Google Maps Search Results
Google has 3.5 Billion searches per day & nearly 1/2 of them are local. (Google Maps) The top three organic, (free), results in Google Maps are called “the local pack.” These are by far the most valuable positions for any local business with at least one physical location.
Ranking signals for Google Map’s “local” pack search results are based on a large variety of ranking signals; most importantly, the proximity of the searcher to the business. (Geo location) This means that results in Google Maps will change based upon where the search originates. The results below the local pack are not impacted by proximity as much but because they are still part of page one Google results, therefore they still play a very important role.
Contact Leaning Tree Digital to see what can be done for your business.
Maximize Local Search Results
Below is just a sample of steps which can help improve search rankings for a brick & mortar business who wishes to attract local customers / clients. These are fairly standard steps that would likely hold even if there were a Google algorithm update after the publication of this page. However, none of the steps are a quick SEO fix. Forget the “set it & forget it” thinking! Once your website is published; optimizing your business to be competitive in local organic or organic search results is an ongoing task.
10-point Google Maps Checklist
#1. Establish & maintain a highly optimized website including structured data. Search engines should be able to easily crawl & understand site contents.
#2. Ensure Google My Business is fully populated with data, optimized using the correct labels, updated frequently with fresh posts & contains the correct business category.
#3. On website, setup a unique landing page for each of your physical locations.
#4. Determine your brand and ensure content info, (NAP), aligns exactly with how it appears on Google My Business. Remove duplicate or incorrect information.
#5. Establish backlinks to your site through high value citations from local directories, other businesses, the media & industry related websites.
#6. Develop in-depth keyword friendly content with searchers intent in mind; Google loves fresh content that is engaging.
#7. Ask for Google reviews; build authority as fierce competitor in your industry.
#8. Frequently check website performance to ensure it’s fast, engaging, and converting into calls & new customers. Behavioral signals matter!
#9. Stay on top of Google Algorithm Updates & Local SEO Ranking Factors.
#10. Behavioral & Social signals have value. Ensure visitors find what they are looking for, and become engaged with your content. Ensure social sites are connected to your website & also encourage engagement.
Each of the above requires a significant amount of time & attention to detail. The task of optimizing a business website for local search results goes further – beyond this list. I have yet to meet a business owner who has the time and dedication to do all of these things effectively, and efficiently on their own.
Is Local SEO For Every Business?
Yes, every business should take advantage of opportunities to appear in as many search results as possible. However, not every business can take advantage of ranking in “local pack” search results on Google Maps. This is because a businesses without a physical location can’t have a Google My Business Page; an integral part of local SEO and an “absolute” to appear in the local pack. For business models that involve a website, but no physical location, aim to appear in organic local search results that are displayed below the local pack. These results are more difficult to achieve. Start by gaining a better understanding of how local search results work. Then, understand the multifaceted needs of SEO to build a digital team that can help get the job done.