What Is Google Maps?
Google Maps is a mapping service developed by Google with the objective of providing information on every point of interest on planet Earth.
Why Do Google Maps Matter?
- First Thing You See In Search Results – When you search for a term or anything associated with a location, Google Maps results show up at the very top.
- Only Thing You See On Mobile – When you search for anything on Google on mobile devices, Map results are the first results that show up and all the organic search results show up below Maps listings.
- Mobile CTA’s Are Highly Effective At Driving Conversions – The CTA on mobile when viewing a Google Maps listing is “Click to Call” – Since the Maps listing takes up the entire screen, the customer is more likely to call the business.
- Works Better Than Organic For Certain Industries – For instance if a pipe bursts in your home and there’s water everywhere, you are more likely to use the “Click to Call” on mobile rather than search the organic listings and find a plumber.
- Credibility – Adds credibility to your business if you show up at the top of Google Maps results.
How Is Ranking In Google Maps Different From Organic Ranking?
- More Steps Involved
- More Attention To Detail Is Required
How to Rank – 7 Steps To Master Google Maps Rankings
- NAP – Name, Address & Phone Number – This must be exactly the same everywhere – For instance if your business is on 62 York St, it must be listed exactly like that everywhere. You can’t list the other variations such as 62 York St. or 62 York Street. Some common places where your address will be listed is your website, your Google Business listing and any other directories such as Yelp, etc.
- Optimize Website – This is the easiest step to accomplish. Make the address on your website as accurate as possible with it being the key to everything. It’s also recommended to embed your Google Map location on your site.
- Google My Business – List your business on google.com/business. This is where you will be entering your business address initially and then ensuring that it matches everywhere else on the internet. Google uses this initial data to tie it all together. Upload Geo Tagged Images – The meta data on images should match the location. You should ideally take photos at your business address and upload to your Google Maps profile while getting other people to do the same for you.
- Citations On Other Websites – What are citations? A citation is any mention of the name, address, phone number and link of your business on another website. Some common examples of websites where this data will be posted are Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook Business pages, etc. You can get a lot of citations by having that information included as part of your content while keeping relevance in mind. The key is to find location relevant and niche relevant citations. For an attorney, a mention on the Bar Association website would be a niche relevant citation. A location relevant citation would be a directory for local businesses in a certain city. Some of these listings would require some payment to get listed. A Chamber of Commerce listing in your local area would be a highly relevant citation for location.
- Links – Links refers to social properties such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Some of those can be turned into citations. Guest posts – When someone has a website or a blog and in exchange for something (money, information or sometimes even free), they will post a link on their site back to your site. If you get someone to post a link to your site from a really strong (authority) site, they can be very powerful metrics for Google to judge your website by and improve rankings. A PBN (Private Blog Network) is a previously active website that expired or was let go by the previous owner, and the site probably went to auction before someone purchased it and rebuilt is as a website. A PBN usually has many high quality sites pointing to it, thereby increasing the value of links coming to your website from them. The links pointing to this PBN still count despite the website expiring and changing hands. Links from PBNs are one the the most powerful methods for organic ranking if done correctly, else they are subject to heavy manual penalizations (manual webspam actions) by Google. There’s a certain way you can do anchor text (urls wrapped in text) that helps push up rankings even more than usual.
- Reviews – This is a tie-breaker for two business that have the exact same metrics for everything else. Negative reviews don’t affect it much but positive reviews help a lot. Having a lot of reviews on Google My Business doesn’t mean a business will perform better than a similar Maps listing with less reviews. Some quick ways to get Google Maps reviews is to ask your clients to review you, your friends and family to review you and as an absolute last resort, there are some paid services that will do this for you manually while keeping up natural appearances. Reviews have been reducing in importance.
- Secret Ingredients – Access the Hidden Content to learn the secret ingredients for improving Google Maps Rankings 🙂