If you wanted to find, say, a repair shop in your local area, you would go to Google and type in “repair shop near me”, right? Similar to that, potential clients and customers that are looking for your repair, IT, legal, etc., services are probably going to do the same. Having your website appear on Google Local Search will help bring you more clients and lead to increased sales.
How do you do this? This is achieved through local SEO or as some people call it Google Maps SEO. Google Maps SEO involves the tactics and strategies that make your business come up on Google Maps for keywords related to your business. For instance, if you search for “Auto shop Glendale California” you will see a list of businesses with their locations pinpointed on the map. In this blog, I will teach you how to rank your business locally with Google maps SEO.
Create and complete a Google My Business profile
The first important step in ensuring your business’s visibility in Google Maps is creating and optimizing your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). This can be done by simply searching your business’s name on Google Maps and verifying your listing. After claiming your listing you should log into your Google account and edit it, even directly on the search results page. Having this set up tells Google that your business actually exists and the information you have on there is correct and up to date. Google will check these details against those on your website and other online directories and resources to make sure it’s accurate.
Add photos to your Google Maps business listing
Google really likes it when you post photos to your listing. Because this tells Google that you are an active listing and you deserve to rank higher in the search results. Google has photo-recognition technology and it has been getting better over the years so they have started to show images in local results. Google loves what the users love, and we know that customers love pictures. Also, if you don’t have any pictures on your listing it will show a generic image that doesn’t look very appealing. So, if you wish to improve your Google Maps ranking, upload high-quality pictures to your listing as this helps show what it’s like to be at your business. You can upload photos to your listing from the photos tab in your GMB dashboard.
Earn local backlinks
Backlinks are links pointing to your website and are a very effective SEO strategy. Your goal must be to get these links from local websites that are relevant to your field of work. Backlinks can increase the legitimacy of your business and improve your site’s ranking. If you have your website’s link in local listings, make sure your business is in the relevant category. Experts from Team-X, a company that offers local SEO Melbourne services say that you should aim to get “follow” links, which means that Google will recognise the source of your content. Many directories know that “follow” links have more value so they may charge you for them. You should also try to get links from other non-paid websites such as relevant partner sites.
Knowing that Google favours content that users love it should come as no surprise that Google Maps ranks listings with positive reviews higher. The way to get reviews is quite easy because once you create your business listing on Google, it automatically allows your business to get reviews. But that doesn’t mean you are going to get a ton of reviews just by creating a listing. You have to ask for reviews and also respond to them as being active with your audience engages them to post more reviews. By responding to reviews you show that you care about your customers and their feedback on your business. Getting bad reviews can be scary but unless the quality of your services is terrible, the chances of getting bad reviews will be little. Plus, by responding to them you have the opportunity to reverse the damage and turn the negatives into positives.
Add local business schema markup
You should have your NAP (name, address and phone number) in schema language. Lastly, you must include the NAP for your business on your website. But you should wrap the address in what’s called Schema language. Schema is a structural protocol used by search engines with the goal of making it easier to determine certain data on web pages. This data is very helpful when it comes to local SEO. By having your NAP in Schema, the signals about your business location’s relevance and authority to search engines will be of much higher quality.