Consider this situation, a young man in your city is desperately in need of a defense attorney and searches Google. Now, the big question: Will your law office show up among the top 3 results in Google Maps Pack?
If your answer to that is no, then you're losing customers and revenue daily. And this applies to every local business.
To illustrate, Google discovered in a study that 50% of people who performed local searches on their smartphones and 34% of those on tablet/desktop visited a physical store within a day.
Fortunately, in this post, I’ll show you 5 steps to rank in the top 3 results of Google Maps Pack and convert more of these local searchers to customers.
1. Optimize your Google My Business page
Frankly, getting more customers goes beyond just creating a Google My Business page and hoping for the best. You also have to verify your listing and optimize your page for your ideal audience.
This involves adding details such as:
- Phone number
- Website address
- Business category
- Opening hours
- Busy hours
- Business description
- Questions & answers
- Posts about your business
While adding these details, keep it in mind to insert keywords related to your profession and location. As a result, you'll boost your chances of ranking higher on Google.
Even more importantly, a visitor to this page can discover vital information about your business and get in touch right there. Here's an example of an optimized Google My Business page that includes the details mentioned above:
2. Acquire more reviews
While looking to patronize a business, which source of information will convince you? The business or its customers?
Specifically, a BrightLocal study found that 91% of consumers are more likely to patronize a business after reading positive reviews. Without reviews, it's almost impossible to rank in the Maps Pack.
How do you acquire reviews for your business?
- Ask satisfied customers to leave reviews.
- Share Google review form link to customers.
- Add links to review pages to your website.
- Send email requests.
Here’s an example of a review request page on OnPoint’s website:
Now take a look at the reviews on Dr. Steven Shoshany's Google My Business page where they incorporate responding to the reviews as well which shows prospects how attentive your business is:
Undoubtedly, acquiring reviews is one of the best ways to convince and convert a visitor on your Google My Business page.
3. Add your business to other important local listings
Having your business on Google My Business is important, but it's insufficient for the top 3 Maps Pack rankings. Thus, you need to register your business on more local listings to improve its reputation and credibility.
These local listings include:
- Bing Places for Business
- Yellow pages
Apart from the popular local listings, you need to show up in your city/state local directories and professional listings (e. g. Avvo for lawyers). See an example from Julie Rendelman, one of the Maps Pack results for “defense attorney New York”, on Avvo:
However, your business details such as name, address, and phone number (NAP) must be consistent across all local listings. This way, your business appears as a single entity and appeals more to Google and prospects.
4. Earn local backlinks
A few years ago, Google search quality strategist, Andrey Lipattsev, named backlinks as one of the 3 most important ranking signals. Unsurprisingly, that's also applicable to local searches.
Earning local backlinks to your website is evidence of your business's high reputation in that location. Ultimately, this leads to higher Google Maps Pack rankings.
Here are some ways to earn local backlinks:
- Guest blogging for local blogs
- Local blogger outreach
- Participating in local events
- Hosting local events
- Sponsoring important causes
- Entering local contests/awards
Beyond higher rankings, these link building efforts increase your popularity and put your business in front of many potential local customers. For instance, here's Dr. Steven Shoshany, a chiropractor, participating in the 2017 NYC marathon:
This gets more backlinks to his website as well as boosts his reputation.
5. Use Google Maps ads
Achieving a high rank on Google Maps Pack can take time (read months), especially if you're in a competitive business category. With Google Maps ads though, you can start showing up for important business keywords tomorrow.
Whatever way you want to reach potential customers in your area, there are Maps ads options to achieve it.
Popular options include:
- Local search ads to display your listing for valuable local search terms
- Promoted pins to display your business prominently on Google Maps
- In-store promotions for discounted products
- Local inventory search to show products in stock
However, to get more conversions, you need to find valuable local keywords through keyword research with a tool such as Nightwatch. Furthermore, targeting your ads at locations with the right proximity to your business’ location will convince more searchers to visit.
Even though it can take time, these 5 steps will lift your business to the top 3 in Google Maps Pack and attract more customers. Surely, this is an opportunity your business needs to exploit.
Which step will you take today?
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