To rank in Google Maps in 2022, it is important to outdo your competition when it comes to several ranking factors Google is looking at.
With these 6 powerful tips you will be able to increase your ranking in no time!
The first tip that we’ll cover today has nothing at all do with how content should look like but rather what keywords are used by visitors when they search locally. This can help businesses track their performance as well as target potential customers who may need your services.
6 Powerful Tips To Ranking Higher in Google Maps:
- Optimize Your Google Business Profile
- Build Backlinks
- Add subcategories to your GBP
- Build Niche Relevent Citations
- Optimize Your Website
- Increase Your Domain Authority
If you run a physical business you have an edge that most internet businesses don’t have. You have a place people can go to and find on the street, a real front window and door that can let people walk in and out. A physical space is different from just a website, but you still need a website to function in today’s field of business, no matter what it is you do.
A physical business that no one knows about can be just as bad as a business with no storefront at all. It’s possible to do business, but if your main product or service requires person to person interaction you need to let people know where you are. How you choose to advertise yourself and send your business up in profits or down into closure. So how do you stand out on the street and get people in the door?
You need to leverage all of your options, starting with the most present one. Not your storefront, not the space between the door and the road. You need to be seen online. When people want to go somewhere, they look it up on their smartphones, which means relying on directions handled by Google Maps. If your store isn’t on Google Maps, they’ll never find it. And if it is, you need to make sure it’s one of the top ranking places when people search for your product or service.
Here are six tips that you should follow to increase your presence on the internet and stand out as the most visible business on the block.
1. Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile is one of the many free tools that Google offers to people, allowing them to claims business and its location, as well as offer a quick glimpse of information about it. This will show up on Google searches for your business and will show up on a Google Maps view when someone sets a route to find where you are.
This is the first thing most people will see when searching for your business for the first time, so you should make sure it’s full of as much comprehensive info as you can fit. Starting with the name and a short informational blurb about what you do and sell. Then, the location, which is automatically added into Google Maps for everyone. Hours of operations, photos of the business and what’s inside, and even customer reviews pulled from Google’s own network; these are all things you can put up to give customers a quick read through who you are and what they can expect when they come by.
To start, verify your business through Google’s business portal. Once you’re verified, you can build up your GBP and update it as you continue to grow.
2. Build Backlinks
Having your own website is a first step toward online advertising. But how do you spread awareness to your web presence? One easy way and potentially cheap way is through backlinks. Backlinks are any hyperlinks that link to your website from an external source. They are links that show up on other websites that reference your business. One good way of doing this is through review aggregates like Yelp or LinkedIn. People who leave positive impressions about your business can reference it and direct people to your website.
You want reliable, positive backlinks, not just random hyperlinks with no context on long, meaningless lists. Backlinks work best when combined with content. Blogs about local stores, hotspots or communities are a good place to get backlinks. Research if there are any kind of community organized websites or webrings and see what you can do to get some content on their website. Plazas and streets have their own web presence as businesses which can draw customers in who want an overview of what all they can reach in the area.
There’s no need to spend a lot of money on advertisements. Form a strong network with other websites and content creators and generate more online traffic.
3. Add Subcategories To Your GBP
One of the small, but important, features of your GBP is the category of your business. This is essential for sorting your business and ordering it in online searches. The category system includes thousands of different recommended and acknowledged business categories to help with differentiation in ranking. It goes down to the specifics of what each business offers and specializes in. Four dentists in one city can all be of different categories. Same with restaurants. It’s to help people who are looking for one particular thing. Categories helps them pick you out of a crowd of similar businesses.
There is a rule with categories that isn’t explained clearly. When organizing your GBP, you can pick up to 10 categories that each fit to what you offer. But, if you pick too many, your search engine optimization (SEO) will suffer, because you’ll be competing against more businesses, and your keyword search results will be diminished. You want to pick the least, most important categories, and then add on subcategories to specify them.
Be descriptive, but limit yourself to the most important descriptors that help explain your business. Consider how you use Google to find things online and ask yourself what you’d search for if you wanted to find your business in the crowd.
4. Build Niche Relevant Citations
The wide open internet marketplace is impossible to stand out on. The world, itself, is so big and cities and towns are so large that standing out in them can be hard by default. An independent restaurant can’t compete with the sheer volume of traffic and visible attraction as a big box store or a chain restaurant. You can’t rise to the top of the entire internet, so you need to diversify into niche citations.
Niche citations are references made to your business from relevant industry web content aggregates. Places like Yelp categorize all businesses in an area, so you can stand out among local businesses, but places like Grubhub specialize exclusively in restaurants. These help boost your local ranking, which isn’t the same as a general SEO ranking. Local rankings help you show up on the map. Instead of referring people to national, widespread chains, your business can show up easier if they are in the same area when they search for it.
Being internet famous doesn’t help if your customers can’t reach you. Focus on your local presence, even on the web, to draw in customers from the area.
5. Optimize Your Website
Your GBP is the first thing most people will see when looking into who you are and what you do. The next big thing they will want to see is your website. Businesses can no longer prosper without their own exclusive web presence. Even if your business is simple and homely, or if you think you’re good enough with just a Facebook page, you’re wrong. You need a full package when it comes to internet presence, and that includes a website.
Websites are held up by content and maintenance. You need to put new things on your website for people to see, information relevant to your business and what you are bringing to the community. Make your website a place people will visit often, even well after they’ve found you, to stay up to date on how things are running. You can even expand your business to online sales, set up online orders and do online consultations through web services. People looking for local help will stay local, even if they end up doing business from their homes.
Include all the steps above into your website as well to make it a prominent and important center of information for your business.
6. Increase Your Domain Authority
Domain Authority is the rating and ranking of your website based on its backlinks. Establishing a solid network of backlinks is one important factor to your web success, but bad backlinks will hurt your reputation worse than what good backlinks can repair. You need to make sure your connections are solid and stable within your community. A DA is an estimate of where your page may be found when people search for it using certain keywords. Improving it means moving up closer to the top of the page, or to the earlier pages in a long list of results.
You want your DA to be high so more people can find you. It’s mostly influenced by your backlinks, and how people find your website in the first place. Conduct a link audit, where you make sure your links are all valid and ethical. Some advertisers may sell you backlinks which they populate on unreputable or even dangerous websites, which makes your website look complicit in their bad actions. It’s better to have a few safe, stable links than a large number of bad, potentially damaging ones.