With so many handy tools and software in its portfolio, Google provides a lot of unique promotional tools. However, there is one that has a fair bit of marketing potential but often goes overlooked: Google Maps. That’s right! The technology that revolutionised tracking and GPS has major benefits for those who can build a presence on it. We’re here to show how.
But first, the basics:
What is Google Maps Marketing (& Why Bother With it)?
Google Maps marketing is simply any effort that builds towards building a better presence on Maps. A company that is far more visible and offers a lot more geographical and contact info is far more trust-worthy to consumers. This sort of presence allows for a far better local SEO, showing up much sooner to potential consumers. Another benefit is that consumers have a far higher chance of seeing a business online and wanting to use it soon.
In fact, 76% of consumers who search for business in their area visit that establishment in the same day. Moreover. 28% of searches for a nearby business providing a desirable product result in a purchase. According to Google, 30% of all mobile searches are related to locations. That’s a pretty impressive number considering just how many people are using the search engine on a daily basis.
Using Google Maps for business purposes carries a lot of other potential benefits. Google Maps marketing also improves how Google views your business and ranks it. It’s pretty useful to have your business show up in the most visible “top 3” when people look up stores, suppliers or businesses in a certain category. Being in the local 3-pack can garner far higher conversion rates.
How to Rank Better on Google Maps
First things first: you need a Google My Business listing. Then you need to verify it, fill out all the necessary info, and optimise it. We’ve already covered this topic at length, so if you need to know how to do that, click here. Google My Business has complementary benefits so don’t underutilise it. The level of detail in the GMB listing is, after all, a major factor in how Google ranks your business. Add your contact info and add your business address to the GMB listing (the address needs to be the one your local postal service also uses).
With that out of the way, try to get as many good reviews as you can. You can ask consumers directly or put a prompt on your website when they use the online store. Some go the extra mile and provide customers with thank you cards or small gifts to help motivate them to fill out a review. This all helps foster better rankings. Another major factor is keeping data up-to-date as well providing high quality pictures of your place of business. If information is deemed accurate and there is more visual data available, consumers and Google are more likely to regard the business better.
A format tip that can be useful is to avoid making the description texts too long. Make it conform to the visible size on a cell phone, making sure no crucial words get lost. This is pertinent because the data shows that most people who search on Google Maps do so on their phones. Your Introduction may also be subject to Google’s editorial standards, so cramming links and keywords into it is not advisable. This may result in a denial from Google. Use relevant keywords in your Introduction, but take the time to craft an enticing Introduction.
To up the ante, you’re going to need a bit more up your sleeve. Another bit of advice that helps but often goes unheeded is that you need to state which areas your business serves in your Google My Business profile. Along with this, state whether your business serves people at the primary location, which can prevent them turning up unwanted. If applicable, enable the ability to place bookings or make reservations.
Adding your images is one thing, but there are ways to make them even more optimal. You can use third-party apps to add metadata to your images, making them easier to find. For example, you might add the following metadata to your images:
- Physical address / latitude and longitude
- City / geographic location / country tags
- Keywords relevant to your business
- Comments about relevant services offered at your location
- Additional categorization information
Google Maps Marketing Tactics
Organic results are great, but not everyone can manage them by themselves. In such a case, it may be time to invest in some paid advertising and local search ads. Actually, you should be doing this alongside organic means of getting results anyway, since many business find it to be a great way of achieving better online presence.
The next step is to run your analytics and use it as a jumping-off point for future action. You should look into what types of searches users are making and cater to those keywords. Another detail is to pay attention to whether customers are finding you via maps listings or searches. Together both of these can help you determine just effective your Google Maps marketing strategies have been.