The Exact Strategy I Use To Rank #1 In Google Maps
Google Maps is one of the most important pieces of your online marketing campaign. The reason your Maps listing can be so beneficial to your business is because it is the first organic listing that shows up when you search for a term in Google. In this article I will show you exactly how I go about Optimizing and ranking a Google Maps Listing.
These are the topics we will cover:
- Setting Up Google Maps
- Optimizing Google Maps
- Business Listings For Google Maps
- Google Maps Citations (Advanced Technique)
- Google Plus Optimization
Setting Up Google My Business
To set up your map listing you need to visit Google My Business (see image below) and Login using a gmail account or create a new account. You are going to need all of your basic information such as Business Name, Address, Phone Number and you have to tell Google if you service clients at their address or your own. That last question determines if your business address shows up on the maps listing. For instance, if you are a home based business and you do not want people showing up at your house it might be in your best interest to click the box suggesting you service people at their address.
The last thing you have to do is Have Google Mail your Post Card. Simply confirm your business info and click "mail" or "phone" as an option to verify your address. This can take between 5-10 business days to arrive at your location.
Verify Your Listing
To verify your listing When your post card arrives in the mail, log back in and navigate to Not Published Locations > Manage Location. Simply Click Verify (see image below) and enter the 5 digit pin.
Time to Start Search Optimizing your Maps Listing
This is where the Magic Happens!! Time to rank your maps listing.
Preface: To be completely candid, by following this process you might not show up in the top 3 spots immediately. But in most markets like Folsom CA, if you do this correctly, you will end up in the top ten instantly. Over the next 30-60 days, by following the next 3 steps, you will have a top ranking maps listing.
Step 1: Fill Out Everything!!
Google uses a set of questions and answers to serve the most relevant information. case and point...If you only answer 5-10 questions and your competition answers 8-10 they have a higher probability to rank above you in the search rankings because of the data provided. That is why filling everything out is so important.
This is the info you need to fill out first:
- Pictures: Profile, Interior, Exterior, At Work, Team, Identity.
- Hours of Operation
Pro Tip: When you are uploading photos for your profile you should name to photos in a descriptive fashion.
An example would be if you are a painter and the picture is of you painting a house, I would re-save the photo painting-house.jpg, if it is a picture of your crew I would call the picture painting-crew.jpg. Using keywords is suggested but don't over do it.
NO WEBSITE, NO PROBLEM
Earlier this year Google launched their Google My Business Website Builder. This is a free web builder that will host your info, phone number, photos & content for free. Check out our free business site: http://seo-folsom.business.site.
Business Listings For Google Maps
Business listings are sites that afirm the information displayed in your Google My Business Listing. My favorite analogy for this is a voting contest. The more people that say who you are, what you do and where you do it the higher probability that this is true. The same goes with your business. Having this info on the top review sites are accomplishing that same task. You can read more about Building your Foundation in a recent article called, Small Business Marketing, a Roseville CA how-to guide.These are the Top 10 Reputation Websites you need to create a fill out completely.
- Google My Business ( Google Maps )
- Bing Places ( Bing Maps )
- Angie’s List
- Four Square
- Hot Frog
Google Maps Citations (Advanced Technique)
Google maps citations are something that you do not see talked about much. Most people aren't sure what they are, even in the marketing industry. They simply have no idea how they work or if they work. I can attest that in a reasonable number map listing are definitely a ranking factor to an extent. A maps citation is basically a link/pin/bookmark to your maps profile. This can be created by creating a map in google.com/maps.Example Link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?ll=38.68036668753222%2C-121.16447199999999&spn=7nisbijaky762&z=18&msa=0&iwloc=34346533f425&mid=1lLvMaZoLUcYfn5VSSdHvOfp3u6A
Each Created Map has a Title, Description & Address. These are saved map pins/bookmarks that you can share with any number of people. See image below. You can have friends, family or employees do this or you can find someone that provides these services on a website like fiver or upwork.
To do this go to https://google.com/maps. Click the little 3 lines in the corner of the screen to open the menu, click create map, and fill out the map similar to the image below.
Create your Google+ Business Account
Log into the same Google account you used to create and verify your GMB Profile. Click the circle in the top right of your screen (Red "M" in image above) and scroll down till you see the name of your Business. If your business does not display, click "All your Brand Accounts" and navigate to the correct profile. On the left side of the screen you will see an option that says Enable Google+.
Congratulations! Search for your business now ranks in Google!
Fill Out Your Business Google+ Profile Completely
Now that you have a functioning Google+ account there is a number of things that need to be added. Just like when you were filling out your GMB Profile, you do not want to leave any of this info blank.
The first 3 things you are going to do is:
- Profile Picture
- Background Picture
- Tagline (use all 140 characters - use keywords and services)
Add Content & Links to your About Me Section
To navigate to the About Me section of your Google+ profile you need to click Manage Page on your Profile where you just added the profile image, background image, and tagline. Click Profile > Edit Profile > Manage Page and you should see the image below.
In this section you want to write 200-500 words of content about your business. In this content you want a services section, about section and if you have a website you wan to include links to the pages each service corresponds with. aka If you do interior painting, you should have a link to the interior painting page on your website. Be as descriptive as possible.
Write a Post & Add a Collection
- Create Collection (Industry Specific)
- Write a Post
- Follow and Get Followed by as many profiles as possible