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How to Rank On Google Maps
Prioritize Your Google Business Profile To Rank on Google Maps
In the last few years, eligible local businesses and marketers have recognized the incredible value and ROI of utilizing Google’s free-to-use Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business) tool. Without claiming and utilizing your company’s Google Business Profile, it’s impossible to rank on Google Maps.
“But why does MY local business need to rank on higher Google Maps anyway?” you might be asking — well, here are the numbers.
- More than 60% of Google searches now come from mobile devices
- 82% of these users are using “near me” in their searches for local businesses
- 90% of mobile users were likely to choose from the first set of results on Google Maps
But how does one get their local business into those elusive top spots on Google Maps? We’ll walk you through how to leverage everything on your profile to your advantage.
Drop a Pin, Preferably
Google offers two options when it comes to how your business can showcase its location. The first is adding your business’s address and having it show with a pin in Google Maps when users search for your business name or related keywords. The second option is having no address visible, which is called a “Service Area Business.” While these types of listings are able to rank within Google Maps, since distance or proximity (how close a user’s search location is) is one of Google’s key ranking factors, the recommendation is to only use a Service Area Business if you have no physical office or if you wish for your address to be private.
While you might not be able to change office locations, it may be useful to consider this proximity factor when trying to assess what areas of potential customers will see your business most. For example, if your business is in a competitive industry and is located on the edge of town, you may notice you are consistently outranked by a competitor in a more central location.
Fill Out ALL Those Categories & Fields
Phone Numbers & Website Links
Ensure customers can call you at the right number and visit your website. Also, depending on your business type, you can provide an appointment link as well.
Categories & Secondary Categories
Your profile’s main category is one of the largest factors when Google decides what business to show for a user’s search. The main category should match what your business does as best as possible. Then, add secondary categories to help Google and potential customers find you for all keywords related to your services.
Google Business Profiles also have fields for you to fill out the various services your company provides. Make sure to utilize this function to include crucial keywords and search queries related to your services.
You should only be utilizing this field technically if your business operates by traveling to your customers to provide services. If this is the case, optimize your profile by fully filling this area out with your priority cities, towns, counties, etc., to leverage your listing’s Maps visibility in those areas.
Business Description & Attributes
Writing a great Google Business Profile business description in a tone aligned with your brand that includes relevant keywords can help your profile stand out to both Google and potential customers.
Google has other areas to provide information besides the description in fields called Attributes. These include having a wheelchair-accessible entrance, being Black-owned or veteran-owned, whether a mask or appointment is required, online estimates, and more! When you fill these out, Google is more likely to showcase these in search when users find your profile.
Many businesses are eligible to list products on their Google Business Profile, allowing them to display their products and offerings in a visual way, with descriptions and buttons links. Though technically used for products, adding your company’s service offerings in these fields is a useful way to help your customers find what they are looking for while providing Google with even more context and keywords. Combined with the right images and calls to action, product listings can often generate website clicks and revenue for many local businesses.
It might sound simple, but adding your business’s hours and keeping them updated is an important signal to Google that your company is actually active. Not only does it create important online engagement signals, keeping your hours up to date will be appreciated by potential customers looking to see when you are open!
The More Photos, the Better
You might assume photos are only useful in visual industries like home remodeling or a business with a ton of products. But the data shows no matter the category of your Google Business Profile, having more uploaded photos correlates with more website clicks and user interactions generated. Recommendations for uploading and optimizing your listing’s photos include:
- Following Google’s guidelines on format, size, and resolution
- Having high-quality exterior and interior photos of your business
- Photos of your team at work
- Photos of your products
- Before and after photos of your completed projects
- Team/staff photos
- Avoiding stock images
- Utilizing metadata on your images
- Updating your photos regularly
Engage Using Google Posts & Answering Questions
Most companies these days post regularly to various social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Adding Google Posts to your list of social media posting requirements is a must to send engagement signals to the search engine giant. Regular engagement is seen as a positive in the ranking algorithm and can also drum up business when used strategically in combination with promotions and offers.
Continue your online engagement with customers by answering any questions being asked on your Google Business Profile. Like posts, these give signals to Google that your business is active and is likely to rank your profile higher in Maps search results. These answers also offer an opportunity to tactically include relevant keywords in another place within your listing.
Generate Quality 5-Star Reviews & Manage Negative Ones
Though Google doesn’t outright say it, the more positive reviews your business has, the more likely it is to rank higher in Google Maps. Google Business reviews themselves even have their own criteria that factor into how Google ranks your business. These include the actual review score, the number of reviews, and keywords within review text. You might notice when searching a keyword like “AC repair” on Maps that a business listing might say, “Reviews include ‘AC repair.’” That’s the keyword action at work!
While proactively (and passively) getting great reviews is important, it is also important to manage the not-so-great reviews your business might receive. Engaging with these reviews by responding in a professional manner can help give potential customers more context while sending those crucial engagement signals to Google at the same time.
Optimize Your Website
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, this is a lot of stuff just within my profile to optimize!” And you may be right, but there’s still more. In addition to making sure everything on your business’s listing is leveraged for search, you want to ensure your website is as well.
That means your site should:
- Be mobile-friendly
- Include relevant and local keywords
- Utilize LocalBusiness schema markup
- Have relevant local backlinks
Increasing Mobile & Zero-Click Searches Means Ranking on Google Maps Is Crucial for Local Businesses
As more and more individuals are using their mobile devices to search for local companies and services, the importance of your business’s visible on Google Maps increases every day. On top of the increase in searches on mobile, more searches are ending without users ever actually going to a company’s website. Get ahead of your competitors now by following the recommendations above as well as Google’s guidelines to start ranking higher and improve your online visibility.
Need Help Ranking Your Business on Google Maps?
If your business doesn’t rank on Google Maps, you’re losing qualified leads and sales to your competitors, guaranteed. At Blue Corona, we help contractors increase qualified leads by maximizing their company’s real estate on Google.
Contact us today to learn more how we can help you grow your business from Google Maps, paid advertising, and more!
Additional Google Maps & Google Business Profile Resources
About The Author: Connor is a Senior SEO Analyst at Blue Corona, where he helps craft data-driven SEO strategies for some of our largest clients. Making a positive impact on his clients’ businesses and seeing organic traffic line graphs go up gets him up in the morning (along with a strong cup of coffee). He’s a Charlotte native and loves to watch the Carolina Panthers and North Carolina State Wolfpack in his free time.
View more blogs by Connor Dodd
The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.