How To Show Up On Google Maps
August 1, 2022 , BY Eric Elliott
It’s a well-known fact that today, if you’re not on Google Maps, you practically don’t exist. Customers today use their phones for everything, from research to navigation. The most popular navigation app is Google maps, available on any Android device and through the Google search engine. When locals want something nearby, they go to Google. So if you want your venue to earn some of that sweet digital-to-real foot traffic, you’ll need to show up on Google Maps searches for local queries. But how?
Not only do you need to claim your business, you also need to build visibility. Even on Google Maps, there’s a reason you only see a few local business pins and not an overwhelming number when you skim the map – only a few top results show at a time. You’ll need to master your company’s strategy for Google Maps visibility to get to the top of your local industry.
Claim Your Business on Google Maps
The first step is to claim your business on Google Maps. If you haven’t already, type in your address and click the pin. You will find small text that says, “Is this your business?” Confirm this, and then go through the steps to verify your identity and ownership of the venue. This officially opens your Google My Business account and puts you on the map. Customers will now be able to find your store by name and address but not by other important keywords.
Adjust Your Pin to the Right Driveway
While on the map pin, make sure it’s pointing to your most customer-friendly driveway. If slightly off-location, Google has been known to frustrate customers by pointing them to a closed or non-existent route and driveway into your venue.
Give Every Piece of Your Business Profile
The next step, building your business profile, is absolutely essential. Here is where you will enter all the information that customers need to A) find your store with keywords and B) know they have found the right place. Fill out the basics, then every detail available to increase your chances of appearing on local search queries.
- Company Name
- Website Link
- Category and Sub-Categories
- Price Range
- Everything Else
Be very clear about your profile details. This is the primary way that local customers find you online. Your hours are referenced when they search for somewhere “open now.” Your price will influence where you appear when customers sort by price. Your categories – most importantly – determine if you appear for searches seeking restaurants, hardware stores, retail outlets, and so on.
Upload and Label Photos
Photos, photos, photos. While customers may eventually upload their photos, it’s always a good idea to “seed” your Google photo gallery with a few nice shots of the outside and inside of the venue. Get at least one curb shot where you can see the entire building or entrance. Then get several of the interior customer spaces, documenting the type of experience new customers can expect.
If you have a menu, photograph the menu board and each beautiful food dish. If you have photo-friendly services, include several of those in the gallery. Tag each to make easy category sorting.
Most importantly, label your photos. Make sure each one is uploaded with a descriptive name. Why is this important? Not only do people shop with their eyes, but your photos may also bring in more leads when they appear on relevant image searches based on the keywords in their titles.
Set Up Booking and Service Widgets
Don’t forget the widgets! GMB (Google My Business) makes some interactions with your customers quick, easy, and automatic. Hotels can quick-book through Google Maps, for example. And now, restaurants can streamline customers to order online through Google as well. Book consultation appointments, and offer immediate delivery; GMB widgets give new and returning customers a one-click option to head further down the conversion funnel.
These tools have also come a long way in a few years. Google is working to provide a unified UI for categorised transactions.
Encourage Customers to Leave Google Reviews
Recent, Positive, and Frequent
Reviews are the best way to increase your visibility on the map. Not just high reviews, but frequent, recent reviews. A steady stream of reviews is more powerful than two perfect five-stars. A steady stream of high reviews will quickly get you on the recommended list for your neighborhood.
Inviting Customers to Review
So encourage your customers to leave Google reviews. Weave it into your brand with regular, casual mentions that you are a pro-review brand. Back that up by staying responsive and friendly – you can and should reply to many Google reviews. Include an invitation to review in your email receipts or follow-up emails. Weave it into your post-service interview sequence. You can also let customers know that if they compliment a staff member, you’re paying attention.
Responding and Providing Support to Reviews
Positive and descriptive reviews, especially with photos, are the most influential. Recent reviews are important, so customers (and Google) know what to expect from your business right now. Remember to thank customers for their reviews and also to provide after-service support by answering questions and resolving complaints. Sometimes, you can even turn a negative review into a positive one with your professional response to low-star complaints.
Answer Q&A Questions to Build a Google FAQ
Keep an eye on questions asked in Google’s Q&A section. Many companies seed this section with a few FAQ questions and answers as a tidy method for early customer self-service through the Google Maps interface.
When customers ask questions, build careful and highly useful answers that will be posted and referenced publicly on your Google business page. This great section provides useful information to current and future customers regarding your business and services.
Google Maps is a powerful tool for local businesses. It automatically sorts results based on the user’s location and desire for directions. Any business with a steady and positive online presence will become a relevant and recommended result on Google Maps. To do this, you can hone your Google My Business profile and inspire a steady stream of positive reviews. But it starts with a high-performing website ready to intake those Google Maps leads when they investigate your brand and shop.
My marketing and creative teams help serious businesses build visibility and results through excellent web development, SEO, and digital marketing services. For the services, your business needs to become a mainstay of the local community, text me at 843-279-5843.