Here it is, the ultimate frustration. Why is such a simple concept like Google Maps so hard for a business to rank in their own area?
There isn’t even one easy answer to this. Google is smart ok? The algorithms they use change all the time and get better and better as we move forward into the AI universe.
Oh, and read the article from howtogeek.com about what an algorithm actually is and save your brain the calories it needs to process this article. Ha! In all seriousness though, you should get familiar with that term because it’s what encompasses all of our online data, for everything.
Moving on. So what can you do to help yourself and your business right now?
Here are the top 5 things I recommend you do today, oh and this is after you’ve claimed and verified your business. If you haven’t done that then make sure you do that right away. You know when you’ve done it when you’ve received a postcard from Google with a verification code in the mail only. There’s no other way to do it.
1. List Your Actual Business Name
If you really want to play the long game with Google and make them happy then you need to follow the rules. Don’t feel like you have to play like the others. You don’t know if those accounts are even real either, so it’s best to only have your business name in there.
There are over 11 million fake accounts on Google Maps as of 2020. They recently released a new update in the fall of 2019 that helps to eliminate this issue, and many real businesses actually suffered because of it. Most of them didn’t even know how to do this and followed the pack thinking that was the way to do it. It still might be sort of ok to add a keyword in the listing name now, but trust me, you will regret the impact later if Google removes your listing or pushes you to the bottom of the list. It’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of when.
2. Info Section
Make sure all of your info in the “Info” section is filled out and filled out correctly. A good tip is to make sure the phone number is a real phone number and not a call tracking number. Make sure all of the service areas are filled out, and all of your services are listed. Make sure the hours of operation are accurate and not open 24 hrs. You’re a service business that serves homes and unless you have a 24 hr service listed on your website then you’re better off listing your actual working hours.
3. Website Congruency
This gets missed a lot. Google does actually check your website to see if what you say in GMB is actually on your website. So make sure you have location pages, service areas, and services listed on your website. List the hours, address, name, logo and phone number in the footer as well. This does not hurt your cause, but it will definitely help it.
4. Local Directories
Get your business listed in as many local directories as you can possibly find. Start with major ones like Yelp, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, City Pages, 411, BBB, and so forth. It will be worth it, I promise. Google will check these and cross-reference your Google My Business listing. If everything is accurate you will move up in rankings on maps.
5. Get Lots Of Reviews!
Don’t shrug this off. Google’s primary mission is to make sure that when someone searches for something, they are going to be sent to the right place, and they are going to have a great experience. That’s all Google cares about, so that will be a deciding factor. There are lots of ways to do this. Many agencies, like ours, offer reputation management as part of their service offering. If you want to know more about what we do and how we can help your business get to the next level, get in touch with us.
Here’s A Bonus Tip:
Download the app, get your techs to download the app. Add them as users so they can log in and take pictures of jobs and post them to the app. This is a big deal and should be done as much as possible. Those images are geotagged and when they are posting about your services in that service areas, then attach a geotagged photo to it, Google is going to notice this and the area it was done in and move your listing up the ranks in that area much faster than with a listing that has little to no activity.
Content truly is king in all aspects of SEO and optimizing your Google Maps listing, or Google My Business listing is one of them.