To get the full benefits of Google Maps, it's not just about having a Google business listing, but how to get your business to rank higher on the list of search results. The first page of Google Maps can bring you more calls, more website visitors and more revenue. Here are a few tips on how to get your business to rank higher on Google Maps.

Google Maps Ranking Factors

While Google Maps ranking used to be based on such things as proximity and industry categories, Google is now including other factors into its calculation of rankings. This is good news for small and medium sized businesses whose listings may otherwise be overshadowed by large corporations and chain companies. There are several things you can to increase your ranking and market your business on Google Maps.

1. Verify your Google My Business listing

The more Google knows about your business, the better it will be able to correctly display your business listing online. Make sure that your listing is complete and accurate, including:

  • Contact information and website. Include all possible contact information including your address, telephone number, and website.
  • Business hours. Google Maps tells users if a business is open or closed and if it's opening or closing soon. 
  • No duplicate information. Google will discredit businesses with multiple phone numbers or locations listed for one actual business. 

2. Get Google Reviews

User reviews add another dimension of trustworthiness to a business, and Google has recognized that fact by ranking businesses with a high volume of good reviews higher on Google Maps. Keep in mind that, once you open up your business for reviews, there is no turning back. Like other sites like Yelp, you will not have control over what people say, so your reviews may be both good and bad.

Unless your service is truly terrible, bad reviews tend to be few and far-between. To get started, copy your Google review link. Go to your Google Maps listing, click "more information" and copy the direct link you find there. Share this link over your social media channels to encourage reviews. You can also create a landing page on your website that leads directly to your Google Maps listing review form.

To give yourself a boost, ask a handful of trusted, loyal customers (ones who you know will leave you a positive review) to write a review for you. Just a few positive reviews will be enough to instantly rev up your rankings.

3. Choose the proper category

When you first create a Google Maps listing, you have the option of adding a primary industry category to describe your business. Your primary category should be the main classification for your business, while the remaining five categories should only be used if it's critical.

4. Embed a Google Map

Another way to rank higher on Google Maps is to embed a Google Map on your website. Most businesses place a map on the contact page of their site. Embedding a Google Map is just another way to telling Google that your business is located where your listings says it is. 

To embed a Google Map on your website, search for your business name in Google Maps. Click on the three lines next to your business name and click "Share or Embed Map". Copy and paste the link on your business's contact page.

5. Optimize the listing description

Instead of putting a generic description, you should include keywords that describe your business. For example, instead of "everyone's favorite dentist" write "Chicago dentist with flexible scheduling" or something similar.

6. Use a local phone number

Google looks down upon toll-free (800 and 877) numbers because these types of numbers are frequently used for spam. Local telephone numbers show that your business is a brick and mortar location in the area.

For this reason you should be using a local telephone number with an area code that matches your location. It's ok to have a toll free number on your website, but if you want to have a higher Google Maps ranking, use a local number for your Google listing.

7. Add Photos

One of the easiest ways to stand out on Google Maps is to add a photo to your Google My Business listing. Use your favorite photo of your business' location, products or services. You shoud also add more than one photo so choose ones that will entice customers to come to your business.

Listings that don't include photos of the business will show a generic map of your business's location. 

There's more where this came from, but this is a great first step! Get started with ASAPmaps to unlock the potential of your business listing. 

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