Do you run a local company and wonder how to attract even more potential customers? If so, Google Maps positioning is an ideal and uncomplicated solution for you! Check out how to do it successfully.
Google Maps is one of the most popular and frequently used tools released by Google. Most importantly, it allows customers to find your company a lot faster and easier. But the proper optimization of the Google Maps app is also one of the key elements in the case of the local positioning and it strongly influences the traffic or to be precise, its increase on the website. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at that process and include it in your broader Internet marketing strategy.
Let’s imagine that you decide to take a spontaneous trip to the beautiful Italian Mountains for a weekend. Unfortunately, just before arriving to Bolzano (which is approximately 38 km from your destination, Cavalese) your car breaks down and after the short discernment you realize that you won’t manage without the help of a specialist. You’ve to quickly find a car mechanic! You start wondering nervously whether any of your friends don’t come from Bolzano but after reaching back even the nursery friendships you lose your spirit and give up. So what now? Well, most probably you’ll just take your phone and start checking what Google’s search engine will suggest you. The phrase “Bolzano service station” displays a number of pages. However, what catches your eye is the map at the top of the searching box which highlights three particular places. You don’t intend on wasting more time so you choose the first one, especially when you notice that it has only positive opinions. You click the icon of the phone and few seconds later you’re talking with Mr X, your superhero, now you’re saved! This very short and true-life story perfectly shows us how Mr X’s company, thanks to its proper positioning in Google Maps, has gained a new client. And now it’s time for practice. Below you’ll see how to make use of Google Maps positioning.
How does Google Maps positioning work?
When you type a keyword matched to a specific area like the phrase “Italian restaurant Athens” in the search engine, there’ll be several types of results: advertisements at the very top, Google maps with business cards of certain companies (or restaurants in this case) and the organic results below. Whether your company name will appear among Google Maps results depends on numerous factors (we’re familiar only with part of them). One of these factors is the high quality of your website and the number of backlinks. However, in the case of Google Maps positioning, optimizing your Google My Business profile seems more important. Depending on a keyword or a keyphrase, several business cards appear in the search results but only the first 3 generate the most traffic. However, let’s start from taking a closer look at how users take advantage of the maps and attached business cards.
One of the most frequent searches is information about the opening times of a given shop or a company. For example, if you type “IKEA Berlin, opening hours”, thanks to the proper business card you’ll get to know that you’ve time for shopping only till 9 p.m.
Very often people use mobile devices for the local search and then, almost always, the first result is a business card from the maps. This is an extremely user-friendly solution, as directly from the search results you can call a given company by clicking on the phone icon. Another very useful option is route mapping to the object (it uses your localization on the map).
Thanks to the reports from Google My Business you can easily monitor your reach – you’re able to check the number of searches, phone calls or even clicks when customers wanted to find out how to get to your company.
The proper optimization of Google My Business profile is relatively simple and not so time-consuming, therefore it’s worth taking care of it. So it’s time to pull your socks up and get down to work!
Google Maps Positioning step by step
The most important thing to start with is the Google account which, in turn, will enable you to create a business card on Google My Business. Below you’ll find a short guide which won’t only help you to properly fill in your business card but will also suggest what other factors affect Google Maps positioning.
- An appropriate name of the company. Remember to include keywords important for your business in the company’s name. However, don’t exaggerate or overuse them and come up with the name that will be attractive both for robots and for the users who, after all, are your potential customers.
- Contact details. Providing information about your company address, telephone number and website address is a must. In order to confirm your business card, a verification code will be sent to the indicated address and only later your business card will be visible in the network.
- Provide more details. Give all information that may be useful and attractive for potential customers. First of all, define the area of your company’s operations, add opening hours and the category that best describes the industry in which you’re operating. Remember not to skip adding the company description! Create a concise, readable and useful text using selected keywords. The rule is simple – the more information and the more professionally filled the business card, the greater the chance to be displayed first in the search results.
- Images. Don’t forget about high quality and optimized pictures, including company logos and images that will appear in Google Maps. The 360 virtual tour taken by special photographers with Google authorization is particularly impressive and appealing for customers.
- The link on the website. When your company’s business card is properly filled in and your address is confirmed, remember to place a link to it on your website.
- The URL. After some time there’s a possibility to change your URL to more accessible and personalized one. So instead of http://plus.google.com/3537328436346 you can generate something like this https://plus.google.com/+DelantePlOnlineMarketing.
- Take care of positive opinions. The next, slightly more difficult stage, because it isn’t entirely dependent on you, is to take care of your customers’ opinions. The number of positive opinions affects your position in Google Maps. However, don’t even think about creating fake accounts and commenting on your own company – Google robots are getting more and more proficient at detecting fraudulent opinions. It’s also profitable to respond to your customers’ comments and inquiries.
- Local linking (for example zumi, local websites and directories). It’s another factor affecting map positioning. Get acquainted with all the catalogues and local websites that your company can be added to and take advantage from them.
- Microdata (schema.org) Thanks to it you can easily mark the addresses on the website and link them even more precisely to the business cards. As a result, information about your company in the search results will also include your logo, address or telephone number.
Let yourself be found!
To conclude, if you think about local positioning, the basic activity is to create a business card in Google My Business, thanks to which you will become visible in Google Maps. Why it’s a good idea to consider Google Maps positioning? First of all, it doesn’t require a lot of work and doesn’t generate additional costs but the benefits from the first position in Google Maps can turn out to be priceless.
Although we don’t know all the algorithms responsible for Google Maps positioning, each of the above guidelines should make it easier for you not only to improve the position of your business card but, more importantly, to attract new customers.