Have you ever tried asking for driving directions to a specific establishment using the free Google Maps app?
This feature works like a route planner and you’ll find it useful if you want to reach your destination fast!
Google Maps driving directions allow you to find the fastest route with minimal traffic and possible roadblocks.
For a business owner, getting more navigation or driving directions requests is also a sign of good business.
While phone calls are a great indicator of people who are interested in your business, requests for navigation and driving directions through Google Maps send even stronger behavioral signals that there are potential customers who want to see or visit your business.
Restaurants, stores, shops and other businesses with brick-and-mortar locations can greatly benefit from Google’s driving directions.
How Google Maps Driving Directions Work
Google Maps is a free app that uses the Internet to connect to a GPS navigation system. Once connected, users can then get turn-by-turn instructions on how to go to a given destination.
But before users can get the driving directions, they will have to find your business first on the maps or via Google searches.
On the maps app, potential customers will be able to see your GMB profile which contains information about your business. They can also look at photos and videos of what you have available as well as read reviews that were left by other people who visited before them.
All these items play a role in how much weight Google puts on each ranking factor (indirect Local SEO ranking factors) so it’s important not to neglect any one piece!
Once convinced that you are the business they are looking for, users can simply click the Directions icon on your profile. Google Maps will then display a possible route or routes from their current location to where your business is.
The maps app driving directions include information such as the different routes, live traffic or real-time traffic information, mode of transportation available (such as by car, train or bus), and the estimated time it takes to reach the place by walking, public transport, car or other available modes of transit.
Driving Directions as a Ranking Factor
Back in late August 2017, some Googlers presented their findings at a conference entitled “HyperLocal Directions Based Ranking Of Places,” where they investigated the possibility using driving directions logs from google maps as rank factor when it comes to local searches.
The research involved analyzing information collected over time by both humans and Google’s own algorithms.
The researchers presented the results and said that:
👉There was a “clear correlation” between driving directions and number of reviews
👉Driving directions can be an excellent indicator to rank places
👉Driving request direction can be an excellent indicator of how the listing’s sentiment swings from time to time
Google is looking to take a more detailed approach with their local search ranking processes.
If they know the number of driving directions that have been executed, it can calculate how many reviews a business should be getting in order to rank well for certain keywords.
By using this information they would for example potentially soon identify suspicious review spam from SEO’s in their rankings.
At GMB Crush, we believe that this observation makes sense given what we found out from other sources pertaining to behavior patterns of internet searchers in general.
Get More Driving Directions Requests
Understanding how driving directions work is crucial to identifying the best strategies to attract more potential customers to get directions to your locations. We rounded up several tips to help you.
Make Your Listing Specific
It’s important to note that most requests for driving directions typically come from Search results clicks. If your business is on top of the 3pack search results, the greater the chance that your profile will get clicks.
But getting your business to show up on top of the search results is easier said than done. It entails having an effective search engine optimization strategy.
One such strategy is to make your listing specific.
If your business is an Italian Restaurant, indicate it in your listing rather than just saying “restaurant.”
Choose a primary category that best matches your line of business. As much as possible, choose also some relevant secondary categories as it helps Google better understand your business for ranking purposes.
Don’t change your business name with the intent of emulating a three-pack ranking from Google my business!
Focus instead on being unique and recognizable in order to compete against other local competitors who have been around longer than you have.
Before any name change on your GMB, remember that:
👉From a user perspective, it’s annoying to see all the results on an app pack appear under one umbrella. This can result in less engagement rates over time as people grow tired of seeing similar items.
👉By changing your GMB’s name you are lowering way down the number of brand searches that Google could count and recognize in your favor, recognizing your niche as a very well-established market leader. Because of your generic broad name, Google likely will hedge its search results with businesses other than yours just in case the person wasn’t searching for their business.
Do you need to run a quick GMB Audit?
Grab our GMB Audit template or install the GMB Crush Chrome extension and find out just how your competitors are optimizing their primary and additional categories, as well as what order those categories occur!
Add quality Photos
Based on Google data, customers are 42 percent more likely to get driving directions requests if your Google My Business profile features good quality photos.
The photos help make an impression on your potential customers. If you are a restaurant business, posting photos of the food you serve will potentially whet the cravings of those who see it. And who knows, their next step might be to click the Directions icon.
One of the most impacting things on GMB is your cover picture. Pay attention as Google will randomly pick up a low quality photo if you don’t pay close enough care to it.
To push google to pick up your chosen cover image, add it as the top banner on your free google my business site!
The ideal recommended Google My Business cover photo size is 1024 x 576 pixels. Google used to require that cover photos adhere to a 16:9 aspect ratio. They could be a minimum of 480 x 270 pixels and a maximum of 2120 x 1192 pixels.
Provide the social proof needed to inspire consumer trust
Updating your address on Google My Business profile is as important as updating your phone number.
Those who get directions to your location will never find you if you have listed the wrong address.
The best way to increase your driving request direction over your listing is by using a variety of strategies.
Here are 4:
1) Leveraging mobile interactions
With the growth of these technologies (ex: whatsapp and sms), it’s imperative that you keep up with them in order to remain competitive and engage effectively with your customers through their preferred channels!
In addition, a mobile Google search for driving directions can provide more information than a desktop one because it learns of your location by way of Wifi or cell tower triangulation.
The best part about using smartphones is Google’s ability to collect data on you as they go, and use that very same knowledge in order to serve up relevant advertisements! So make sure you take advantage of this by letting your clients engage with the given driving direction link leading them straight back to your location.
2) Send a driving request link via mail
You are just a few clicks away from sending your client with their driving request link. This will allow them to contact you easily and remember it for future occasions.
Clients love the ease of using the links, especially when booking an appointment with someone.
Here how you can grab and personalize your driving request url:
👉Step 1: Search for your location and click right over the “directions” button.
👉Step 2: Now that you’ve your driving request direction link, shorten it up using bitly. To personalize the url and make it more memorable just like we do in our example below!
3) Add Driving Requests link on all of your CTA’s
Make it easier for your audience to find you with the Driving Requests link on all of your CTA’s. Whether you have a Facebook page or website, include driving request direction links in case one is busy- this will boost traffic and Driving Requests score from relevant local IP addresses!
4) Gain Driving Request Direction from quality City pages SEO
👉This strategy has changed many businesses and continues to fuel exponential growth in clients who are effectively deploying City Page strategies, such as: 1) Targeting surrounding cities and markets; 2) Driving sales from all over the areas that surround yours;
🤔 How? 😭
😎By prioritizing topics relevant to specific locations with tailored insights about what each city wants most!
⭐Step 1: The first step is to find a hotel near you. If the Overview tab has enough info, then click over “more about location.” Otherwise, scroll down and take note of all the information that appears under The Location section on your left-hand side: distance from airport; major landmarks nearby (if any); type of neighborhood; public transportation options available within 500 feet or less).
⭐ Step 2: The next step is to start breaking down the details of your targeted location into: a) neighborhood b) things to do c) airport d) public transport. For each section, copy and paste the information you have found so far in some notes on Google Docs or an Excel spreadsheet (or whichever works best for you).
This is the original post picture from our Facebook Group. It looks like it would be a great place to hang out! 😎😂
⭐ Step 3: Now that you’ve created your business’s location pages, it’s time to add valuable geo-mentions into each page. Mirror what Google has chosen as the most relevant information surrounding your main/or closest locations and see where this leads!
⭐ Step 4: In order to create the best possible SEO content, it’s necessary for you to explore your GMB insights data. This step will provide additional information on top neighborhoods that generate high volumes of driving directions requests which are vital for quality geo-targeted coverage.
⭐ Step 5: Create driving directions from the most prominent spots in your local area and embed them in your city pages. This will not only boost engagement metrics but also provide the end user with a real source of data that can be handy!
⭐ Step 6: Allow a copywriter to access your excel file so that they can edit the content. Make sure you rewrite all of it, including any collected data from your spreadsheet in order for everything to be fresh and engaging.
Utilize GMB Crush
One of the effective ways to get more directions requests is to rank higher on Google Maps, and GMB Crush can help you achieve this goal.
Our platform is designed to enable you to have a competitive edge, especially in the local search results.
The higher your ranking is, the more potential customers you can attract to visit your Google listing.
And if you have a fully optimized listing, you can convince more people to check your products or services by visiting your business location. From there, the Google Maps app driving directions will take care of bringing those people to you.
Although there are many other apps that run on a GPS navigation system that can also tell driving directions, Google Maps is still undeniably one of the most popular tools available.
Google Maps doesn’t just help people get around a city or community but it also helps bring people to businesses.
If you can utilize the Google Maps app to your advantage, it can significantly impact your business’s success. And this is where GMB Crush can help you!
SEO Lover, my motto is Action Over Words.