Maps listings are a huge part of local business marketing strategy. I have heard Google referred to as the “new phonebook.” I laugh about it, but at the same time, it’s completely true. When I’m looking to order lunch at work, I type in the name of the restaurant and the city into Google, and look specifically for the maps listing. The more situations in which the maps listings prove useful, the more programmed people will be to use them. Where is your business in the listings?
So you can SEO Google Maps? There are many factors that go into how Google ranks the local listings. Things like your profile completion, categories you choose, and how much people talk about you all play into the formula. Do everything right, and show up at the top, and you’ll see an increase in calls and visits to your business. More people are utilizing this feature, and it’s not going away. Are you still ignoring it?
Why Not Just SEO?
OK, so it’s no secret I’m a huge fan of SEO; however, I’m the first to admit that there are situations where it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. For instance, if you are looking for a restaurant in your local area, and you type ‘Dominos Springfield’, you will likely call the number, or look at the address in the maps listing. If you were to optimize your local Dominos Pizza website for the keyword ‘Springfield Pizza’, you might be able to capture some visitors looking for a new pizza place, but the searcher will likely look at the maps result, anyway.
Maps + SEO = Owning the Organic Listings
The fact is, in most cases SEO is awesome, and maps are getting used more and more. As we head into the mobile age, maps are going to play an even larger role. SEO is getting more and more well known, and it’s getting harder to rank for competitive keywords. Maps optimization is still young and, if you get in early, you have a much better position to hold and stay on top of your competition.
So what should you do for your local business? Actively pursue the best positioning for your maps listing and take advantage of both kinds of searchers!