We talked about this in detail our GMB Optimization article, but having your GMB listing optimized for local searches is a crucial first step. Fill it out 110% with as much information as possible.
We talked about how to claim and optimize your Google My Business listing; you want to go in and follow that process.
Now the second one is establishing a consistent NAP, or Name, Address, and Phone across the entire internet.
This is crucial because it establishes trust in Google’s eyes as a business. If you have different phone numbers and addresses spread out across directories across the internet, this all ties back to your Google Maps listing and could hurt its ranking potential.
There is a wide range of different places and data providers which Google looks at to determine who you are as a company.
We talked about directories and citations earlier. Getting listed in all of these places is crucial but their are some best practices to be aware of.
Use your actual company name
Don’t use 800 numbers, it makes you seem national, not local, and local is what gets you ranked in Google Maps.
Use your actual physical business location. You cannot use a PO Box or Virtual Office as your listing address. This will likely get you banned on Google Maps.
Upload related pictures and videos if possible on all directory sites.
Keep your service categories and hours consistent.
Use the correct version of your website URL - if you use the https:// protocol (WHICH YOU SHOULD!) make sure it uses https in your links, not http:.
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the content that’s on your homepage and across your website is a huge factor in ranking within Google Maps.
It starts with your GMB landing page (the website URL you link to from your Google My Business listing). More often than not, this is going to be your homepage.
If your primary service is hospice care and you’re located in Chicago, your homepage better revolve around hospice care in Chicago.
However, all of those other services like personal care and types of services will come into play because if you have an entire page devoted to hospice care in Chicago and your competitors do not, you better believe you’re going to rank ahead of them in Google Maps for that search keyword.
Make sure your Title tags and Headers on the page include your main keywords and synonyms on them.
You should embed a map of your business from Google Maps within the footer of your website. (Or at least have in image of it that hyperlinks to the Google Maps URL of your business) This creates strong local relevance ties.
Schema is code that is recognized by search engines. By implementing schema for your hospice care business along with the address & phone again in the footer, this can again give a strong local signal to Google.
Local, local, local. That’s what maps is. Showing local businesses. When doing link building, you should get as many locally relevant links as possible.
We talked about this earlier in that if you belong to local associations, get a link! If you can get a post written up in the local newspaper about your company, get a link!
These are strong relevancy signals to Google to tell them that you deserve to be in Google Maps.
We mentioned above about creating more granular unique service pages targeting cities and neighborhoods that you serve that are outside of the main business location area.
Having content about these nearby cities on your website is another strong correlation to Google that you’re a great choice to list in Google Maps for searches within that area.
We have found that getting tons of positive Google reviews on your listing is definitely a ranking factor. If not directly related, it’s because there’s more clicks to your listing when your review stars stand out on the maps compared to your competitors.
Make an effort to get as many reviews as possible. This shows trust to Google and will help with building your maps reputation. Also, make sure you reply to each and every review within your Google My Business dashboard. This can make a huge difference to show that your listing is active.
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