I’ve already posted about how to add your business to Google Maps and received a lot of questions about how to make your business appear in the top 3 results in SERP (search engine result pages), get more reviews and outrank competitors. Here you can find 5 steps that will help you improve ranking on the map and do a double dip on the first page (organic and maps results).
After you added and verified your business on the map you will need to submit your business and website to local directories, catalogs and listings. Number and quality of local directory profiles are one of the most important factors in ranking well on Google Maps. Google algorithms check how often your business name, address and phone number (NAP) are mentioned or listed online. It’s the exact same as ranking your website in organic results – how many and how quality your backlinks are. The more you have, usually the better your rankings will be.
The easiest way to create these citations is to submit your business to local and national business directories. Here is the list of local directories that accept Canadian addresses and business:
I offer business listing services and have over 100 directories that will help your local business improve its ranking. Learn more about local SEO services I offer.
You should use the exact same Company name, address and phone name formatting as it listed on your Google Place page. If you misspell your name or submit road instead of rd., add international code +1 to your phone number Google crawlers get confused and that submission won’t help your ranking improvement and will add inconsistency to your local SEO.
You should also make sure your existing listings have consistent NAP information. Just google your company name (or phone number) to find if you have any profiles and check every page to make sure listings are up to date. If the information is incorrect try to contact admins or claim your business to get it fixed.
You will also need to add business name address and phone number to your own website. Many SEOs suggest keeping it in the footer or header of your website so it shows on every page. Make sure address and phone number are the exact much with your Google Places profile. If your layout and design do not allow to have it on every page – just having it on the contact page will do. You can also use the Schema markup.
There is one more thing that should be on your site (or contact page).
If you go to my contact page, you’ll see an embedded Google map. It’s suggested to have Google Maps embedded with your listing on a contact page. This way Google can verify you are located at the address you have listed by doing a cross-linking with your location on the map.
Embedding is easy. Simply search your business name on Google Maps. Once you have found it click on the settings icon and click on the “Share and embed map” option.
Once that is selected, click the embed map option at the top of the pop-up box. Then copy the iframe code and paste it into your contact page.
You can also verify your website and connect it with Google Maps location by adding a link to you Google Maps page like <a href=”https://plus.google.com/112293932961674041469” rel=”publisher”>Reviews on Google Maps</a>.
You need to ask your customers to review your page. The ideal review should be couple sentences long and describe the experience with your brand, services or products. It shouldn’t be stuffed with keywords or copied from some other online reviews (be unique). Once you get 5 reviews, stars graphics will be added to your listing and can draw the attention of searchers.
This falls in line with Google’s approach to quality results – providing relevant search result and business.
If you worked on submissions and website improvements and still don’t see your Google Maps rankings near the top, you might need to continue adding it to more directories and get more reviews. In average, top 3 business listings have 30-50 online directories profiles.
It is advisable to run your own research on competitors to find out where they listed at and how many reviews they have. Simply google their phone number or address and you will find a couple of pages of local directories that you can use as a master list for your business, but remember that simply coping their strategy won’t guarantee success. You need to be creative and find new places for your citations.
Like backlinks and organic SEO, Google uses business citations (NAP) as a way to evaluate business popularity and provide the most relevant maps results within the SERP. Follow the instructions in this post and watch your rankings improve!
If you need help with your local or organic rankings, contact me for a free SEO consultation.
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