Are you looking to put your business on the map? It’s one thing to put your business address on your website. It’s a whole other thing to have a Google maps marketing strategy.
Google Maps is a super helpful, free mapping service from Google. It’s great for looking up local services you need. For business owners, it’s one of the best spots online to elevate your business listing.
If you want to know how you can give your business greater exposure, learn how to optimize your Google Places directory listing. Read on for our quick guide to a Google Maps marketing strategy.
1. What is Google Maps Marketing?
We all know that Google Maps is Google’s web-based map service. It’s been a helpful tool for anybody who needs directions to get to places. Some pull out the app on their smartphones when they’re visiting new places.
Others have used it to travel the world through only their phones. Also, who hasn’t tried to look up their house or place of business via Google Maps? Google Maps has even taken photos of controversial sites or overhead views.
Google Maps marketing is what it sounds like. It’s a process of using Google Maps and its functions to promote businesses. Business owners aim to list their business in Google’s listing which is Google Places.
Most people now recognize Google Places as Google My Business. Do note that Google Maps and Google Places are different Google products. Your business may rank first in Google Maps but not in the latter.
Google Places is akin to the Yellow Pages. This is where consumers search for business listings online. On Google Places, you can add photos, reviews, and other relevant info about your business.
Google Maps is, well, an online map that Google offers for free. When a customer looks up “café” on Google Maps, those in the area and/or city will show up. The higher your ranking in Google Places, the more visible your business will be on Google Maps.
2. Why It Matters to Have High Ranking on Google Places
82% of smartphone shoppers conduct “near me” searches. If that isn’t enough to encourage you to get a Google Places listing, over 90% of respondents from the same survey said they’re likely to click on the first set of results.
That is the power of Google Maps and Google Places. If your business has a high marketing ranking, it will show up at the top of the page results. As all business owners know, exposure is key.
Take advantage of your target audience’s access to Google. Use it to give them more access to your business. When they find it, they can make informed decisions about choosing your business.
Another way boosting your ranking benefits your business is it builds credibility. Google is one of the most trusted sites on the Internet. By the logic of most people, if it’s on Google, it’s reliable.
Connecting with customers has never been easier, too.
Ever-evolving Google has made it easy and convenient for everyone to use its products. You don’t need to be a programmer to put your business up in Google Places. Plus, Google helps you with every step of the process when you create or claim a listing.
While Google Places doesn’t do much in active marketing, it’s great for passive marketing. If you want to add active marketing into the mix, this is where Google AdWords comes in. However, that’s a different topic altogether.
3. How to Get Your Business on Google Maps
Before you can get your business to rank high, you need to get it there first. This is the easy part. Get on Google Maps and search for your business in Maps.
If your business appears, claim the listing. If it doesn’t, add it as a place to Maps. After that, you can then claim the listing.
Claiming your listing is simple. You need a Google My Business Account and to give the necessary business information. Google will open a series of pages with instructions on what to do.
In this step, you can do the corrections for your business name, address, and more. If you’re missing any other information, this is your chance to put them in. Don’t forget to enter the URL for your business to attract more leads to your website.
When you’re done making your claim, Google will proceed to the verification procedure. There are four methods in which you will receive a PIN. You will use this PIN to confirm that it is your business.
One method is Google sends a postcard to the physical address or an email to the business’ associated email. You can get a phone call or text to the phone number for the business. If the business listing is already validated in Google Search Console, the verification process is instant.
4. Improve Your Ranking on Google Places
Now that your business listing is all done, it’s time to improve your Google ranking. One of the most important steps is to complete your Google My Business listing. Be aware that Google Maps ranking corresponds to the completeness and accuracy of the listing.
A study says that only 44% of businesses have a Google My Business listing. Take advantage of this and use a listing on Google Places as an edge. The best way to improve is to complete and fill in these details:
- Phone number
- Questions and answers
In the description, specify the business category and business details. Include a profile picture, verified status, reviews, and review replies. If your business already has ratings of any kind, place them in too.
Use search engine optimization (SEO) to optimize your listing description. Local SEO keywords are especially crucial to local businesses. Speaking of SEO, you can also use your optimized website to help boost your Google Places ranking.
In your website, use local keywords and embed a Google Map on it. As much as possible, your website should be responsive and functional, too.
Do you want to add credibility to your business?
Businesses that have a high volume of positive reviews rank higher on Google Maps. To get your Google review form, click on “More information” in your Google Maps listing. Use the link as a landing page and share it on social media.
Filling out your business category is important. Further improvement occurs when you use subcategories in Google Places. This is best for businesses that don’t only specialize in a single service or department.
For example, you have a department store. This department store has a deli, bakery, grocery delivery service, money transfer service, and more. List those down as subcategories.
5. Tips for a Higher Ranking on Google Places
Here’s a solid tip: use your main keywords in your Google My Business. For example, you own a seafood restaurant that’s based in Sacramento, CA. “Ronaldo’s Seafood Restaurant in Sacramento” works.
This way, when people look up “seafood”, “restaurant”, and “Sacramento,” yours will pop up. Aside from your actual business name, the search hits your main keywords. Google will think the customer is looking for your company so it will put it up as a result.
Google doesn’t like toll-free numbers (800 and 877) very much. They’re often used for spam. Instead, use a local telephone number with your locale’s area code.
Clients and Google don’t like guessing your business hours. Always update your opening and closing times. If you’re closed for the day, don’t forget to update that, too.
Did you know that 90% of consumers claim to read reviews for local businesses first?
A word of caution, you won’t have control over what people will say about your business. If you offer the best products and customer service, then negative reviews will be rare. If you do get any, a good move is to respond to them in a polite and proper way.
One last piece of advice is to be patient because you won’t jump to the top rank overnight. Ranking higher on Google Maps and the organic search takes time. In the meantime, focus on your business.
Get Your Business to (Google My Business) Places
Google Maps marketing encompasses more than Google Maps. Thanks to Google’s services, it’s easier for business owners to put a spotlight on their business.
Google Maps marketing works best when it’s overlapping with other marketing campaigns. A fully-optimized website and smart social media marketing are only some examples. Plus, it’s free to use Google Maps and Google Places, which is another great thing about Google products.
That’s it for our guide on how you can boost your Google Places ranking. Do you want to see more helpful guides on Internet marketing like this one? Go to our blog page and find similar content to guide your Internet marketing strategy.
Are you too busy to plan or implement a Google Places marketing campaign? In that case, allow Rawson Internet Marketing to assist you. Feel free to contact us for any questions.
As a Certified Google Advertising Professional group, we are also focused on building cost effective and properly executed pay-per-click campaigns to put your message in front of potential customers at their exact time of need.