Although there are many other apps that can tell you directions, it’s undeniable that Google Maps is still one of the most useful tools not just for helping you get around but also for digital marketing. If you know how to utilize this powerful tool, it can significantly help attain your business goals.
Google Maps marketing is the optimization of your business’ presence on Google Maps and other Google apps. The more effective your optimization strategy is the more chances that your business will rank higher on search results for your business type in your service area.
Moreover, many customers are skeptical of local businesses with very little online presence. Fortunately, Google My Business provides an easy and fast way to get your business online.
Google My Business and Google Maps
Google Maps is an app that provides directions while Google My Business is an online directory. Your location may still appear on Google Maps even if you don’t do anything. However, the detailed information about your business will not show up unless you have it listed through your Google My Business listing.
Having an optimized Google My Business listing is necessary if you want to fully enjoy the benefits of Google Maps for digital marketing. With your Google My Business listing, people will see relevant information about your establishment such as your contact details, hours of operation, and reviews, all of which are important for their decision making.
Claim Your Business Listing
If your establishment is not yet listed, you’ll see “claim this business” or “own this business” in Google Maps. You should claim your business and undergo the verification process so that no one else will claim it. More importantly, claiming your business allows you to provide more details about your company to potential customers.
Google Maps Marketing Benefits
These are the top reasons why you should put your business on Google Maps
Attracts more customers
According to an article published by Forbes dated April 4, 2019, consumers use mapping products (or apps) 44 percent of the time when searching for a business. This information was based on IPSOS Study. And since Google Maps is one of the most widely used mapping apps, you would want your business to be seen on it.
Establishes consumer trust
Consumer trust can have a long-term effect on your business and having your complete details on Google Maps is an important step to building that trust. It is telling your consumer that your business is there to serve them.
Improves audience targeting
Your marketing efforts will be in vain if you are not attracting the right audience. With the right strategy, you can use Google Maps to reach your target customers. When you have a Google My Business listing, you’ll have plenty of space to add compelling descriptions, photos and videos that will help people get to know more about your establishment. Regardless if you have an established or small business, your listing will pave the way to reach your target audience.
Adding Your Business Through Google Maps
If you already have a Google My Business account or listing, people can already find and view your profile on Google Maps. However, aside from adding your establishment directly on Google My Business, you can also do it through Google Maps. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Sign in to Google Maps.
Step 2: Add your business by doing any of these steps:
- Do a quick search of your address in the search bar. From the left-hand side of the page, under Business Profile, click Add your business.
- Right-click anywhere on the map then hit the Add your business button.
- From the top-left navigation bar, click Menu, then click Add your business.
Step 3: Follow the rest of the instructions on the screen to finish signing up for Google My Business.
Claim your Business through Google Maps
Follow these directions to claim your business:
Step 1: Open Google Maps on your computer.
Step 2: Enter the business name on the search bar.
Step 3: Click the business name then select the correct name of your business.
Step 4: Click Claim this business and choose Manage now.
Step 5: You should then select your preferred verification option and follow the prompts on your screen to complete the process.
Remember that you need to verify your business profile so that it will be eligible to appear on Google Maps, Search engine, and other Google properties.
10 Pro Tips to Optimize Google Maps Marketing
After you set-up and verify your business, you can now start optimizing your listing.
1. Use a third-party app or tool.
On its own, Google My Business is a great app for small businesses and big businesses as it helps with marketing. However, you can do even more if you partner it with a third-party app or tool.
One of the limitations of Google My Business is that it will not tell how your competitors are performing or what strategies are working for them. With a tool such as GMB Crush, you can gain access to that information.
GMB Crush can help you maximize your use of Google My Business. In your GMB Crush dashboard, you can get insights into how other similar businesses in your service area utilize Google My Business to rank higher. You can analyze the categories they are using, how they structure their descriptions, the number of posts they make within a given time period, and more.
Nothing can make you more competitive in digital marketing than knowing what your competitors are already doing. That knowledge can be your starting point in planning your strategies to surpass their performance. GMB Crush will give you the necessary information you need.
2. Add more pictures and videos to your Google My Business Listing.
There are different types of photos you can add to your GMB profile. Your logo will help people easily find or recognize your business on Google Maps while your cover photo will give your brand some personality. You can also add category-specific photos to highlight your products or services.
Moreover, according to studies, videos have a much greater visual impact than photos so don’t miss out on adding more relevant videos to your profile.
Photos and videos can be added by the owners or businesses and customers. But regardless of who adds them, they can convey a lot of information about your business and can help improve your traffic.
When adding photos and videos, ensure that you follow Google’s content policy.
- Photos must be relevant and taken at your physical location. Do not upload images taken by other people.
- The photo should be in JPG or PNG format with a size ranging from 10 KB to 5 MB.
- Recommended resolution is 720 pixels tall, 720 pixels wide, and a minimum resolution of 250 pixels tall and 250 pixels wide.
- Of good quality without excessive use of filters or significant alterations
- The maximum duration is 30 seconds
- The file size is up to 75 MB with a resolution of 720p or higher
3. Manage your reviews proactively.
Reviews too are important. One of Google’s determining factors in the local ranking is prominence. Some businesses are just more prominent than others. But prominence isn’t just about popularity but it also takes into account positive reviews from customers. The more positive ratings and reviews you have, the better you’ll perform in the local ranking. That’s why it’s important to manage your reviews properly.
With the importance of positive reviews for online marketing, learn how to encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business. One way to do that is to just ask. Happy customers will be happy to give feedback about your products or services. Sometimes, you don’t even have to ask, they will automatically give it to you if you give them the best customer service experience.
You may also offer incentives to those who will leave reviews. Incentives can be in the form of a discount or coupon for their next purchase but don’t come across as too pushy.
4. Manage your posts.
Your posts can also help with your online marketing efforts. The more frequently you add posts to your Google My Business profile, the better you will rank on Google Maps. Your posts will tell Google how proactive you are at managing your listing and it will consider that information when ranking.
Many of your competitors probably already know this, so the question now is are you posting more frequently than them? GMB Crush conducts an audit on the competitor’s posting frequency so you’ll know exactly how many posts other competing businesses made, say, for the last 90 days. That’s a vital piece of information when strategizing the frequency of your postings.
Here are some important guidelines to remember when making marketing posts on your Google My Business listing:
- Posts that contain a phone number may be rejected.
- Your posts should be of high quality, with minimal spelling errors, gibberish words, gimmicky characters, and distracting content.
- Keep your posts respectful with no profane, obscene, and offensive languages or pictures.
- Only add links to websites you know and trust. Don’t add links that will redirect the users to phishing or pornographic websites among others.
- If your business offers services or products considered to be in the regulated industry, you can add posts but you can’t post anything related to regulated products or services.
- Make your posts family-friendly. Remembers that even minors can see your posts so don’t post explicit content.
5. Embed Google map on your business website
Another important marketing technique to rank higher on Google Maps is to have a Google map embedded on your website. Many business owners are already doing this on their Contact Us page. Doing so will tell Google that your business is where your Google My Business profile says it is. Make sure to use the same address that you have on your Google Maps business listing.
You can follow these steps to get started:
Step 1: Open Google Maps.
Step 2: Go to the street view or directions you want to embed.
Step 3: From the top-left side of the page, click Menu then hit the Share or embed map button.
Step 4: From the left of the text box, select the size that you prefer then copy the text from inside the box.
Step 5: Paste the text into your desired HTML page.
6. Be consistent with your business information particularly your address and contact details.
After you verify your Google My Business profile, one of the many things you need to do is to double-check the details you entered to make sure that they are correct and consistent. Inconsistency of business information especially with your address and contact details may cause confusion not just to your customers but also to Google.
If your business isn’t rewarded with high rankings on search results, it is more likely that Google doesn’t trust your business that much. Google wants that every website listed on the first page (especially those in the local 3-pack) are trustworthy to give users the best experience possible. And one of the many factors that Google considers to identify the trustworthiness of a business is the accuracy and consistency of information across your different business Google account.
For example, if the name of your business is N. P. Italian Resto, enter your business name on your Google My Business profile using the same format and without any alterations. The business name should also be identical across your different social media accounts and other online listings. The same goes for your business address, phone number, and other relevant information.
7. Use the local phone number in your Google My Business account.
Google is not really keen on toll-free numbers because more often, they are frequently used for spam. Instead, use local phone numbers that include the area code where your business is located. This will help website users verify that your local business is indeed located at your address. Google rewards local businesses that use local phone numbers.
8. Keep your business hours updated in your Google My Business account.
If you have experienced searching for a local business on Google, you might have already noticed how Google Maps business listings tell you the hours a local business is open or closed and the hours when they are opening or closing soon. If there are any changes to your hours of operation, you need to keep your Google My Business account updated.
Google Maps will rank local businesses higher if they have their hours updated. Doing so also prevents customers from going to your physical location or service area just to find out that the business is still closed.
9. Write a compelling business description.
The description of your business in Google Maps should provide your customers a big picture of your business. You should write it in a tone that reflects your brand’s personality to establish trust and a better connection with your customers. Be sure to also include relevant keywords in your description so that people can easily find them in Google search results.
A well-written business description can have a huge impact on your Google search results ranking. If other business players have more compelling and optimized descriptions, you are already out of the game. Fortunately, before that happens, GMB Crush can give you insights into how your competitors write their descriptions and if Google rewards them for that. That way, you can make the necessary improvements to your Google account descriptions.
10. Select the right business categories.
Properly categorizing your business also has an impact in terms of Google search results ranking. Select a category that best represents your core offerings as your primary category. If other categories are applicable, select them as secondary.
GMB Crush Takeaways
Large, medium and small business entities can utilize Google My Business to rank higher on Google Maps. However, at GMB Crush, we believe that an effective marketing strategy involves more than just having your entity listed on Google My Business.
To gain a competitive edge, you should also know and understand what your competitors are doing so that you can emulate or even improve the strategies that Google rewards them for.
GMB Crush provides an easy-to-use platform where you can strategize to win.
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