Many of us use Google Maps to navigate public transportation, drive through unfamiliar routes, or when walking around town. But, did you know that you could use Google Maps to grow your business? Searches from mobile devices are continually growing and many of those searches are for a local business or service. As a matter of fact, nearly 80% of local searches result in a purchase. If you want to capitalize on that, you need to be visible in the Google Maps 3 pack when someone searches for the products or services that you offer.
What is Google Maps Marketing?
Google Maps are a platform that allow you, as a business owner, to list your business’s location information. After you’ve listed your business on Google Maps, it is now visible and searchable on Google. What’s more, interested clients can easily locate your business using these maps if you have a good local SEO strategy in place
When used correctly, Google Maps can play a critical role in your digital marketing strategy. Whenever local customers are looking for a place to shop or for someone to provide a service, the map listings are one of the first places they turn.
Why Should You Care About Google Maps Marketing?
There are many benefits that come along with occupying the prime real estate in your service area. Whenever a potential customer is looking for a product or service, Google is the first place most of them will turn. If they find your business first, the likelihood of them contacting you goes up considerably. Couple that with positive reviews of your business on your GMB listing and you have the recipe for increased calls, leads, and sales. Here are just a few of the reasons that business owners are investing heavily into local SEO, for a better Google maps position. Here are just a few reasons to consider maps marketing for your business.
Ability to Draw Locals
It is estimated that over 79% of smartphone users use their phones to compare prices, learn more about a product, and even locate a store. With a growing number of people using smartphones and other handheld devices to find business locally, it’s important to have your business listed to make it easier for potential customers to find you before making a physical transaction.
Nearly 80% of searches performed in relation to local businesses end up in a purchase. If you’re looking to increase your conversion rate, Google Local Marketing would be an excellent option.
Unlike many traditional forms of advertising, Google Maps marketing allows you to promote your business specifically to people searching for the services that you offer, in the location you offer them. This is intent based marketing and it can be a very powerful strategy if growing your business matters to you.
Increased Brand Visibility
ComScore estimates that 43% of internet users search for local merchants when considering making a purchase. Google Maps marketing gives you an opportunity to increase your brand’s visibility. You can include a logo that you use on your social media channels and website to further promote your business.
When someone looks for a service, the first place they’ll head to is Google. Claiming your business online means that potential customers can easily access information about your location, price, contact information, and more. This helps to build trust especially if you provide business services to the locals.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business makes it easier for you, as a business owner, to claim a listing for your business that may appear in search results. Google my business listing displays your opening hours, address and overall customer ratings.
Having a Google My Business listing gives your business a Google Maps location.
Moreover, prospective customers can check on your ratings and reviews before coming to your physical location. It’s, therefore, important to ensure that your Google My Business listing is claimed and verified as this makes it easy to respond to negative and positive reviews about your business.
How to Show Up In the Top Three on Google Maps
While Google allows you to see more listings by clicking on more places, appearing among the top three gives you an advantage and edge over your competitors.
Did you know: 92% of searchers on average do not click more places. If your business is not in the top 3 map listings, you are missing all of that potential business.
If your business is not among the top three, here’s some steps you can implement that will increase your visibility and rankings.
Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Google uses your web presence to rank you on maps. Having a weak web presence translates into a lower ranking. To improve your web presence, you need to focus on creating quality content, engage with your customers, and being listed on different local sites and directories.
Claim Your Business Listings
Google’s algorithm looks at your whole web presence to determine rankings. While having your website and blogs updated regularly is important, Google Maps algorithm also considers the information about your business on other websites. These websites include online directories such as local.com, Bing, and yellowpages.com.
For you to rank among the top three on Google Maps, you need to claim and optimize your business listing on all directories. If other businesses have more information than yours, this could negatively affect your ranking.
Unfortunately, online directories get their information from various sources, and it’s not always correct or consistent. To correct these mistakes, visit all directories and update your business information.
It is estimated that 89% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The more positive reviews you get, the higher your chances of converting potential customers into paying ones.
Create Quality Backlinks
After creating content, correcting your business information on online directories, and gathering a good number of reviews, you could to break into the top three positions on Google Maps. Nevertheless, you don’t just get there and relax. You need to work hard to stay on top.
Link building is one of the best ways to stay on top of local search results. Google’s algorithm uses backlinks to establish your credibility. Getting high authority sites such as the local chamber of commerce or Better Business Bureau links back to your website is a brilliant way to stay on top of local search results. A credible link building service can be a great addition to your Google Maps marketing strategy.
If you would like to learn more about optimizing your Google Maps listing, be sure to check out our free and comprehensive local SEO guide.
Google Maps Ads
Google introduced a range of new ad features that would be integrated to Google Maps.
There are four ad features now available in Google Ads.
- Promoted pins-this can include logos and branding aspects
- Customizable business pages
- In-store promotions
- Local inventory search function
The ads appear on map results on the desktop and mobile version of the Google Maps site, Google.com expanded map results, and on map results on the Google Maps App. Within the Google Maps app, two ads may be displayed on searches.
Start Now and Don’t Give Up.
There are no quick fixes, overnight hacks, or simple ways to get to the top. Listing your business on Google Maps is free but marketing your business will require a lot of effort, time, and expertise.
Need Help Setting Your Business on Google My Business?
If you’re finding it hard to get your business to appear in one of the top 3 map positions, Stellar SEO has local SEO marketing experts that can help you.