Google Maps Marketing & Optimisation

I am positive you have come across Google Maps listings when searching on Google. You will most likely see them if you are looking for a local service or product.

According to Google, “one out of every five searches relates to a location”, this is where Google Maps comes into play.

Google My Business is Google’s own local directory. They are known around by many names but the most common is Google Maps, Google Local or GMB Listing.

If you are a small to medium business that targets local customers rather than the global population, using Google Maps to promote your business is one of the best things you can do to generate more customers.

What Is Google Snack Pack?

Google Snack Pack is a boxed area that appears on the first results page when a local online search is made through Googles search engine. The Snack Pack box displays the top 3 local business listings most relevant to the search enquiry.

Adel SEO

According to a study by Moz.com, 33% of all clicks for local search queries go to the snack pack or 3 pack displayed above the search results.

Google Maps (Snack Pack) v Organic Results

Knowing why Google Maps is important for your business will encourage you to look at optimising your profile so that you appear for your main keywords on Google.

Below are two searches that show the snack pack above the organic search results for those search terms.

Snack Pack Google Maps
Google Maps v Organic Results

By optimising your businesses GMB listing so you appear in the top three of the Google Maps search results, your business will be seen on the first page of Google above the organic search results.

97% of people search online for local businesses. You need to be there when they’re looking for your business niche on Google.

Now that we have shown that it is vital for your business to have a Google My Business listing, let’s go through how to optimise your listing to get the most out of Google.

Google Maps Guide

Below is step by step guide on how to complete your Google Maps listing as well how to use your GMB listing to market your business and generate more customers.

There are images and videos to guide you through the process.

Enjoy…

Claim or Create your Google My Business listing

If you as a business have created and claimed your Google Maps listing you are ahead of your competition.

If you do a search on Google for {business name + location}, and if you see a listing appear with your company details then your company has been added, now it is time to make sure you are the owner of the listing.

Claim your Google Maps Listing

If your business listing appears like the above image, click the “Own this business?” link and follow the steps to verify that you are the owner.

Google will send a postcard to the address listing on the GMB listing with a code that you will need to enter to complete the verification of your Google My Business listing.

Once you are the owner of your listing, you can optimise your listing to enhance your organic Maps position.

Setting up your Google Maps listing

Your Google My Business listing is at the core of any businesses local marketing campaign. The information on your GMB listing should be 100% accurate and then it should be duplicated across the internet. More on this to come.

We are going to start with the N.A.P. information of your business. This is by far the most important part of setting up your Google My Business page.

NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. NAP is critical for businesses wishing to rank well in the local organic search results, because search engines like Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches.

nap

Busines Name

Your business name should be listed correctly. You need to decide how you will display your business across the internet.

If your registered business name is ABC Plumbing, you need to list it on your Google Maps listing, your website, citations the same. You can not have two different names for the same business eg:

  • ABC Plumbing Ltd
  • ABC Plumbing

Decide how your business shall be displayed online.

Address

The location of your business needs to be added to your GMB listing, add it in full and include suburbs if necessary.

When entering your address, you need to decide whether to display your address or hide it.

If you are a business where customers visit (bakery, hairdresser etc) then displaying your address is a must so your customers can find your business correctly.

If you are a service-based business (plumber, electrician etc) and are using your home address, you have the option to hide your address. This prevents people from visiting your home.

If your business services customers at their properties, you will be asked for a coverage area (a radius of an area you will visit). I always advise be realistic here and do not put 999mile radius. It will only hinder your listing in the results.

Phone

Your business phone number. It is always better to have a local number of the city you live it, again, local relevancy for your listing.

The way you display your phone number is very important.

  • 0777 555 666
  • 077 755 5666
  • 0777555666

All three ways are correct, but in Google’s eyes, they are incorrect. Decide now and stick to the same way of displaying your GMB phone number across the internet.

Business Category

You will be given the chance to select a category or categories that best fit your business. Start typing what your business does and your category will appear.

If your category is not there, do not worry. Visit Google and search for your {niche/industry + Location} and see what categories your competitors are using and choose the same.

If your business covers a few industries, select your primary category and a couple of subcategories.

Opening Hours

Again, this is an important aspect of optimising your GMB listing. Enter your opening hours correctly. If you are closed for lunch, then enter your hours correctly. This will aid you in the future.

Website URL

Depending on your business, you need to add the correct URL for the GMB listing.

If you have a single GMB listing, add the homepage URL.

If you have multiple GMB listings, add a different location URL to each of your listings

  • domain.com/london
  • domain.com/manchester
  • domain.com/liverpool

Remember, GMB listings are local and if your website states that you are a national company Google will know. Create separate landing pages for each area you have a GMB listing.

Business Description

Here you have an opportunity to add a description of your business and the services you offer to customers in your area.

You are provided with 750 characters to get your message across. Cleverly use keywords of the services or products that you offer in your location.

Opening Date

State when your business opened. Use the same information as you have on your website (if you have mentioned it)

*Having the same messaging across your website and Google My Business will enhance your listing position.

Google Maps Photos

Photos

Google LOVES content and images are high up on their list of great content for local listings.

You will be presented with different categories (depending on industry) for your photos:

  • Profile
  • Cover
  • At work
  • Team
  • Identity
  • Internal photos
  • External photos

Add as many images as you can in all of the categories provided to you.

Best Practice for GMB Photos

Always name your photos. Here are some ideas for names:

  • Company Name + Location
  • Company Name + Keyword
  • Keyword + Location
  • Location + Keyword

Google will read the names of the images you upload and if you are using keywords and your location, you are creating relevancy for your listing. More reason for Google to move you to the top of the results.

GEO-Tag your Photos

If you have the time, spend some time to geotag your images prior to uploading them to your listing. This tells Google that your images are local and gives even more relevancy to your images.

Here is a great online GEO tagging software – geoimgr.com

Your GMB Listing is Complete

If you have followed the above steps, your listing is now complete and Google will use that information to rank your business in the Google Maps search results.

But wait… you are not finished. Just because your listing is complete, it does not mean you are done. GMB listings offer you so much more to market your business to customers searching online.

Google Maps Marketing

Google Maps Marketing

Because Google is the number 1 search engine and 97% of people use it to search for local businesses, you have the chance to make your listing stand out even more.

Take the time to work on your GMB listing and give it the love and care it deserves. Treat it well and it will treat your company well with new business.

Below are two new features that Google has provided GMB listing owners with to enhance their profiles online and because Google loves Google, it is advised to use them, regularly.

Google Posts

Google Posts

Google Posts is a new feature of Google My Business which allows business owners to share content directly on their Google listings which, in theory, should improve your rankings in the search results.

The content published on Google Local will appear on your listing in Google search and also the map results.

When a user searches for your business your posts will appear on your listing for all to see and when a user searches for a product you offer, your posts will appear as they relate to the search query.

By posting regularly on your Google My Business listing, you are in fact giving yourself more keywords to appear for online.

Benefits of Google Posts

  • Share specials or current promotions
  • Showcase top products and new product announcements
  • Promote your events
  • Connect with customers directly from your Google My Business listing

How to set up Google Posts on your Listing

Log into your Google My Business page, on the left menu you will see a variety of links, click on Posts. If you have never shared a post on Google you will see a page like this…

Posting on Google My Business

Click your mouse in the area where it states “Write your post” and a window will pop up giving you options for posting. You will be presented with 4 post options:

  • What’s New
  • Event
  • Offer
  • Product

Depending on what type of business you run will determine what option you take.

You have up to 300 words in each post and allowed to upload 1 image to your post. You have a call to action (button) where you can provide a link for customers to click and get more information on your post.

7 days

Each post will stay live on your GMB listing for 7 days then they will be archived automatically.

Best practice is to have at least one listing always active but if you want to really enhance your listing, your position in the search results, it is advised to post ever 2 or 3 days.

More content equals better rankings.

GMB Listing Websites

GMB Listing Websites

GMB Websites is another new feature that has been added to your arsenal of tools to enhance your business online. It is directly connected to your Google Maps listing and when you share a post it will automatically be collected on your new GMB website.

The more content and information you add to your website, the better it will be for your business and customer experience.

Below is a great video done by the guys at Web20Ranker.

The beautiful part of the GMB websites is that you only need to do this process once unlike Google Posts where you have to constantly keep adding new content.

GMB Websites will input your Posts for you automatically.

Google Reviews

Google Reviews

This is one of the most important parts of your Google My Business listing and it is the one element that will actually help your customer decide whether to use your business or your competitor.

Your customer reviews.

When a customer has brought a product or hired your company for a service, you MUST encourage them to leave a review on your Google Maps listing.

Why?

Well, customers are tired of “guessing” when it comes to choosing a company. Customers will look at the reviews of a business and after reading positive or negative reviews will base their decision.

Let me ask you a question… who would you call/hire first out of these three businesses?

GMB Listing reviews

You would call Manchester’s Plumbers, why, because they have 25 positive reviews!

Benefits of Google Reviews

What are the benefits of Google Reviews for small to medium businesses? There are loads of advantages to having Google reviews but one of the main benefits, it allows good businesses the chance to stand out because they do great work, offer amazing customer service and provide a service the customers are looking for.

3 benefits of Google Reviews

  • Google Reviews increase brand trust
  • Google Review increase online exposure and Local SEO
  • Google Reviews provide great feedback from your customers

How to get Google Reviews from your customers?

 

Here are 3 simple ways of getting reviews from your customers.

Ask for Google Reviews

The easiest way to get reviews if to ask, ask your customers to leave a review about your service or product. Here are some ways of asking your customers to leave a Google Review about your business:

  • Ask after you have completed a job
  • Ask through an email
  • Ask when you send a bill/invoice
  • Ask when you are on the phone with your customer
Show your customers how to leave a review

There are some customers who will know exactly how to leave a review but there will be those customers who will have no idea. The easiest way is to show them:

  • Sign into Google (Gmail account)
  • Search for your business on Google
  • Click to leave a review
  • Select star rating, write a review and submit.

There is also an alternative which will make your life easier and always easier for your customer. You can create a specific link that when clicked will take a customer to the exact place where they need to write their review.

1. Search for {business name + location} so your GMB listing is showing on the right of the Google search results.

2. Click on the reviews section on your Google Maps listing

Business Name & Location

3. Click “Write a Review”

Write a review

4. Mow high light and copy the entire URL. This is the link that you will send your customers to click on.

Copy URL 

 The link you have just copied is going to be very long and not pleasing on the eye. Create a short link using Google Shortener or Bitly.

By sending your customers a direct link for them to leave a review will increase the number of Google review you receive.

Remind them to leave a Google Review

Like you, your customers are also busy with their jobs and daily lives and sometimes they forget things like leave a review on Google for you.

Send them a reminder email, message, Whatsapp message asking them to leave a review on Google and in that message/email provide your shortened URL that will take them directly to where they must leave their review.

Google Maps Conclusion

With this Google Maps Marketing post, we hope we have shown you that by having a GMB listing can enhance your local SEO campaign for your business.

Like any form of marketing, time and care if required and when it pays off it will boost your business.

All the best…

Craig R

Posts you might be interested in reading:

 

5.0 Rating From 3 Reviews.
Really like this
on 18, Jul 2018
This is such a great post. I am going to take your advice on board and use the posts more.
Adam H
Thanks
on 18, Jul 2018
Awesome post
Jo-Anne
Amazing
on 18, Jul 2018
Craig, again you have provided so much quality. Thank you. I am going to go through my listing and edit where required.
Thomas

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