The best practices of local SEO and Google Maps optimization are always evolving. As Google continues to unveil new algorithm updates, SEO’s and local business marketers must adapt their practices accordingly. While there are many advanced strategies that go beyond the scope of this article, below are a few Google Maps SEO tips and best practices that will stand the test of time.
Getting ranked highly is heavily influenced by the amount of top directories in which your business is cited or included. For Google to rank you highly, it has to determine that your business is real. It does this by the number of citations (business listings) that your business owns throughout the web. The “citation” is simply the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of your business, and Google crawls this data to compare with other listings.
Your business’s NAP should show up in greater frequency to better your chances in showing up in search engines. Further, NAP data needs to be consistent across all listings to maximize credibility and SEO value. Some optimization and marketing companies that specialize in Google Maps SEO, such as CaptivateLocal.com, provide services in citation building.
To make your business presence known, your NAP should also show up on your website. SEO best practices are to include you business NAP in the footer and header section of the website so it shows up on all pages. Further, the NAP should also be indicated on the contact page.
Some businesses use Schema, or structured data markup to further optimize their site for higher Google rankings. Schema markup consists of special HTML tags to better define your sites content (a communication mechanism in a way) for major search engines (namely Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Google Maps Embed
It is also a good SEO practice to embed your business’s Google Maps listing in your website, such as on your contact page. This also helps communicate to Google the precise location of your listing and it’s usually sync with your Google My Business page.
Embedding is easy to do. You search for your business name in the Google map found in the search bar area located on the upper left portion of the screen. You then click the share or embed map portion to finish the process. Google has emphasized the need for businesses to establish their online presence in 3rd party websites. In the case of a change in address, you need to update these listings to adhere to your current address.
Using the latter SEO techniques in addition to earning a wealth of customer reviews is surefire way of getting Google’s attention. A Google My Business page with significantly more reviews will give greater authority compared to those not having any reviews. This practice is in line with Google’s manner of providing the public with the most relevant search result, by ranking pages with the most reviews. This is just one of many variables with local SEO, but an important one.
If you have done all the changes but still noticed that your rankings have not gone up, you may need to build more citations to push it up. There are many ways to do it and that includes studying your competitors and the search market. You need to find out where your competitors are cited. If your business is not listed, add it. Google has often used citations as a means of providing the search engine with the most relevant business citations.
Virtually every local business seeks to rank higher in Google Maps. Attaining placement in the local Google Maps search result is major marketing tool. As a result, many local business seek actionable Google Maps SEO tips and strategies to improve their search rankings.