People search Google Maps every day. Does your business appear in these search results? If so, is it positioned in the first results?
According to a study conducted by Google, 4 out of 5 web users would use search engines to obtain geolocated search results. Moreover, these Internet users would tend to click on the links of the first search results. It is therefore very important that your Google My Business profile is optimized for visibility to Internet users.
You should also keep in mind that Google’s organic search results show local results, which means that a good ranking on Google Maps means a higher ranking on Google’s organic results.
In this article, the experts at the Montreal web agency My Little Big Web share tips on how to optimize your SEO on Google Maps.
How does Google determine local SEO?
Your website is ranked in local search results primarily on the basis of relevance, distance and importance in order to provide users with the best results. This means that your company may be presented to an Internet user, even if another company is closer, if the services you offer are more in line with what they are looking for.
- Google positions your website in local search results based on user search queries. This is why it is important that you provide comprehensive and relevant information about your business, as this will help Google better understand the services you offer.
- Google positions your website in local search results based on distance. Simply put, this is the distance between the location of your business and the location-based terms used in the search. If a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, Google will base the distance calculation on what they know about the user’s location.
- Google positions your website in local search results based on your reputation. If your company is better known in the real world than in the virtual world, the search results attempt to translate your reputation into local rankings.
Your website’s positioning not only depends on these three factors, but also on the information that you provide to Google about your company.
Get first place on Google Maps by filling out your Google My Business listing
The positioning of your website in Google Maps results largely depends on the accuracy of your Google My Business listing.
The search giant wants to provide its users with as much information about a company as possible. To this end, the more information you provide to Google, the greater your chances of being positioned among the best search results.
Here are the different things you need to fill in on your Google My Business listing in order to optimize your positioning on Google Maps.
Your NAP, i.e. your contact information
The NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) acronym is used in SEO to designate the key elements taken into account by Google to position your site in local search results. This means your company name, mailing address and phone number. With this information, Google will consider your geolocation to be legitimate and will highlight your website in Google Maps results.
For the telephone number, enter a local number, i.e. with the area code of the region in which you are located. This will allow people to check your location and help Google better understand where you are, so it can provide relevant results to its users.
Your opening hours
Fill in your opening hours so that users can find out whether your business is open, closed or in the process of opening or closing. These times will tell Internet users if they can visit your shop or if they can contact you by phone, for example.
Your website address
Integrating your website URL into your Google My Business listing allows Google to link the listing to your site. Moreover, this will allow Internet users to easily access your website, learn about your products and services and potentially become a customer.
Your business category
This information is used to describe your company and offer your website to Internet users who are looking for the products or services you provide. For example, if your main category is “Pizzeria”, Google may display your website in local search results for “restaurant”, “Italian restaurant” or “pizza”.
Your business description
Google imposes a character limit, so describe your business and what you offer to users succinctly, while including local SEO keywords. For example, if you are a dentist in Montreal, you can write something like “Montreal dentist offering the best care”.
Images that illustrate your offers
Adding these images will help you stand out from other companies. Choose good quality photos that perfectly illustrate what you offer and what life is like in your business.
Google reviews make your business more reliable to users, and also to Google, which promotes the positioning of businesses with high ratings. Keep in mind that you have no control over what people say about your brand, so reviews can be positive, but they can also be negative.
If you have a Google My Business listing, make sure you provide this information to help you rank higher in Google search results and make it easier for people to get in touch with you.
Position yourself in first place on Google Maps by optimizing your website
In order to improve your ranking on Google Maps, you also need to perform some SEO optimizations on your website. Here are some of them.
Make sure your site adapts to different screen formats
Having a responsive web design, i.e. one that adapts to different screen formats, is essential in order to generate traffic and optimize your overall SEO strategy. Indeed, Google classifies its results with the goal of offering the best possible experience to its users. The majority of local searches are performed on a mobile device. Therefore, if your ad contains links to a website that does not display properly on mobile and loads slowly, your ranking will be lowered.
Use local keywords
Make sure that important pages (your home page and service pages, for example) on your website are optimized for local searches. Include geographically relevant keywords in your heading tags, in the body of your content, in the alt tags of images, and in your URLs. This will help Google better understand your location when analyzing your website and therefore help your website appear in the top local search results.
Integrate Google Maps on your website
Another way to get a better ranking on Google Maps is to integrate your Google Maps location on your website. Many companies place a map on the contact page of their site, for example, or at the bottom of their home page. Adding Google Maps will tell Google that your business is located where your ad says it is.
To integrate Google Maps into your website, search for your company name in Google Maps. Click “Share” in your ad and select the “Integrate a map” tab. Copy and paste the link into your company’s contact page.
In this article, our SEO experts presented you with some tips on how to optimize your positioning on Google Maps.
However, some optimizations require time and knowledge, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to us to help you optimize your local SEO.