If you have a local business, you know how important it is to show up near the top of a Google search. Being a top result in a Google Maps search can make a significant impact on your business, because potential customers find what they’re looking for (read: you) quickly.
85% of people search for local businesses online (Reach Local).
Follow these steps to get started:
1) Claim your listing
In order to show up on Google Maps, you need to let Google know you’re there—both online and in real life. You need your business name, address, phone number on the home page of your website (preferably), and ensure the information is listed exactly the same in your Google My Business (GMB) Listing. Don’t have GMB set up yet?
Visit https://www.google.com/business/ and click “Manage now”
Fill out as much information as humanly possible on your GMB page. You’ll have an opportunity to list your hours, contact information, location, services, and more. Add a link where people can schedule with you under “Appointment URL” and categorize your business by adding any relevant tags for your service or product.
Are you a dentist? Add tags for all the services people may type into Google when they’re looking for “Dentist near me.”
2) Clean up your website
Google rewards consistency. Be sure the way you list your information on your website and your citations matches exactly — right down to Rd. versus Road. It can also help your search results if you embed a Google Map on your website, showing your location right on Google Maps. It reinforces to Google that your location is the specific spot for your business, and it makes it very easy for your customers to find you.
Make sure the content on your website is relevant to your customers, navigable, and easy to read.
3) Ask for five stars!
More five star reviews means more customers. Ask your customers to rate you on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and industry-specific consumer info sites.
86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34) (BrightLocal).
4) Keep going
Getting a few five star reviews is a great start — keep going! The more positive reviews you have coming in on a consistent basis, the better. This is true in the eyes of Google and your customers. Not only do businesses with higher, consistent positive reviews rank higher in search results, it also plays a massive role in your customers’ decision making process.
40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past 2 weeks – up from 18% last year (BrightLocal).