AD| Every business owner knows that ranking well on Google search results is vital if they want to drive more qualified leads to their website. However, people often underestimate the importance of local searches. Usually, if people have an immediate need, they will head to Google and do a search for local businesses. Using key phrases like ‘near me’ in the search will bring up local results and you need to make sure that your business ranks at the top for these searches.
When performing a local search, users get Google Maps results, showing them exactly where the business is, so they can head there straight away. This is such a valuable tool for businesses because it means that you generate qualified leads and encourage them to visit your business immediately after making a search. For brick and mortar businesses that struggle to get foot traffic, this is so beneficial. Optimising your website for Google Maps can drastically increase sales, but many businesses don’t know where to start. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you appear first on the list of search results and rank on Google maps.
Work With An Agency That Understands Maps Optimisation
If your business is working with an agency, you need to ask them about local search and maps optimisation. Finding a digital marketing agency that understands how to improve your site and increase your rankings on maps is so important, and not all agencies will specialise in this area. Many agencies will be able to help you get to the top of general search results, but not all of them will have the knowledge and expertise to improve your rankings on maps, so do your research carefully when picking an agency to work with.
Claim Your Google Maps Listing
You can’t rank well on Google Maps if you aren’t listed in the first place. Hopefully, you already are, but have you claimed your listing? A lot of people don’t realise they need to do this and it hurts their rankings. You need to bring up your business page on Google Maps and click the ‘claim this listing’ option. Once you have claimed the business, you can add a lot more information beyond the basic address and contact info. The more information a business provides, the higher it will rank.
Use A Local Phone Number
Google Maps doesn’t like toll free numbers (0800 or 0808 numbers) because they are often used for spam calls. If you have one listed as your business number, this could hurt your rankings. Instead, you should use a local phone number, which will instantly give you more credibility and boost your rankings.
Keep Opening Hours Updated
Whenever your opening hours change, it’s crucial that you update your Google Maps listing. This is especially important right now as business hours are changing a lot due to the pandemic. When you update your hours, it shows Google that you are active and this boosts your rankings. It also prevents from customers turning up when you are closed and then leaving you a bad review.
Making these simple changes will drastically improve your rankings on Google Maps and you will get more customers as a result.