Is getting more calls for your local business your top concern right now? If so, then you should look into increasing the visibility of your Google My Business listing.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a platform and dashboard for local businesses to list their business on Google Maps. This listing then appears on Google and Google Maps. It looks like this (2 examples):
Your listing contains your NAP information: business name, address, and phone number. It also contains your working hours, a website button and a directions button. Your NAP information will be important later on, when we create a ranking strategy for your listing.
With every search for a local business or service, a 3 pack of GMB listings appears. This 3 shows the user a “top 3” of businesses that can provide that service.
Why rank in the 3 pack of Google Maps?
If you consistently appear in the top 3, then your business will be seen a ton more. With added visibility comes more calls, leads and inquiries for your services. In addition to that, being ranked within the top 3 by Google adds more trust and credibility to your business. Your potential clients will automatically perceive you as a high quality business.
So, in essence you will get targeted people finding your business, who are likely to actually call you. Isn’t that wonderful?
How to rank your listing higher in Google Maps?
Google Maps, like organic Google Search (the 10 listings per page results), is based on an unknown algorithm. Through experience, clever search engine optimization specialists have figured out ways to give the algorithm what it’s looking for.
Below are the top 3 ranking factors that you need to account for in your local SEO ranking strategy, so that you can get more calls.
As mentioned previously, NAP refers to your business name, address, and phone number. This information is directly tied to your business. Search engines like Google will create an association with your business and your NAP.
The more consistent this information is throughout the Internet, the stronger the validation of your local business is. Search engines will trust your business because they find other websites mentioning your NAP, and it matches exactly what you have it listed as on your Google My Business listing and on your website.
So if you have ever changed your business name or address or phone number before, then there are probably city or industry directory websites that have your old information on them. In this case, you’d want to contact that directory to update your business information.
This is very important (and easy) to get right. Google My Business allows you to select one Primary Category and many Secondary Categories to describe your business.
So if you’re a roofing contractor, then you’d want to select “Roofing Contractor” as your primary category. You can type in your service and pick as a primary category the one that seems most relevant.
If you’re unsure of what category to choose, look up a competitor. Their primary category will be visible on their listing. Just copy them.
Then, find secondary categories for alternative services or broader categories (i.e “Doctor” instead of “Dermatologist”).
Optimizing Your Website
Improving your website for better SEO is a big topic. There are many strategies and techniques that you can implement on your website.
Pertaining to Google Maps rankings, each listing has a specific webpage linked to it. In most cases it’ll be the home page of your website. This page must be optimized accordingly. Here’s what you can do:
- Add Primary Category + Location to title tag
- Include Primary Category in your H1 heading
- Have plenty of descriptive text and relevant images on the page
- Add Schema JSON-LD code
- Reduce load time of page
Additional Reading for Local SEO