The importance of being in the top 3 of Google Maps search results cannot be summed up into any post. While related, Google Maps Optimization (GMO) is something to be considered as separate from your website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices.
Few people will click the “more places” link beyond the top 3 of any search. In addition, mobile searches are on the rise and will continue to increase, in which, the maps listings primarily utilized.
If you are a local business, or provide a service in a specific geographic region, this becomes even more important. “The Golden Three” is about appearing on all related searches for your business organically in the top 3. This is so that your potential customers see you as a choice, and call, before they find someone else first. Simply put, within the geographical reach of your business, being optimized and appearing in location search results is paramount to maximizing your businesses potential.
Choose the Right Category
It is important to choose the right category for your business when creating and managing your Google location. Starting off with the wrong category or a category that is not optimized for your services can have you appearing in unrelated search results. You may still appear on the searches related to your business; however, you will have a hard time climbing the rankings no matter what you do.
Your Business Name and Phone Number
Your phone number is important. Local phone numbers help to show that your location is where it says it is. This relates to your business name as well, localize terms in your business name help your ranking in a specific area; however, it is not always recommended to do this unless your business is strictly operating in that area.
Citations and Back-Links in Business Directories
It is paramount that all your business citations and directories match your Google location profile. Google will develop trust in your profile with more citations proving its existence.
Using the exact address, email, website, phone number and business name in your website and back-link submissions is how you will accomplish this. Some directories will force you to have small variations in your address; however, make sure that when the address listed points to a map, it is in the same location as your actual office.
Positive Reviews and Overall Review Count
Reviews are probably the most underutilized but important part of your google maps ranking location. It is not necessarily about having simply a lot of reviews, but rather having many, diverse, positive reviews over time.
It is All About Trust
We like to explain SEO and GMO in one word, “Trust”. Having the right category chosen based on the information on your website, having your business information match business directories and back-links, having positive reviews over time, in the end, it all comes down to how much your listing is trusted.
Magnolias Consulting Group is a business management consulting firm based in Edmonton, Alberta. As specialized enterprise and brand value consultants, they focus on helping clients with business development, value creation, operating procedures and digital marketing.