it flourish in search results.
We also offer full, expert web design services, so you can be certain your website is optimised from the ground up to rank well in Google Search and Google Maps.