It makes navigation easier whether you are driving or looking for a specific location on foot. If you are a business owner with a local store in your city, you can also leverage Google Maps to increase visibility among your local target audience.
Truth be told, things are now tougher for local businesses as they are facing competition from far and wide. You have to compete with online businesses with lower overhead costs which allow them to offer lower prices for the same products and services. In fact, the internet was supposed to be a death knell for brick and mortar businesses but this has not come to pass.
The Place of Local Search in Modern Business
Local search is becoming more influential as businesses seek to harness the power of the internet to bring more traffic through the door. Whether you are running a laundry business or a barber shop in your neighborhood, it is possible to boost the numbers by using local search engine optimization (SEO) tools of which Google Maps is the best.
A survey published on the Search Engine Land shows that local searches lead to 50% of the mobile visitors going to a store within the same day. The same study shows more than 60% of consumers leverage local information on Ads while 18% of local mobile searches lead to sales within a day. A similar study shows that 34% of consumers who did a local search on a computer/tablet visited the store within the day.
Importance of Google Maps in Online Marketing
From the above information, the importance of local search cannot be gainsaid and this is the reason why Google Maps must form part of your SEO strategy. If your business is leveraging the maps and you have listed the company with NAP details, there is a higher likelihood of increased traffic. Users in the area, whether residents or visitors, will find it easier to find your location and this will in turn boost sales.
Research shows that 73% of all website users refer to Google Maps and listings to read online reviews and this should motivate you to adopt this tool as part of your SEO strategy. Your business has to be visible on Google 3-pack for you to reap the benefits. When your business shows up on that pack, the benefits of optimizing for local search become apparent.
Most people who have tried this Google marketing tool have decried how hard it is and truth be told, they are right. Like with every online marketing technique that is supposed to boost your business, there is a lot of hard work and ingenuity that is needed.
Some of the factors that are critical in giving your website a boost in Google’s 3-pack include:
- Verification of your company on Google’s My Business page
- Increasing presence of your business name on different online platforms including business listing platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yellow Pages, Yelp, reviews and all other areas where internet users will be searching
- Leveraging Geo-target
- Average rating of your business and frequency of reviews on Google My Business Local Page.
- Website domain authority
These are just a few of the factors that will determine your Google 3-pack listing. Our experts at http://www.rankingbyseo.com will work closely with you to optimize these factors to ensure your business shows up on the 3-pack.
Considerations for Better Google Maps Marketing
The question that comes to the mind of every internet marketer at this point is how best they can optimize Google Maps to promote their business. There is no denying that most of the challenges facing local businesses can be alleviated through the right use of Google Maps but to get there, consider the following:
- Create a Google My Business Account – This is your ultimate tool when you are optimizing Google Maps marketing. A business account gives you a dashboard from where you can handle everything related to your campaign. When opening an account, you need to claim your business address, define your business radius, state your business category and make sure your business is Google verified.
- Start optimizing your listings – This is where the real work begins because you have to be proactive about the process after verifying your business. There is more information that requires updating including business hours, consolidated contact information, business descriptions and photos of your business. Every feature that makes it easier to identify your business should be included. Make sure any images included are optimized with relevant information and targeted keywords.
- Leverage customer reviews – One of the most effective ways to get noticed online is through customer reviews. According to a BrightLocal’s 2016 Survey, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations. Some review sites your business should appear in include Yelp, Urbanspoon, Yahoo! Local, TripAdvisor and Google+ Local among others. Encourage customers to leave reviews, ask for valuable feedback from customers, make sure you handle negative reviews comprehensively, talk to return customers and ask them what brought them back as they will most likely give positive feedback.
There are no shortcuts in Google Maps marketing and that’s a fact. It is one of the toughest SEO strategies to pull off yet one of the most effective. There are no hacks to getting this done but if you are proactive, it is easier to get things done. For instance, keep a close look at your brand mentions and immediately correct any inaccuracies in contact information. It is also advisable to add new content that is of high value and which contains local references. Google will make this information available to the local audience which is every online marketer’s dream. Include address, landmarks, directions and other references. You should also build links with other local businesses, especially those closely related to your niche.
With Google My Business Account, you can update all your data from Google Maps, search and Google+. It is easier and cost-effective to manage local data using this dashboard. With all these benefits, isn’t it time you talked to a professional digital marketing specialist to leverage Google Maps marketing?