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March 2, 2023
Nowadays, small businesses have a lot of competition against massive corporations. To ensure that your business gets the attention it deserves, you’ll need to market it the way that big businesses do: online. Your business’ location plays a vital role in attracting customers, so getting it onto the front page of a Google search and in the Google Map Pack when potential customers enter relevant keywords in their search bar is generally a great place to start.
But you may ask, “why do map rankings matter?” Map rankings are vital in determining your business’s chances of getting noticed by the average person doing a location-based search. For example, if a user searches for “Pizza place in London,” they’ll find a ton of pins related to various restaurants, but what about your business? The higher in the map rankings your Google My Business profile, the more likely it’ll show up above competitors. A high map ranking can also:
Customers that see your business on the map are more likely to check it out– tons of people would much rather support local businesses than go to a massive chain for their needs.
Curious customers may also first want to visit your website to look at your products and services before visiting your business.
Increased website traffic and physical customers mean your business can build its reputation much faster than without a space on the map. Customer reviews, comments, and mentions of your business are great ways to improve your reputation and gain a larger customer base while doing so.
So, where do you start when getting your business listing on Google Maps? Generally speaking, you’ll first need to make a Google Business Profile, which creates a preview of your business details in the search engine.
To create a GBP, you’ll start by making a Google business account specifically for your business information. The account should include your business name, address, and service area, if relevant. Then, you can select your industry, and input any necessary contact information. You can also add links to your business’s landing page too. When filling out your profile, try to fill out every section of the form, even if it’s optional– this will help the search engine better understand what your business does.
Accurate information is vital to ensuring that potential customers get to your business. When you put in your business address and contact information, ensure it’s accurate! We also suggest choosing the most appropriate business category and reviewing your business hours and updating them frequently as your business develops and changes.
Linking to your business’s landing page is a great way to ensure customers get a full view of everything your business offers. When potential customers search for your business or hit the “explore” tab on Google Maps, a summary of your business will appear that features your hours of operation, a brief summary of the business, and relevant images.
To ensure that your customers see your business no matter what, it’s crucial to use a Google Business Profile and ideally a separate website, although Google does offer a free, basic website that will allow you to add your business to Google Maps if you don't yet have your own website - so there are no excuses!
So, how can you further improve your search result ranking and get your business on Google Maps? After making your Google Business Profile, you’ve got several networking tools available to you to help improve your ranking and reach the top of the Maps page:
Adding images of your storefront, services, and products to your Google Business Profile is essential to provide customers with visual information about your business. For restaurants, menu scans and food pics make for great press. Include these images on your GBP, your landing page, and social media accounts.
To improve your location ranking, using geotags is best for linking images to locations. A geotag adds coordinates to your image's metadata, associating it with a specific location. By geo-tagging your business, you can promote it simply by sharing images. Plus, customers who use location services can also geotag their photos, further advertising your business while sharing what it can do.
Photos aren’t the only things you can geotag either– QR codes, video clips, text messages, and websites are also taggable.
When customers leave a review, they don’t always expect to get a response. Break their expectations by responding to their reviews, good or bad. Engaging with your customer base is vital to building a positive relationship with them. Responding to reviews online is an excellent way to show that you care about your customers’ needs. If someone leaves a positive review, thank them! If they leave a criticism, make a note of it and offer potential solutions for their next visit. Reviews, regardless of their nature, build your business’ credibility. Interact with your customers to encourage a shift towards positive credibility and better reviews!
Search engine optimisation is the main way businesses get their web content online and on the front page of Google. By inserting specific keywords and keyphrases into your website’s descriptions, blog posts, or other content, you can improve your chances of showing up at the top of someone’s search query. Other ways to improve your site’s SEO include adding links to other websites (or other pages on your website) or using headers with keywords in them.
One of the best ways to encourage engagement with your business, in general, is to stay active online. Creating an online presence through blogs, social media, or simply updating your website to include holidays or adjusting hours of operation shows potential customers that you are passionate about your business. Plus, frequent posting provides plenty of opportunities for customer engagement!