Have you tried to rank your website in Google Maps (aka as the Snack Pack or the Maps 3-Pack or Local Maps…)?
Even if you have ranked your website on the first page of Google (organic) there are only 3 spots in Maps these days and the competition is fierce, but the rewards could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to your bottom line!
The Massive Value of The Google Maps 3-Pack for Businesses In 2018
As you probably already know, as a business owner there is so much value to getting a Google Maps listing. Some of the most important benefits include:
Firstly, Once You Are Ranked It Is Free
You don’t need to pay for Google Adwords, you just need to make sure you keep your spot in the top 3.
Tap Into Tons Of Potential Prospects In Your Local Market
Google is the biggest search engine in the world. There are most likely thousands of people searching for your products and services at any given time during the day. By having a Google Maps listing, it will make it much easier for your potential customers to find your services through the Google search engine. This listing is so powerful because your customers will find you on Google maps whenever they use the program and search for locations in your vicinity. It is highly targeted to be location specific
More Customers Have The Ability To Find You
When you have a Google Maps page set up; it makes it easier than ever for your potential prospects to find you on the web. Some people will be able to find your website, but when that fails, they’ll be able to find your Google Maps page instead and still come up with the contact information for your business. They can then click through to your website for more information
You Can Edit The Google Maps Page Any Time That You Want
This is important because you may want to update the listing from time to time. You may want to add special discounts, coupons and codes to the listing to help entice visitors to give you a call. Having the ability to edit your Google Maps page regularly is a very powerful thing, because it makes it a living listing that you can alter whenever it suits your needs.
Move Up The Rankings With Citations
If you create your Google My Business (GMB) listing it does not guarantee that it is going to rank highly in the search engines. But you can create powerful citations (i.e. like business directory listings with your name, address etc) to the GMB to help move up the Google rankings for your important local keywords. These citations will all but guarantee a first page listing for the most powerful local keyword phrases in your niche.
Reviews And Stars
If you get good customer reviews they will show and become powerful conversion tools for potential new customers. I don’t know about you but 5 stars on a large number of reviews has me clicking through to the Google My Business page and then on to the businesses website.
Before we get into our Top 10 tips to rank your business in the Google Map Pack, I just wanted to explain that Google Maps SEO is quite a different beast to Organic SEO.
For a start there are 2 separate algorithms; one for the local maps 3 -pack and one for organic results.
Just because you are ranking well in the organic section, it does not follow that you will rank well in the maps pack – but it helps!
There’s a range of other things we need to do to get you ranked in the maps that are not relevant for organic SEO
OK It’s Time For Our Top Ten Tips
If you Google “how to rank in Google Maps” or “how can I get my website in the Google 3-Pack” most of the sites you’ll find will pretty much give you the same advice;
Top 10 Ways To Rank In The Googles Maps 3-pack
Claim Your “Google My Business” (GMB) Listing.
If you business name and address is out there on the web somewhere, Google will have set up a “Google My Business” listing for you. All you need to do is claim it. We see lots of unclaimed businesses when searching for a local service. Make sure you claim yours.
Choose The Right Google Category For Your Business
It is essential you choose the correct category for you GMB. Think about what people search for and then align those searches with your category.
Optimise Your GMB Listing
This is a massive topic and you may need some help on this one. There are a lot of things you can do to optimise your listing i.e. adding a key worded post, a company description, special hours for public holidays and special features for your business such as “wheelchair accessible” etc
Use A Local Telephone Number
A telephone number for your local area works much better than a national, 1300 or 1800 style of phone number
Add Photos To Your GMB Listing
Photos not only help you rank they also help you convert. For example, if you are a Restaurant and you have lots of good photos of your food, you will get a lot more customers. There is a secret sauce associated with photos that we can add to your GMB listing should you become a customer!
Get Google Reviews (Not As Easy As It Sounds)
Reviews of your Google My Business listing are GOLD. Your conversions will go through through the roof with all that social proof. Ask your happy customers for a Google Review. They’ll need a Google account to do a review. If they don’t have a Google account and don’t want to go through the easy process of setting one up, then ask them to review your Facebook Page or Truelocal account.
Embed A Google Map On Your Website
This more closely connects your business, your website and GMB listing. Both your GMB listing and your website are more likely to rank with these closer connections.
If you don’t have a web developer then we will give you a $200 Voucher for web changes to your site so you can get these changes made quickly when you become a client.
Add Your Business Name, Address And Phone Number (NAP) On Your Website
Again this shows Google a closer connection between your website and your GMB listing. Your web developer or our team can make these changes for you.
Claim Local Business Directories (Citations)
Add your business details to as many local directories as possible i.e. YELP. Every listing tells Google that this is your business, so they can trust your business exists and is worthy of showing in their maps listing
Rank High In Organic Search
This might surprise you but a highly ranked website is more likely to get your GMP ranked at the top of the 3 pack in the maps.
This is a really great place to start. However, remember your competitors are also trying to get their business listed in those coveted 3 positions. Chances are they are paying an expert, so you probably will also need an expert to win one of those spots.