Improving your Google Maps search rankings is a great way to attract quality sales leads. Recent studies show that close to 90 percent of shoppers consider the internet an invaluable tool for finding shops and services. A good online presence thus becomes critical for business success.
Why Go Local?
In recent years, there has been a steady mushrooming of local directory and mapping services in response to the growing importance of the internet in deciding how people shop and entertain themselves. Today, most people use these services at least a couple of times a month to look for businesses offering their favorite products and services.
Shoppers use services like Google Maps or Yahoo Local to find the closest movie theatres, dentists, pet shops, jewelers, and so on. Many services also offer clients the chance to write and read reviews of the businesses. Reviews have become a major tool in influencing where, when, and how people shop.
Optimizing Your Google Maps Listing
Make sure your website has been updated with your full business address. All address rows must be filled, including the zip code, street address, city, state, and country. Check and double check each line, since errors can often lead to rejection and weeks of delay. A quick tip: make sure to stress your proximity to prominent local landmarks. A lot of shoppers tend to use these when entering their search queries, entering queries like “book store near XYZ University.” Include the nearby landmarks in your business listing to pull in more listings.
Spend some time deciding what to enter for your company information. It has been noticed that businesses that include product keywords in their company title tend to get a higher Google Maps ranking. For example, a web design company called ‘Smart Art’ will probably receive a higher local search ranking if the owner entered the company description as ‘Smart Art web design’ instead of entering just ‘Smart Art.’ Take the time to brainstorm the local keywords that you can use for the entry.
Encourage customers to leave their reviews and ratings on websites. Do not be afraid of a poor review. These are often excellent opportunities to improve your business. Besides, even a less than positive listing is better than none.
Local mapping and directory services like Google Maps are some of the latest and most effective tools for ensuring a strong business presence in your local online community. Consult a SEO specialist today for more ways of improving your local search rankings.