In today’s digital world governed by the internet, if you want your business to be viable both in the long and short terms, you have to ensure that it appears on Google Maps. The main reason behind that is that prospective customers tend to be highly skeptical of companies with little or no online presence. Fortunately, Google Maps provide one among the simplest and fastest ways to help customers find your business online. To become successful in today’s world, you need to be able to use Google Maps Marketing to your benefit. Business owners now have a chance to plug their goods and services in real-time to anyone with a mobile device.
What is Google Maps Marketing?
Google Maps marketing is nothing but the optimization of your business presence on Google Maps. The goal is simple: by ranking higher in the search results, you’ve got a chance to significantly increase your business. The better your profile optimization, the higher your likelihood for exposure to customers searching for your business type in your area on Google Maps.
Why is Google Maps Marketing important for your business?
To say that Google holds a lion’s share of all mobile searches is an understatement. It manages almost 3.5 billion search queries per day, which is 88% of all the searches made using mobile devices. Local Google searches also directly translate into sales with 76% of these checking out local products, visiting a store within the day.
Google Maps marketing can impact the way Google views your business and the way it appears in organic search results. That’s referred to as the local 3-pack. Google Map Results (local 3-pack) appear at the top of the page during this Google Search. Google Maps hold the power of channeling a lot of potential customers towards your business. Unless your business ranks within the 3-pack, your chance of being found is extremely low. That is the biggest reason why Google Maps Marketing is generally considered to be the foremost important aspect of local SEO work.
How to setup and organize your Google My Business (GMB) listing
You can create a Google My Business (GMB) listing for free. This is because it technically isn’t a billboard in the least. You are simply letting Google know that your business exists. That said, the chief goal is to boost your business to rank above your competitors in the search results.
Steps for setting up Google My Business
To set up your Google My Business listing, use the following steps:
- Sign in to Google and go to https://www.google.com/business/
- Then locate or create an inventory for your business. Sometimes other factors or inputs have led to an impromptu listing about your business. Make sure you claim and properly correct the error if an impromptu listing has happened.
- Fill out all the information about your business in simple, easy to understand terms.
- Make sure to pick the right category and to feature a contact.
- Verify your account. This can be done on Google via phone, email, or traditional mail.
- Add quality photos.
- Double-check all of your information.
How to Rank Better in Google Maps
Google Maps considers a variety of things when it decides the way to rank results.
The geographic distance from the person conducting the search and the business category relevant to their search are the most important and primary considerations.
The accuracy and informational adequacy of your GMB listing is extremely important. This could be the tie-breaker among you and your competitors in determining who appears within the search. Finally, positive sentiments (good reviews) are often a deciding factor.
Getting good reviews for your business
Cultivating good reviews seems to be a major target for companies these days and consequently, they have developed systems around it.
Some will ask customers directly, usually at the conclusion of a transaction, to offer them a review. Other businesses put an invitation for a review during checkout. Some even have used QR codes.
One effective method is to send a review request to your customers. The requests can be on a card, attached with a “Thank You” memento. Something as simple and inexpensive as a free air freshener can go a long way.
In all of your promotional materials, it’s good business practice to supply a link for patrons to leave a Google Review about your business.
How to handle bad reviews?
Handle bad reviews calmly. Work hard to beat them with more good reviews. When you get a nasty review, apologize, accept responsibility and offer to address the customer’s grievance. Even if the situation is not your fault, don’t get into an online argument with an aggrieved customer. It’s a bad look for your brand. Look at a bad review as a prospect to demonstrate your professionalism, helping to mitigate any potential damage.
Posting on Google as Your Business
This is an extremely underused feature. Business owners have the option to publish offers, events, products, and services on to Google Search and maps. This is another effective way to make yourself stand out from your competitors.
Google Maps Optimization Checklist
To give your business a far better chance of exposure in Google Maps for relevant searches, just follow the checklist below:
- Claim or create a listing for your business.
- Fill out all of the information.
- Correct service area and address.
- Business hours / workdays.
- Website / URL for them to make an online purchase.
- List your specific offerings. Clearly and simply. Try to add keywords naturally when possible.
- Pick the most relevant and customary categories for your business.
- Ensure that information is consistent across the web.
- Add high-quality photos.
- Double-check all of your information.
- Cultivate good reviews.
- Talk about your business in Google My Business.
- List your business in other directories.
- Use analytics to adapt your strategies.
Paid Advertising & Local Search Ads
Google gives you the tools to focus on your local area with local search ads. This is paid advertising which will assist you to appear at the top of the Google search page or Map App when someone searches for services similar to what you offer. If you’re struggling to usher in customers and can’t wait for your organic optimization efforts to pay off, you should definitely consider paid advertising. Multiple businesses have successfully employed local search ads on Google. They often serve as the right complement to organic marketing efforts.
Tracking Your Google Maps Marketing Performance
Tracking your performance on Google Maps is completed via analytics offered together with your Google My Business account. To evaluate and optimize your current web presence, this step is necessary.
These are the key metrics you ought to pay close attention to:
The Google Services That Customers Use to seek out Your Business
An important metric to concentrate on is the sort of searches resulting in your website.
This will allow you to know the quantity of users that are checking you out by name versus those discovering you via the keywords relevant to your brand, location, and industry.
This may assist you gauge the share of latest versus repeat customers coming to your site via Google.
Where Customers View Your Business on Google
This section will allow you to know the frequency with which you are found on general search versus map listings. When you take this in conjunction with the primary metric, you’ll gauge the overall success of your Google Map Listings when it comes to attracting new customers.
As you create changes, monitor these stats to make sure you’re making the proper decisions and your business is moving in a positive direction.
Listing Visitor Action Taken
The “Customer actions” section shows you the actions of people in response to your listings. You will discover if your listing helps people find your location, your website, or results in some sort of contact. This is perhaps the most important metric as you start working optimizing your listing. Working to enhance customer engagements and interactions is your best path to success.
Where Customers Are Coming From
The “Directions requests” section shows the places your customers are trying to find directions to your business from.
With this information, you’ll begin to localize and better target your other marketing ventures. You might also have to adjust your target keywords.
The Performance of Your Photos
The “Photo views and Photo quantity” section shows the performance of your photos against competing businesses.
It also shows the combination of photos coming from you versus those posted by your customers. Humans react positively to visual stimuli, so you ought to take the time to capture some clear and good looking photos of your business and products.
Google Maps Marketing: The Conclusion
While getting the fundamentals right is straightforward enough, fine-tuning your business’ listing will make you stand out from your competition. Remember the following at all times if you are using Google Maps Marketing for your business:
- Pay attention to your analytics.
- Keep your information as up to date as possible.
- Keep your social proof (customer reviews) positive.
- Ensure that your visual representation (photos) is top class.