Google Maps is arguably the most important part of search results your business should be appearing in. It has everything the average consumer is looking for. Location, hours, reviews, important links, images, and more! It’s likely users don’t even make it to a company’s website before making a purchase decision. However, this doesn’t mean that your website doesn’t matter. We’ll cover that later.

What Google Looks For

Let’s discuss 5 of the most important ranking factors Google considers when deciding which business should rank the highest:

• Is The Business Profile is Claimed, Completed, and The Basic Info is Consistent Across The Web
• Keywords in The Business Name
• Location of The Business
• Company’s Reviews
• Website Associated with The Listing

Claim Profile, Complete Info, and Make Sure Info Consistent Across The Web

A quick tip when it comes to claiming your location. You can request a phone call in some circumstances or receive a post card in the mail.

Completing the information for your location is also really important. Make sure that you have all of the basic information completed as well as any other relevant info that would be helpful to Google users.

It’s important to make sure that your information is consistent across the Web. Especially on the sites listed here and other industry specific websites. This is why it’s important to add your information to Google My Business first and then use the identical information in all other directories. Inconsistencies in even something as insignificant as a one hour difference in your business operating hours could lower your ranking.

Keywords in The Business Name

When adding a business name to your google location, you should keep the following in mind. Use your full business name and not any shortened versions. Use business keywords if possible. For instance, if you are a dry cleaning company named “Lucky Wash” then you should make your business name “Lucky Wash Dry Cleaning”. However, don’t get too wordy with your business name because it could raise red flags in Google’s system.

Location of The Business

There really isn’t an opportunity to “optimize” your location but it is worth noting that Google does significantly consider your distance from the user’s current location. However, you have an opportunity to ensure that the pin on Google maps will navigate users directly to your front door.

Company’s Reviews

Now let’s talk about managing reviews.
To generate more reviews, make sure to let all happy customers know about your Google location and the importance of them providing feedback through the review system. You should also respond to any and all reviews. Keep in mind that you should respond to them professionally, especially to the negative reviews.

The location of your business is currently the most important ranking factor. Make sure that your business address is public and that you added a service area if it’s relevant for your business. Also, take a look at the “pin” on Google maps to ensure it’s located correctly on the map. The location of the pin is exactly where Google Maps will direct a person when they request directions from Google.

Website Associated With The Business

While people may not ever make it to your website because they have already seen your hours, reviews, phone number and directions to visit your location on Google Maps, your website still plays a large role in the location’s ranking. Your website should be a high quality site that’s responsive and loads quickly. Also make sure that you have a solid keyword strategy and your location on Google Maps has been embedded on your site.

Other Tips to Rank Higher

Finally, some things to keep in mind on your efforts to improve your maps ranking. First, the algorithm is always changing and you need to monitor it accordingly. In addition, every business is different and so is the strategy to optimize your business’ location. Also, managing the location is not a one time effort. It needs to be updated and optimized on a regular basis. Lastly, don’t be discouraged because of a negative review. In fact, many users are skeptical of locations that only have perfect reviews.

If you would like to discuss any of this in order to get specific advice for your individual business, then give us a call! We offer free, one hour consultations.

Good luck with your Google listing and we hope you jump up in the rankings really soon!