Posted on 03/15/2017 at 08:00 AM
Google Maps has a user-base of over 1 billion active users, making it the most popular navigation software available. Most will agree, standard Google Search is king when it comes to searching for information, but when it comes to finding a local business, users loyally turn to Google My Business, a cluster of local business listings, each including its own handy Google Map, located at the very top of search results. The prominent location of these listings offers valuable exposure, but unfortunately, many businesses fall short when it comes to displaying here. Usually, it is because they don’t understand how ranking within the local section is determined. Read on to discover 5 mistakes your business could be making that are holding you back in Google Maps.
You’re Disregarding 3rd Party Listings:
You probably already know that Google crawls the web. But did you know that Google actually uses the information gathered from 3rd party listing platforms to make decisions about where you’ll be placed among other business listings in Google Maps? It’s true. The information you publish (or don’t publish) to other listing platforms like Yelp! or Facebook can actually impact where you display within Google Maps. So if your Google Maps listing isn’t ranking as highly as you’d like, check and make sure you have claimed, verified and optimized your listing info on other 3rd party listing sites, and that the information is consistent across the board.
You Hear Crickets on Your Facebook Page:
Speaking of Facebook, your level of activity on the platform will also influence your position within Google Maps. We see countless Facebook business pages that haven’t posted content in months. Not only does this make it look like your brand is unmanaged, but it could also be preventing you from earning high visibility within Google Maps. The data Google receives from Facebook will indicate if your brand is well managed and up to date and it will be considered when it comes to ranking your listing in Google Maps.
You’ve only Listed one Business Category:
Google will only allow you to specify one primary business category from your Google My Business dashboard, however, you can actually add up to 4 more secondary categories. Take advantage of this and think about all of the services you offer. Then, when you are editing your business information, carefully choose from the options provided by the Google My Business dashboard and select the categories that best cover your scope of product or service offerings.
You Don’t Actively Collect Online Business Reviews:
Google My Business provides the ability for users to leave reviews on a listing, which enables a rating to display in Google Maps. Now, many business owners are often cautious of online reviews, and for good reason. Negative reviews can damage businesses’ reputation. However, the fact is that online reviews are here to stay, so putting some time and strategy into collecting positive reviews is a must. Additionally, the number of positive reviews left for a business is considered when Google ranks your listing in Google Maps, which means it’s wise to make this feature work for you.
So how do you go about getting reviews? The first step is to ask for them! Whether you sell products or services, make sure you send clients and customers a post-transaction survey to gauge their satisfaction. For those that provided positive feedback, send a follow-up requesting that they share their experience on Google.
You Haven’t Included Photos on Your Google My Business Listing:
No Google My Business Listing is complete without a profile, logo, and cover Image. Yet you’d be surprised how many listings fail to include all of the above. Photos help users to identify your brand, understand your purpose, and find your businesses’ location after they leave the web to visit your storefront. Be sure you are choosing photos which will make it easy for searchers to identify you and your business.
Need assistance getting your business to appear on Google Maps? Our Internet Marketing Team can help! Contact us today!