Google maps, google earth, and street view

Everyone has their favorite Google ứng dụng, và mine is – without a doubt – Google Maps. Sure, Google Now is incredibly impressive sầu (and getting better all the time, thanks lớn Google’s artificial intelligence, RankBrain), but Maps is one of the apps that Google has spent the most time refining and improving, và the results speak for themselves.

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Although I pride myself on my strong natural sense of direction, I use Google Maps all the time. Where would we be without Google’s omnipresent GPS data to guide us? Probably driving off cliffs or getting lost in fields, if Apple’s attempts to match Google Maps is any indication (yes, I know, it’s better than it was, but it’s still terrible). Google Maps is undoubtedly one of the most useful tools Google has given lớn the world, but it’s much more than a means of getting around without resorting khổng lồ folding paper maps (bad) or asking people for directions (worse) – it’s an incredibly powerful marketing tool.

In this post, I’ll walk you through how digital marketers can – and should – be using Google Maps kinh doanh as part of their wider digital marketing strategies. We’ll cover essential features and things you absolutely must be doing, as well as some nifty, lesser known tips & tricks lớn help your customers find you.

What Is Google Maps Marketing?

In a nutshell, Google Maps sale is the process of using Google Maps’ functionality lớn make your business easier lớn find. Although this can be very useful (& expected) for large companies, it’s even more indispensable for smaller businesses. However, Google Maps marketing isn’t just about visibility – it’s about positioning, & not just that of your store. If used correctly (& strategically), Google Maps can play an important part in your digital kinh doanh strategy.

What’s the Point of Google Maps Marketing?

The ultimate objective sầu of Google Maps kinh doanh is not just khổng lồ rank higher on Google Maps, but also to achieve sầu as high a placement as possible in the local business results listings on relevant Google search engine results pages. Let’s take a look at what this means.

Proximity Based Google Maps Results

The first type of Google Maps listing is that based on your physical location. With sản phẩm điện thoại tìm kiếm volume increasing, this type of tìm kiếm (và Google Maps result) is becoming much more common. If you’ve sầu ever performed a search for a specific type of business from your thiết bị di động device, you’ll almost undoubtedly have come across a result like this:

 


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In the example above sầu, I performed a search for “bookstores” và received these results. As you can see, Barnes & Noble has the top spot thanks to lớn its PPC ad, as well as the top organic result (whether this is a result of high search volume, canny SEO, or a rapidly dwindling corporate bookstore market is anyone’s guess). However, the Maps results are what we’re really interested in.

Similarly to lớn the way PPC ads are subject khổng lồ the ad rank formula và assigned ad positions based on that formula, Google Maps listings are prioritized inlớn positions based on the user’s location, with position “A” being the closest and most prominent. Positions “B” và “C” are also provided, in case I want more options.

You may have sầu experienced results lượt thích this yourself. Many thiết bị di động users are prompted to tìm kiếm for businesses near them thanks to lớn Google Suggest, especially when searching from their điện thoại device. The screenshot below shows the same tìm kiếm performed on my Android device with location data tracking enabled:

 


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Depending on a number of variables, some searchers may find that predictive sầu “near me” results are even more prominent than they are in this example. It’s almost as if Google wants us khổng lồ use Maps to lớn find local businesses!

Ranked Google Maps Results

Although proximity based Maps results are common, they’re not the only type of results offered by Google Maps. Not every user has location data enabled on their thiết bị di động device, và Maps listings are available for virtually any destination on the planet, not only those in the user’s general vicinity. This is when “ranked” Google Maps results are often shown. These results appear on Google Maps searches for businesses of a certain type in a given location. For example, in the figure below, you’ll see Maps results for “dentists” in Beverly Hills, California:

 


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As you can see, Beverly Hills is particularly well served when it comes to lớn dental practitioners (got to keep those pearly whites as white as can be for the cameras, after all), which makes it a highly competitive market for Google Maps marketing results. At the top of the list is Dr. Kourosh Maddahi, who owns a dental practice on North Roxbury Drive sầu that has an average patient rating of 4.8 out of five stars from 37 Google Đánh Giá.

Here’s where the “marketing” part of Google Maps kinh doanh comes into lớn play.

In this search, I looked for businesses on the other side of the country (eliminating any possibility of my location factoring inkhổng lồ my results), so Google isn’t showing me results closest to lớn me. If you look at the second-highest result in the example above, you’ll notice that Dr. Arthur Glosman’s dental practice is also located on North Roxbury, but has a slightly higher patient rating of 4.9 out of five based on 51 Google đánh giá, but this result is ranked below Dr. Maddahi’s practice, so Google isn’t ranking these Maps results purely based on customer ratings, either – so what’s going on? The answer lies in how well-optimized your Google My Business listing is, along with some other factors.

What Is Google My Business?

Formerly known as Google Places, Google My Business enables business owners to clayên ổn a listing for their business that may appear in Google tìm kiếm results. Virtually any type of business (with the exception of certain more risqué establishments) can clayên a Google My Business listing, which will display information that searchers may want lớn know, such as address, opening hours, and customer ratings.

 


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Image via Google

Google Maps Marketing Optimization Checklist

Although many businesses claim their Google My Business listing, many simply register their business & provide only the most cursory (or worse, incomplete) information. This, unsurprisingly, results in far less visibility & a poorer overall Google Maps ranking. So what can you do? Here’s a checkdanh sách khổng lồ improve sầu & optimize your Google Maps listing for maximum visibility.

Use Complete, USPS-Approved Address Information

Getting your address right might seem lượt thích the easiest part of your Google My Business listing, but you’d be surprised by how many businesses get this wrong.

 


When entering your address inkhổng lồ your Google My Business profile, ensure that you use the exact same address information used by the USPS (or applicable postal service where your business operates). This includes room, suite, or subdivision information, a full nine-digit zip code, and anything else that makes your business easier khổng lồ find. Be sure khổng lồ check for erroneous spaces and other formatting errors, as even slight mistakes in address formatting can interfere with your Google Maps ranking.

Something else khổng lồ check is that your address is actually being displayed in your Maps listing in the first place. In your Google My Business settings, there is a checkbox that states whether you would lượt thích your address information to lớn be displayed. Barring a few exceptions (for matters of customer privacy or safety, for example), this should almost always be checked. The more data you give Google, the more likely you are lớn rank more highly in Maps results.

Specify Which Areas You Service

Some businesses have a physical storefront or location, but also serve a wider area – think pizza delivery services or package carriers, for example. If this applies to your business, it’s crucial that you state which areas your business services in your Google My Business profile. This could include the names of nearby towns or cities that you serve sầu, or a geographic radius (in miles or kilometers) from your physical location.

 


 

You can (and should) also specify whether you actually serve customers at your business’ primary location. If you vị not, you don’t want people turning up at your business expecting lớn be served when you’re a phone-only company, for example.

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Get Your Google My Business Listing Verified

Getting your Google My Business listing verified should be the next thành quả on your to-bởi danh sách. The verification process can take up to a couple of weeks, as usually Google insists on mailing a postcard with a quality PIN lớn the physical address listed in your Google My Business profile khổng lồ confirm verification. Google does allow some businesses to lớn verify ownership via phone.

 


This step is especially important if your company offers a wide range of related services. For example, if you run a digital marketing agency, you might mix “Internet marketing” as your primary category, và include SEO, PPC, content sale, tin nhắn marketing, và social media advertising as additional categories. The more information you provide Google, the more accurate – & optimized – your Google My Business listing will be.

Optimize Your Introduction

You can think of your Google My Business Introduction as a summary of your company, the products & services you offer, & what sets you apart from the competition. Again, many businesses don’t even bother khổng lồ take the time to vì chưng this, which is another missed optimization opportunity.

 


Your Introduction should contain everything a prospective sầu customer might need khổng lồ know about your business, such as what you vì, where you are, & why your business is the best. You can insert link khổng lồ relevant pages on your site in your Introduction, but be wary of link- and keyword-stuffing. Your Introduction may be subject lớn Google’s editorial standards, so cramming liên kết and từ khóa into lớn your Introduction is not only a bad, sleazy, black-hat thing lớn vì, it’ll also probably result in a denial from Google. By all means use relevant từ khoá in your Introduction, but take the time lớn craft a well-written, compelling Introduction written with searchers in mind.

Going baông xã khổng lồ our digital kinh doanh agency example above, if you offer a wide range of products or services, consider using a bulleted các mục rather than including them in your copy. This makes it easier khổng lồ read, which is a best practice that can help your Introduction resonate more strongly with people searching for your business.

Include (và Optimize) Photos in Your Google My Business Listing

Google Maps is an inherently visual platform that goes beyond the maps themselves. Businesses with listings on Google that include photos are much more appealing than those without, which makes your business stand out, but the inclusion of photos can also be an optimization opportunity.

Take a look at this example of a well-optimized listing for Dillons, a bar just around the corner from ruby-forum.org’s offices that’s a perennial favorite with our staff:

 


See how much nicer the listing looks with that crisp, professional image at the top? This makes Dillons look a much more inviting destination than it would be without images. Users can also scroll down the Google Maps listing khổng lồ see more pictures of your business, which can be crucially important if ambience is important khổng lồ your establishment (as it is with many service-based businesses).

However, including images in your Google My Business listing is about much more than looking pretty – you can also optimize the images themselves to lớn increase your visibility. You can use third-các buổi tiệc nhỏ apps to lớn add metadata to lớn your images, making them easier lớn find. For example, you might add the following metadata khổng lồ your images khổng lồ make them as optimized as possible:

Physical address / latitude và longitudeCity / geographic location / country tagsKeywords relevant lớn your businessComments about relevant services offered at your locationAdditional categorization information

Be sure khổng lồ update your listing as your information changes as well.

Solicit Customer Reviews

Rethành viên how we talked about user review in our dental practice example above? It’s unclear to lớn what extent user review play a part in the Google Maps search algorithm, but a business with no Đánh Giá is almost certainly going to lớn struggle khổng lồ compete with a business with lots of Review, so it’s vital that you solicit & include review in your Google My Business profile.

More on this: How khổng lồ Get More Google Reviews

 


 

It’s worth noting that nhận xét will not be displayed alongside your Google Maps listing until you have sầu accrued at least five, so be sure to lớn encourage satisfied customers khổng lồ gush about how great you are. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can bởi vì about negative Reviews aside from responding to them according to Google’s guidelines, so it’s important khổng lồ monitor what people are saying about your business carefully and respond appropriately.

You can also use third-tiệc nhỏ monitoring tools lớn keep tabs not only on your business, but competitors’ businesses in Google Maps. đánh giá of businesses on Google, Yelp, Yahoo Local and similar services are considered “citations” of a business, which are trackable using media monitoring tools lượt thích Mention. You can check how many reviews (or citations) the top-ranked business in Google Maps has, which can give sầu you an idea of the standard and volume of review necessary to lớn rank more highly. Citations can function similarly khổng lồ backlink – the more citations you have sầu, the more ranking potential your business may have sầu in Google Maps.

As with almost everything relating lớn Google’s algorithms, it’s impossible to say how important citations và nhận xét are to lớn your positioning in Google Maps, but if you’ve sầu got a ton of links and positive sầu mentions from sites lượt thích Yelp, it can only be a good thing.

UPDATE: New Google Maps Ads

In May, Google announced that a range of new ad features would soon be coming khổng lồ Google Maps. 

There are four main ad features that are new khổng lồ Google Maps. They are Promoted Pins (which can include branding & logos), in-store promotions, customizable business pages, & a local inventory search function. These ads will be shown in Maps results on the Google Maps tiện ích, the desktop & Mobile versions of the Google Maps site, & on Google.com Expanded Map results.

In the main Google Maps tiện ích, users may see a single promoted ad at the top of Maps searches, as below:

 


As you can see, the ad flag next lớn the ad in the image above is purple. However, with Google"s recent announcement that it would be transitioning away from the familiar yellow ad flag to lớn a green one, this may change in the near future. Also, up lớn two ads may be shown on searches made from within the Google Maps app itself.

Google has a lot more changes in store for Google Maps. For a full rundown of what you can expect, check out our post about the Google Maps local tìm kiếm ads here.

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Above sầu All, Be Patient

Like other digital marketing optimization efforts, improving your visibility in Google Maps marketing can – và likely will – take time. This means there are no quichồng hacks, no overnight fixes, no easy way lớn rise to the top of the pachồng. Even if you implement all the optimizations above sầu, it may still take a while for your business’ visibility lớn improve sầu in Google Maps. However, don’t despair. Just stay on top of your optimization efforts, keep your information và protệp tin current, and focus on what really matters – taking care of your customers.


Chuyên mục: SEO