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How to Improve Your Google Maps Rankings


A mans hand holding a smartphone with Google Maps  looking at a local business listing.
Google Maps Rankings

Do you know how well your small business is doing when it comes to its Google Maps rankings? If not then it is time to find out!


As a local small business, your Google Maps listing is a vital tool you should be using.


It can help:

  • New customers discover your business

  • You stand out from your competitors

  • Generate more business

To experience these benefits, your business listing needs to have strong visibility. And just because your business is listed doesn't mean it'll rank or rank well in Google Maps.


In this blog, our experts at The Mad Caddy will discuss tips you can use to improve your Google Maps rankings today!


We'll also cover:

  • How to make a Google Maps listing and claim it

  • Adding the right information to boost your rankings and increase your Google appeal

  • Extra steps you can take to improve your Google map listing and rankings through your website

Table of Contents

  1. How Do Google Maps Rankings Work?

  2. How Google Determines Local Rankings on Maps

  3. Relevance

  4. Distance

  5. Prominence

  6. Prominence Continued

  7. 3 Reasons Why It’s Important to Rank High on Google Maps

  8. How to Get A Higher Ranking for Your Small Business Listing On Google Maps

  9. Add Your Small Business to Google Maps

  10. Claim Your Small Business Listing on Google Maps

  11. Claiming Your Listing with Google My Business

  12. Add Business Information to Your Google Maps Listing

  13. 6 Tips to Optimize Your GMB Account and Boost Your Google Maps Rankings

  14. Add Images to Your Google Maps Business Listing

  15. Ask for Google Reviews

  16. Consolidate Your Listings on Google Maps

  17. Post Often to Your Google Maps Business Listing

  18. How to Rank Higher on Google Maps by Using Your Website

  19. Have a Responsive Website

  20. Have Local Keywords on Your Site

  21. Add a Google Map to Your Website

  22. Conclusion

People Also Ask:


How do I rank on Google Maps?


To have a chance at ranking, you need to do the following:

  1. Create your business listing and add it to Google Maps

  2. Claim your business listing on Google Maps

  3. Add correct business information to your Google Maps listing

  4. Add images to Google Maps business listing

  5. Ask for Google reviews

  6. Combine your listings on Google Maps

  7. Post to your Google Maps listings regularly

  8. Make sure you have a responsive website

  9. Add ranking local keywords to your site

  10. Add a Google map on your website

Can you pay Google to rank higher?


Making improvements to your small business' SEO can make your website more relevant to users. Because Google is committed to keeping search content trustworthy and valuable, you cannot pay them for better rankings.


To learn more about Google’s search policy, click here.


Why is Google Maps a great product?


Google's Maps app allows anyone to explore their surroundings, look for specific locations, and get directions from the convenience of their computer or smartphone.


How Do Google Maps Rankings Work?


When you search for a business or place near your location, Google pulls this information to provide local ranking results in Maps and Search.


For example: When you search for "pizza restaurant", Google tries to show you nearby pizza places based on your search.


Learn how to improve local rankings for your small business on Google:



How Google Determines Local Rankings on Maps

To find the best match for your search, Google determines local rankings based on:

  • Relevance

  • Distance

  • Prominence

Relevance


Relevance refers to how well your local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for.


Make sure to add complete and detailed information in order to help Google better understand your business. This helps Google match up relevant searches.


Distance


Google determines distance by calculating how close a business is to the user. For Google to accurately calculate distance, it may need information about your location in more detail than what's available on your Business Profile.


When creating your Google Maps business listing, be sure to add details like:

  • Address

  • Phone number

  • Hours

So Google can find you!


Prominence


Local search results can be influenced by how prominent the business is. In other words, a business's prominence can be a factor in how well they rank on Google and Google Maps.


For example, well-known places such as:

  • Famous museums

  • Landmarks

  • Hotels

  • Store brands

  • Restaurants

Are more likely to come up first on local searches.


Prominence Continued


Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web.


This includes:

  • Links

  • Articles

  • Directories

Having positive Google reviews and ratings can improve your local business rankings with Google Maps. Best SEO practices can help make sure customers see you higher up in search engine results pages.


Quick tip: There is no way to pay or request for better local rankings on Google. Google does its best to make the ranking system fair for everyone by keeping search algorithm information confidential.


3 Reasons Why It’s Important to Rank High on Google Maps


Improving your small business' Google Map rankings is essential for several reasons.


Besides helping you get more traffic, leads, and new customers, high rankings are important for the following three reasons:


1. Studies show that over 67% of consumers prefer and use the Google Maps app for navigation. With such a high percentage of people using Google, it's vital to have your business listing at the top.


Research also suggests that up to 84% more people end up on Google Maps business listings from a keyword search than a name search.


2. The top three business listings on Google Maps will display in regular Google Search results if relevant. With most Google searches being local, showing up in the "Local 3-Pack" can boost your online visibility and the number of consumers visiting your website.


3. What you do to rank higher can improve your business listing and provide multiple ways for consumers to engage with your company. With up to 86% of people using Google Maps, it offers a lot of opportunities that can boost engagement.


How to Get A Higher Ranking for Your Small Business Listing On Google Maps


So, how can your small business listing rank higher on Google Maps?


Just like there are SEO optimization tactics for local websites and business listings; there are also off-listing strategies. But first, you have to make sure your listing appears in the Google Maps app--we'll talk about that next!


Add Your Small Business to Google Maps


First and foremost, you cannot rank higher on Google Maps if you don’t have a Google Maps business listing. If you have one already, congrats! You’re well on your way!


If you don’t have one or are unsure, follow these steps to add a listing for your small business on Google Maps:

  1. Using the Google Maps app on your computer or smartphone, head to Google.com/maps and search for your business name.

  2. If your business name shows up in the drop-down menu with its location, you have a listing!

  3. If your business name doesn’t show up, you’ll see an option to “add a missing place” in the drop-down menu.

Once you click this option, you’ll need to provide your business name, location, and category.


Quick tip: Anyone can add a business listing to Google Maps. If someone has added your business, don’t worry!


They do not have control over your listing, no matter who they are. Only by providing ownership and claiming that listing will they have control.


Claim Your Small Business Listing on Google Maps


The next step in boosting your Google Maps rankings is claiming your business listing.


This is because creating a business listing only allows you to provide your:

  • Name

  • Location

  • Category

Claiming your listing allows you to provide more details and information about your unique business.


The more information your business listing has, the greater chance you have at ranking higher on Google Maps!


Claiming Your Listing with Google My Business


To claim your small business listing on Google Maps, you need to have a Google My Business (GMB) account.


Do you already have a GMB account? If so, all you need to do is:

  • Pull up your business listing in Google Maps

  • Select “Claim this business” options

  • Or select “Own this business?”

From there, follow the prompts!


Add Business Information to Your Google Maps Listing


Now that you have a Google Maps business listing and GMB account, you’re ready to rank higher by adding more information.


You’ll need to log into your Google My Business account to do so. From there, you’ll see a dashboard with multiple tabs down the side.


Select the “info” tab to add your business:

  • Name

  • Address

  • Phone number

  • Regular and special hours

  • Category

  • Website

  • Products and services

You can also add your business description and attributes in the “info” tab.


6 Tips to Optimize Your GMB Account and Boost Your Google Maps Rankings


Taking time to fine-tune your GMB account settings can help make all the difference.


Below are 6 tips for optimizing your GMB settings for higher rankings on Google Maps:


1. Be consistent with your business name and address. Google ranks businesses they find trustworthy. One sure-fire way to earn this trust is having consistent information about your business across the internet.


2. Use a local number. Google doesn’t like (800) or (877) numbers because they’re often linked to spam. Using a phone number with the same area code as your business location can help you rank higher and verify your location to consumers.


3. Include your main and tracked number. For call tracking, use a tracked phone number for your primary business phone number and your main phone number as your secondary number.


4. Keep your hours updated. Your Google Maps business listing shows users when you’re open, closed, and opening and closing soon. Keeping your business hours updated shows Google that you’re active and trustworthy.


6. Have a good business description. Your business description on your Google Maps listing should give a full picture of your business to help introduce it to searchers.


The description should also include:

  • Distinctive attributes to entice consumers

  • A tone that highlights your business brand

  • Keywords for searchers to find your products and services

6. Categorize your business properly. Categorizing your business properly is extremely important for high rankings. You need to choose the category that best portrays your business.


Add Images to Your Google Maps Business Listing


Google loves when business owners add images to their listings because of several reasons.


First, adding images shows Google that your business listing is active and worthy of higher rankings.


Second, Google’s new image-recognition technology is advanced, and Google is starting to show these images in local search results.


Third, It’s a general rule that Google loves what people love, and people love images!


If you don’t add images to your Google Maps listing, all that’ll show up is a generic map photo. This is less appealing to Google and consumers.


Quick tip: Help boost your Google Maps rankings by adding captivating and high-quality images that show what it’s like to be at your business!


Ask for Google Reviews


It’s no surprise that Google Maps give higher rankings to business listings with positive reviews. So, how do you get Google reviews?


When you create a Google Maps business listing, your business can start getting reviews. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll get them.


To get reviews and keep them positive, you’ll need to:

  • Ask for them

  • Respond to them (good or bad)

  • Mitigate damage (for bad)

Reviews can be intimidating. You usually have nothing to worry about unless your products or services are really terrible.


Consolidate Your Listings on Google Maps


Google doesn’t like and will flag businesses with numerous locations or phone numbers listed for one business.


Remove multiple listings and redundant information to make sure that your one true business listing ranks.


Post Often to Your Google Maps Business Listing


Similar to Facebook, you can also add and publish posts that appear on your business listing. Posting often shows Google that you’re proactively managing your listing, which can contribute to higher rankings.


Additionally, when people are searching, they have a high intent to purchase. This means that you could get your offers to the right audience through Google postings.


How to Rank Higher on Google Maps by Using Your Website


Besides optimizing your Google Maps business listing, there are other things you can do on your website to boost higher rankings.


Continue reading below to find out!


Have a Responsive Website


Making sure that you have a responsive website that’s consistent across any screen or device is essential. This is because business listings on Google Maps contain a direct link to your site.


Research shows that up to 60% of searches are done on a smartphone.


If your business listing takes people to a website that:

  • Requires zooming or pinching

  • Has broken links

  • Or is slow to load

Your Google Maps rankings can pay the price.


Have Local Keywords on Your Site


The next thing you can do to improve your rankings on Google Maps is to target local keywords. Not only can this help boost your website rankings in Google Search, but it can also impact your Google Maps listing rankings.


Make sure to add trending keywords based on your location to the main pages of your website such as:

  • The homepage

  • About us page

  • Contact page

  • Products and services page

  • Blog posts

You should also be adding local keywords to your:

  • Headings

  • Body text

  • Image text

  • Captions

  • URLs

Showing Google that you’re prominent in your area through your site can help it feel confident in ranking your business on Google Maps.


Add a Google Map to Your Website


Most businesses add a Google Map to their website on the contact us page. This is another way to help boost your rankings because it verifies to Google that your business is where your listing says it is.


Be sure to use the same address you have for your business listing on Google Maps.


To add a Google Map to your site:

  1. First, search your business name on Google Maps.

  2. Then, click on the “Share” option in your listing and select “Embed a map”.

  3. Finally, copy and paste the link on your business contact page.

Conclusion


Google Maps business listings are quickly becoming more advanced, allowing potential customers to find your business.


By following the tips in this blog, your business could jump up to the top of Google Maps.


You may also get to experience increased:

  • Visibility

  • Engagement

  • Revenue

Are you ready to improve your small business Google Maps Rankings?


Contact our team at The Mad Caddy to get started!