It’s no secret that people are spending less time searching the web for businesses and more time looking them up on Google Maps. This is a trend many small businesses have missed because they’re often too busy to keep up with what their competition is doing. But this doesn’t mean you should ignore how your business ranks on Google Maps! Local SEO ranking factors can make a huge impact on whether or not potential customers find your business when they search for it. So here are 7 things you need to know about local SEO ranking factors and how they can help your business rank better on Google Maps!
1. Adding a NAP (name, address, phone number) to your Google Places listing can be a huge advantage!
When people search for businesses on Google Maps, they see all the locations associated with that business near them!! NAP consistency is sometimes overlooked when it comes to local SEO ranking factors, but if you want to rank on Google Maps, having a consistent NAP is important! If we search for our business’s name on Google Maps, we notice that it is consistently listed as “Clark County Tax Service”.
When you look at the contact information, however, the address and phone number aren’t exactly consistent with what they should be. This is a local SEO ranking factor that can make a huge impact!
If you are looking to improve your local business’s Google Maps ranking, NAP consistency is the way to go. The more consistent your NAP is across all platforms (Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook…etc), the better your listing will rank on Google Maps and other platforms!
2. Synonyms and variations of your business name can be an additional local SEO ranking factor
If you do a quick search for “Clark County Tax Service” on Google Maps, you will notice that the businesses listed under this category are very similar to our actual business. This is because people often search for variations of their preferred terms when looking for a business.
In this case, it’s very important to make sure that your business name is consistent across all platforms where you are listed! If you aren’t seen when people search for variations of your business name on Google Maps (like we weren’t), then chances of being found by potential customers decrease.
3. An optimized address can be a huge local SEO ranking factor
You might be wondering what makes an “optimized address” different from a regular old address? Well, there’s a lot of detail that goes into making your business’s address easy to find on Google Maps. Here are some examples:
123 Main Street would not rank as well as 123 Main Street, New York, NY 10001. The first address is missing a state and includes the word street. This can be seen as “ambiguous” by Google Maps’ algorithms, while the second listing has a state included and uses the word “street” instead of an actual street name.
Discount Flowers & Gifts would not rank as well as Discount Flowers & Gifts, 123 Main St., New York, NY 10001. Does your business have a “&” in it? If so, you should use the next available name field to include that middle word!
Sometimes adding a locality can be an additional local SEO ranking factor. This is especially important if you are located in a town that is known for something specific.
Local SEO ranking factors are important when it comes to optimizing your business’ location on Google Maps. Make sure you’re using all of the available fields to make your business stand out! Looking at our listing again, we can see that we have drastically improved our address from what we were using previously.
4. Pictures on Google Maps are an additional local SEO ranking factor
Pictures can be a huge local SEO ranking factor! In fact, if you’ve never claimed your listing previously, your pictures could make or break whether potential customers find out about your business! Let’s check out our listing again…You’ll notice that we have only an icon image instead of a real picture of our business.
Different pictures can make your listing stand out! Having pictures is important, especially when looking at the big picture, as it will make your location more memorable to potential customers and help you with overall branding efforts.
5. Reviews are another additional local SEO ranking factor!
This is something you probably already knew, but reviews are a huge local SEO ranking factor. If someone searching on Google Maps sees that your business has many positive reviews, then they are more likely to trust it and visit in person!
Reviews can be especially important when looking at the big picture. A listing with fewer reviews might not even be shown if there are several with more reviews listed first.
6. Another additional local SEO ranking factor: call details!
Did you know that Google Maps gives the option to add a phone number or website directly onto your business listing? Many businesses just use their website, but in some cases, it can be necessary to have a phone number. Plus, these are additional local SEO ranking factors that can help your business rank!
These are the main reasons why it’s important to make sure your local rankings are done correctly using Google Maps. Without properly optimizing your listing, you might see a negative impact on traffic and sales as potential customers aren’t able to find your location.
If you want to learn more about local SEO ranking factors be sure to check out the How-To Pages on Moz Local, which are full of information. These pages can help with all aspects of local SEO, from setting up a Google My Business page to reviews and citations.
7. Other additional local SEO ranking factors include:
Maintaining a good listing is important, especially over time. You might have seen businesses that do not show up or even have a type of icon image on the map. If you’ve claimed your listing, you should be able to see how many reviews or pictures are associated with that business. If it’s under five, then you might need to do something about it!
You can claim your listing by visiting Google My Business and creating an account if you haven’t already done so. Then enter your business information and check the boxes next to important local SEO ranking factors that we’ve mentioned in this article.
Your listing can be found on both Google Maps and Google Search, which means it’s even more important to have a stellar profile!
Including photos is one of the biggest reasons why you should worry about your local SEO ranking factors. Whether someone is searching for you locally or on Google Maps, they will see that your business has at least one picture associated with it. This could be a potential customer’s first impression of your business and how you handle customers, so being able to show off what your business looks like in person is very important.
You might also be interested in looking at the Local SEO Ranking Factors section of this article, as it has a lot of information about additional local SEO ranking factors that you should know about! It contains tips on how to get reviews, what citations are necessary for your business, and more!
Hopefully, our story was able to demonstrate the importance of local SEO ranking factors and why you should keep them in mind when building your business. Searching for businesses on Google Maps is a fairly common occurrence, so if you want people to find yours they must be able to do so quickly and without any problems!