fbpx
If you’re a local business, optimize for the Local Map Pack

If you’re a local business, optimize for the Local Map Pack

You’ll be as familiar with the “Local Pack” as you are with the featured snippet, if not more. The Local Pack feature shows Google Maps results, reviews, open hours, and a physical address.

The local pack changes based on your searchers’ location.

For instance, here’s how the SERP page appears for the search “Top restaurants in Vancouver:”

How to optimize your website for the Local Pack SERP feature:

  • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile, as many people use the Local Pack to navigate to your website while on the go.

Make sure your website is optimized for Local SEO.

  • Make sure you’ve updated and maintain your Google My Business Profile
  • Ensure you’ve added your website to TripAdvisor, Yelp, YP.com, etc.
  • Add schema markup to your website’s backend (allowing Google to see your whole website)

Note: Optimizing your website for the “local pack” SERP feature is a good idea for sales as well.

Typing “men’s jackets” into Google results in a map and links for where to buy men’s jackets before it provides images or links to do so. Searchers don’t need to express buying intent for your business to appear in the local pack.

To Wrap Up

I hope most of these strategies will help you get the amount of traffic you want. Once you have everything set up, they are easy to implement but the results they can bring will pleasantly surprise you. And remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

Ensuring that your business shows up in Google Maps is paramount to long-term viability.

Prospective customers are often skeptical of businesses with little or no online presence.

Fortunately, Google Maps provide one of the easiest and fastest ways to get online.

Business owners now have an opportunity to market their goods and services in real-time to anyone with a mobile device.

What Is Google Maps Marketing?

Google Maps marketing is simply the optimization of your business presence on Google Maps.

The goal is simple: by ranking higher in search, you have an opportunity to significantly increase your business.

The better your profile optimization, the better your chances are for showing up in a Google Maps search for your business type in your area.

Why Is Google Maps Marketing So Important?

Google handles about 3.5 billion searches per day and accounts for nearly 88% of all mobile searches.

Local Google searches also directly translate into sales with 76% of those searching for local products visiting a store within the day.

Google Maps marketing can impact the way Google views your business and how or if it appears in organic search in what is known as the local 3-pack.

A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

Google Map Results (local 3-pack) appear at the top of the page in this Google Search.

Google Maps can channel thousands of potential customers toward your business.

Unless your business ranks in the 3-pack, your chance of being found is exponentially lower.

That is why Google Maps Marketing is generally considered the most important facet of local SEO work.

Setting up & Optimizing Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing

Creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing is totally free.

This is because it technically isn’t an advertisement at all – you are simply letting Google know that your business exists.

That said, the end goal is to get your business to rank higher than your competitors.

Setting Up Google My Business

To set up your Google My Business listing:

  • Sign in to Google and go to https://www.google.com/business/
  • Then locate or create a listing for your business. Sometimes other factors or inputs have led to an impromptu assumption listing about your business. Make sure you claim and correct it if that happened.
  • Fill out all of the information to the best of your ability.
  • Make sure to select the correct category and to add a contact.
  • Verify your account. This can be done with Google via phone, email, or traditional mail.
  • Add quality photos.
  • Double-check all of your information.

Read this guide to learn how to completely optimize your GMB listing.

How to Rank Better in Google Maps

Google Maps take into account a number of factors when it decides how to rank results.

The geographic distance from the person conducting the search and the business category relevant to their search are the most obvious.

Perhaps more important is how complete and accurate your GMB listing is. This could be the tie-breaker among you and your competitors in determining who appears in the search.

Finally, positive sentiment (good reviews) can be a deciding factor.

Getting Good Reviews

Many companies have developed systems around cultivating positive reviews.

Some will ask customers directly, at the conclusion of a transaction, to give them a review.

Other businesses put a request for a review prominently, at checkout. Some even have used QR codes.

One effective method is to leave a review request, on a business card, attached to a “Thank You” memento. Something as simple as a complimentary air freshener can go a long way.

In all of your promotional materials, it’s good business practice to provide a link for customers to leave a Google review.

What About Bad Reviews?

Handle bad reviews calmly. Work hard to overcome them with more good reviews.

When you get a bad review, apologize, accept responsibility and offer to make it right; even if it wasn’t your fault.

It’s a losing proposition to get defensive or aggressive in your reply.

A bad review give you the chance to demonstrate your professionalism, helping to mitigate any potential damage.

Posting on Google as Your Business

This is an underused feature.

Business owners can “publish … offers, events, products, and services directly to Google Search and maps.”

Unlimited Keyword Research for PPC & SEO
Search any domain and see where they’ve shown up on Google: every keyword on Adwords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 13 years.Download NowADVERTISEMENT

This can be another effective way to stand apart from your competitors.

Google Maps Optimization Checklist

To give your business a better chance of showing up 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 a purchase.
    • List your specific offerings. Clearly and simply. Try to add keywords in naturally when possible.
  • Pick the most relevant and common categories for your business.
  • Ensure 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 target your local area with local search ads.

This is paid advertising that can help you appear at the top of the Google search page or Map App when someone searches for your relevant services.

If you are struggling to bring in customers and can’t wait for your organic efforts to pay off, you may want to consider paid advertising.

Many businesses have had great success in employing local search ads on Google. It can be the perfect complement to organic marketing efforts.

Tracking Your Google Maps Marketing Performance

Tracking your performance on Google Maps is done via analytics offered with your Google My Business account.

This is necessary for evaluating your current web presence and optimizing it, moving forward

Following are the key metrics you should pay close attention to:

The Google Services That Customers Use to Find Your Business

An important metric to pay attention to is the type of searches leading to your website.

This will let you know the volume of users that are searching for you by name, vs those discovering you via the keywords relevant to your brand, location, and industry.

This may help you gauge the percentage of new versus repeat customers coming to your site via Google.

Where Customers View Your Business on Google

This section will let you know the frequency that you are being found on general search vs map listings.

Taken in conjunction with the first metric you can gauge the general success of your Google Map Listings in attracting new customers.

As you make changes, monitor these stats to ensure you are making the right decisions and moving in a positive direction.

A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

Listing Visitor Action Taken

“Customer actions” will show you what actions people are taking in response to your listing.

You will discover if your listing is helping people find your location, your website, or leading to some form of contact.

This is perhaps the most important metric as you embark on optimizing your listing.

Working to improve customer engagements and interactions is your best path to success.

A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

Where Customers Are Coming From

“Directions requests” shows where customers are requesting directions to your business from.

With this information, you can begin to localize and better target your other marketing ventures as well as perhaps adjust your target keywords.

The Performance of Your Photos

Photo views and Photo quantity” shows how your photos are performing as compared to competing businesses.

It also shows the mix of photos coming from you versus those posted by your customers.

Humans react positively to appealing visuals, so you should take the time to capture the best possible photos of your business.

A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

The Final Takeaway

While getting the basics right is simple enough, fine-tuning will set you apart from the competition.

Pay attention to your analytics.

The best way to market yourself across all Google apps is to:

  • Keep your information up to date.
  • Keep your social proof (customer reviews) positive.
  • Make certain that your visual presentation is always top-notch.

More Resources:


Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, October 2019

You Measure SEO success by

You Measure SEO success by

Measuring SEO Success

If you measure SEO success by the progress on a to-do list, you are doing it wrong.

At the end of the day, we want to be judged by one thing – the results we provide.

It helps if everyone agrees on what success looks like in the beginning.

There are no guarantees in SEO, but everyone can agree to goals.

As long as those goals are achieved using Google’s guidance on good techniques, clients and bosses need to give the SEO provider enough rope to either climb to new heights or hang themselves.

I tell every prospect, if we can’t show you at least a 3x return on your SEO investment in 6 months, you should fire us.

The goal may be 3x return – or it may be a percentage increase in email subscriptions. The bottom line is the bottom line.

You need to know what success looks like. Then either help your SEO person/team, if you are able, or get out of the way.

Sure, it’s fine to send an article over asking what your SEO manager thinks if you are curious.

I don’t know an SEO professional worth their salt who doesn’t love to talk about the latest and greatest developments in the algorithm.

But if you are constantly questioning whether your SEO is doing a good enough job, you either need to re-evaluate your goals or fire the SEO.

In the end, you’ll both be happier.

Tony Wright

Tony Wright
CEO at WrightIMC via Search Engine Journal

 / March 25, 2019

Feb 2019 SEO News letter

Feb 2019 SEO News letter

NOW YOU’LL BE ABLE TO VERIFY YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING OVER A VIDEO CALL

It’s quite ironic that an internet giant like Google relied on old school “Postcard verification” process till now. In order to verify your business, you had to send a request via Google My Business and then wait for 14 days to receive the postcard. In many cases, the postcard arrived on time, but in some cases, it didn’t arrive at all. So the whole process was slow & troublesome, to say the least.

 

Although Google did offer Phone verification too, it was limited to selected industries because it’s really hard to check the authenticity of a business over a phone call, and Google wants to list only genuine businesses, or at least they try their best to do so.

 

After a ton of complaints and thousands of emails with subject line “I have not received the postcard,” they decided to verify a business over a video call. Although it’s not currently available to everyone, we can say that it will be a norm in near future.

 

Here’s how Video verification works:

 

  • Go to Google My Business and click on the verify my business listing from the left menu.

 

  • There will be 2-3 verification options depending on the type of your business. Choose “Verify now with live video chat”.
  • You will receive an email from a Google representative, asking you about the right time for the video chat. Confirm the time and date and you will receive a video call from a Google representative.

 

  • They will ask you to show your place of work & a business card or letterhead that has the exact same address as your listing. They may ask for some other proofs as well. So keep all documents handy.

 

  • The whole process takes only 10-15 minutes and you will receive verification email (if everything goes right) within a few hours or 2 days at max.

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com