In this article, we are going to go over how to rank higher on Google Maps. Every week, we will run through a quick list of tasks that will help to improve our rankings for local search. Improved rankings will lead to more calls, website visits, leads, and customers.
The Quick Version
Log into your Google My Business account and do these three things:
- Add a photo
- Add a post
- Respond to reviews
The Complete Version
As mentioned in the Google My Business optimization article, your GMB listing is critically important to local SEO. For many local business searches (think “plumber irvine,” “dentist near me) the Google Map pack shows up above all of the normal organic results. This is very valuable online real estate and by following these steps, you will better position your business to rank in the top 3 in the Google map pack.
How to Rank Higher on Google Maps
Staying active on your Google My Business listing is one of the most important things you can do to help improve your rankings. Google likes to see activity on your account. One of the reasons we know this is that they track it and show you this in your insights. This includes reviews, Photos, and Posts. Each week, you will do three simple tasks to help increase and keep activity on your account.
1 – Upload a photo
2 – Add a post
3 – Respond to reviews
1 – Upload a Photo
Photos appear with your listing and can give clues to Google about where your work takes place. Photos can help customers better understand your business and strengthen your authority by providing proof of the work you do, your team, and branding.
One other little trick about photos is that many of them, especially if they were taken with a phone, are geo-tagged. Google can read this data and it helps to enforce your location and the locations of where you serve customers. This can be particularly helpful for businesses that are out on the road a lot (think plumbers, electricians, real estate agents). A plumber that has taken pictures of jobs all over your county may be seen as more credible in Google’s eyes, that this is, in fact, a real business that does work in all of these cities. The more Google trusts you, the better position you put yourself in.
What types of pictures should you take?
When you or your team are out on a job, snap a picture on location and upload it to your GMB profile.
Pictures can be of your team, of the work being done, before and after photos, of your office, and really of anything related to your business.
Where do I upload pictures?
Google My Business has an app that you can download and upload straight from there. This is probably the easiest way for most people to add a picture.
You can also add pictures through the desktop version at business.google.com.
When you are in your account, simply click on Photos and then on the blue “+” button in the top right corner.
2 – Add a New Google Post
Posts are another way that you can add content to your Google My Business page.
Posts can show up with your business in search results and are another tool to gain people’s attention.
You are welcome to posts much more than once a week, but at a minimum aim to post at least once a week.
What should I post?
Your posts can include offers, updates, events, and sometimes special updates. Any time you have a sale or special offer, create a post for it. Any time you are having an event, create a post for it. And then any time you just want to share something about your business (blog post, social media post, etc…) add it as an update.
How do I share a post?
Similar to adding a photo, you can do this through the mobile app or the desktop platform.
For the desktop version log into your account at business.google.com.
When you are in your account, click on posts and then on the corresponding post across the top of the screen or on the blue button in the bottom right corner.
3 – Respond to Reviews
Lastly, each week you will want to respond to your reviews. This not only can make a positive impression on prospective customers, but it also can be a positive signal to Google that you are a real, live business. And gets more activity happening on your account.
How should you reply?
If it is a positive review, you can thank them for their review and share your appreciation for them for using your business.
If it is a negative review, it is typically best practice to apologize and say you will message them privately to try and resolve the issue. And then, ideally, you actually go and do that.
Should I reply to every review?
I would say yes. At this point, I only see positives to replying to your reviews from both a Google standpoint and a customer standpoint.
How to reply to review?
On the desktop version, log into your account, click on “Reviews” and then click on “Reply” below the review that you would like to respond to.
As always, head over to the 5 Min SEO Facebook Group and post any questions you have there.
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