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Google Maps Marketing is an effective tool if you want to target your local audience. Not only it helps you reach locals but also builds awareness for your brand. And the best part is you do not have to break the bank to include Google Maps Marketing in your marketing arsenal. Well, my friend, if you are not aware of this new avenue for local marketing, the help is here. I will provide you with a brief idea about Google Maps Marketing and how to do it rightly.
What Is Google Maps Marketing?
Google Maps Marketing is nothing but using Google Maps’ functionality to make your business easier to find on Google Maps, when a potential customer searches for a keyword related to your business. Simply put, it is to make your business listing appear on Google Maps when somebody searches for a keyword related to your products or services.
Now, you must be thinking that why your business needs Google Maps Marketing.
If you google for any keyword, most often, you also see Google Maps listings in search results. Most importantly, Google Maps’ results appear above the organic search results. So, it becomes imperative that your business should rank higher on Google Maps for keywords related to your products or services.
How to Do Effective Google Maps Marketing
If you want to get your business featured on Google Maps, you need to create Google My Business listing and get it verified by Google.
What is Google My Business?
It is a free tool from Google for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Google Maps and Google Search. Now, the question comes how Google determines local ranking on Google Maps.
Its local results are based on three three factors — distance, relevance, and prominence. Google combines these three factors to determine ranking on Google Maps. You must optimize your Google My Business listing so that Google can easily establish relevance and prominence of your business.
Here are a few best practices for optimizing Google My Business listing:
1- Enter Complete Data
You should enter complete and accurate information of your business, such as address, phone number and category. Also, make sure that all information is up-to-date. “When you are going to add address information to your Google My Business profile, you should make sure that you use the USPS-approved address (or any other postal service applicable to the area where your business operates),” says Google Maps Marketing expert Lalit Sharma from Ranking By SEO.
2- Verify Location
You must verify your business to get higher ranking on Google Maps. Usually, Google sends a postcard with a pin to your address for verification. Some businesses qualify for phone and email verification as well. So you should check with Google whether your business qualifies for any such privilege.
3- Keep Your Hours Accurate
Enter opening hours accurately. This will allow your potential customers to know whether you are open or not at any given time. It helps Google establish the relevancy of your business. If you are opening your business in special hours for holiday seasons, you must mention it.
4- Manage and Respond to Reviews
Google factor reviews count and score into the local ranking. You must encourage your happy customers to write reviews about your business. You may also get negative reviews, and you can do nothing about it except responding to them following Google’s guidelines. It is advisable that you should always respond to negative reviews.
5- Build High-quality Backlinks and Local Citations
High-quality backlinks and local citations help build prominence for your business. This supports your Google Maps Marketing efforts. However, you should never go for low-quality links. As your position in web results plays an important role in local results, you should follow SEO best practices to get top ranking on Google Maps.
Google Maps Marketing is an economical yet highly effective marketing tool to target local audience. Include it in your marketing arsenal to boost local sales.