Google Maps Optimization
The Google Business Profile allows local businesses to target the area their business serves and increase exposure to their ideal customers
Google My Business, now called Google Business Profile as of 11-4-2021, is a free tool for local businesses to use to manage their online presence on Google, which includes Google Maps and Google Search. It helps potential customers find your business and also gives you a way to tell your story to these prospects.
Increase the online presence of your business in your local area
Millions of people are searching every day for products and services using Google. Finding a business using the yellow pages is a thing of the past thanks to the internet and mobile devices.
Now, people just use Google to search for local restaurants, pet care providers, handyman services, automobile mechanics, hair salons, dentists and many other types of businesses.
If you can have your business listed within the first three listings on Google Maps, you will have a huge advantage over your competition.
Build your reputation, respond to both negative and positive reviews and attract more customers by claiming your Google Maps listing
It is not necessary to have a corporate office in order for your business to appear on Google Maps. As a web designer working from home, I don’t have a street address visible on my Google Maps listing.
The Google Map Pack
Your Google Maps listing should be treated as one of your best online assets, especially if your business is listed in one of the top three positions, also called the “3 pack”.
However, Google Maps is limited, based on the distance your business is from the location of person doing the searching. The further a person conducting a search on Google is from your business, the lower your business will rank on Google Maps.
This service should not be used to target areas located more than ten miles from your physical location.
Distance does not affect the rankings of a business in the regular Google search results.
It took me roughly four to six weeks to get my website to the number one position on Google Maps, once I claimed my Google Business Profile listing.
I have been working on optimizing my website for the search engines for the past four months. This is called search engine optimization or SEO.
Search for your business on Google and claim your business listing, if you have not done so already.
If you don’t find you listing on Google go here to create a free business profile – https://www.google.com/business/
The importance of Google Maps
Google owns the majority of searches performed on the internet world wide.
People are conducting “near me” searches on Google for example; – “pizzeria near me”, “urgent care near me”, “dentist near me”. “auto mechanic near me” and much more.
A good portion of “near me” searches conducted by people using their phone are likely to visit your business.
Claiming your Google Maps listing allows you to:
- add your business logo
- list your business hours
- add blog posts
- add special offers
- add events
- frequently asked questions
- manage reviews
- click to call
- link to your website
- click for directions
- add photos
Google Maps is the least expensive, most effective way for a business to be found online today
How to claim your Google Business Profile listing
To claim your listing log into Google and select your business listing and complete the business verification process.
Google will send you a postcard that should arrive within five days. There will be a five digit number on the postcard that you will need in order to verify your business and claim your Google Maps listing.
A properly setup and managed Google Business Profile is more valuable than having a website and will generate results faster than website search engine optimization (SEO).
A well maintained Google Maps business profile can get up to five times more views than profiles which have not been claimed by their business owners.
Adding a product gallery to your listing is very powerful visually. The product gallery will be included in mobile search results. Most small businesses are not using this feature.
The more photos you ad to your Google Maps listing, the more likely your business will stand out online.
Follow the rules
Do not add any unnecessary information to your business name. It is against the rules and your business listing will be suspended.
For example, if your business name is “Joe The Plumber”, don’t add any information to your business name such as “emergency plumbing service “.
Keeping your Google Maps listing up to date
There are a number of things that should be done on a regular basis to keep your listing functioning at peak performance.
Reviews are a very important when it comes to ranking in the Google search engine results pages.
Ask for reviews from your customers. Customers are likely to leave you a review if you ask them right after they have done business with you.
Provide your customers with a link for them to leave you a review.
Always respond to reviews, both negative and positive. Don’t get offensive if someone leaves you a bad review.
Respond to the customer in a positive manner and in a friendly tone. This will show that you value your customers and the feedback that they provide about your business.
You can post and answer questions yourself. Be sure to monitor your FAQ so that you can answer any questions someone asks.
Use Google Posts to publish updates about your business. Promote your latest product, event or special offers using Google Posts. Always include a relevant image with your posts.
A Google blog post has a lifespan of only seven days so be sure to publish at least one new post every week.
Photos and videos are very important because they can increase engagement with prospects. They can generate more clicks to your website. This can be a big advantage over businesses that are not using photos and videos in their Google Maps listing.
By keeping your Google Business Profile listing up to date you will be able to have your business stand out more in the search results on Google due to the strong visual appeal.
More customers should be able to find your business if you do all of the things mentioned above. This is much faster and a lot less expensive than hiring someone to do search engine optimization (SEO).
You can track your progress for your Google Maps listing by going to your dashboard and click on the Insights link in the left hand column.
This will give you valuable information on how well your Google Business Profile listing is performing.
Please contact me if you would like me to help you with claiming your Google Maps business listing. I can also manage your Google Maps listing once you have claimed your listing.