If you have completed a local search on Google, you may have noticed the map results at the top of the page. This is prime real-estate! As a local business you need to ensure that you are represented there. Google has only three spaces in the map pack which makes competition tight. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take which will help you rank in the map pack.
Get Those Reviews
Positive reviews for your business are essential if you want to rank in the map pack. Google knows that over 90% of consumers will regularly or occasionally read online reviews and that over 60% of these consumers feel that positive reviews make them trust a company more. These statistics should motivate and empower you to ask for and get more positive reviews for your business.
Consider that Google Reviews are one of the top ranking factors for local maps. This means that you need to start getting reviews for your website – just ask! There are a number of ways to accomplish this. Reach out to your current customers and ask them to leave a review for you on Google. Most people will do this for free. You may also look at prompting new customers to leave a review while their positive experience with you is fresh in their mind.
Local Business Citations
The number of mentions of your business, along with the accuracy of the information presented in them, can determine where your business ranks in Google search results. For this reason, it’s important to have a large volume of mentions, across a variety of citation sources. Be sure that all three components of your NAP are listed together and are listed accurately. This combination of quantity, variety and accuracy, will greatly enhance your search result ranking.
Optimize Your ‘Google My Business’
Optimized ‘Google My Business’ listings are important because they represent you impressively while providing more helpful information (which is something that Google loves). Fill out your profiles. If you are feeling overwhelmed, there are some steps for optimizing your Google listing.
You must remove any old duplicate listings you might have and ensure that you are using your actual business name. Do not add city names and keywords if they are not generally part of your business name. You also need to ensure that your physical address is displayed on your website and any other directory listings for your business.
The phone number on the listing should be a local one and not a toll-free number. You need to choose the right category for your business and add some pictures. Business hours are helpful as well. Linking back to specific pages on your website is extremely helpful if you have multiple locations.
Have A Mobile-Friendly Website
Research has shown that 4 out of 5 people will use mobile devices when looking for local information. 88% of people will use their phone for local searches. This means that you need to have a mobile-friendly website if you want to effectively represent in local searches. Google has stated that mobile-friendly websites are an important factor for ranking in the map pack.
Google Maps – Whats Next
So if you have conducted your own research and built-up your own knowledge about SEO and have made the decision to make use of an Internet Marketing Company. Here are a few important question and guideline answers you may want to use on the candidate search companies.
What Does The SEO Company Think About Your Website’s Link Profile, Off-Page, On-Page Content And Technical Structure?
Ask the companies to give you a few observations on these 3 important SEO factors which have an influence of Search Engine visibility in association to your website, particularly link building.
What Type Of Changes Are Necessary For Your Website And Will These Changes Be Noticeable?
You should be expecting the potential companies to be talking about off-page and on-page changes. The on-line involves subtle inclusions of targeted keyword-phrases featured in different locations on every page. Off-page will involve changes to the Meta data like your Meta descriptions and title tag.
Can The SEO Companies Show You Recent Examples Of Their Work?
Don’t be too concerned about references as you probably won’t be able to find a person that will offer a bad reference. You will want to make sure they are able to display example of current successes. This can include competitive short key phrases like “computer repairs” opposed to “computer repairs for right handed electricians”.
What Type Of Volume Traffic Increase Should You Be Expecting And What Is The Expected Time Frame?
There are various factors to take into consideration on the assumption that the website is “technically sound” and features original quality content you should be expecting around 50% to 100% increase in traffic of quality within a period of 6 months.
What Keyword Phrases Does The SEO Company Suggest For Your Website?
This is not always straightforward and clear in the initial consultation but the company should be expected to identify core keywords in association to your industry as well as being able to tell you the competitiveness of the segment. The company should also be able to talk about the graphic considerations and the “money” keywords like luxury, cheap, deals, get, find and buy.
Who Is Going To Be Working On Your Assignment?
In many cases you could be consulting with the Business Development professional or the principle of the company. The business should be professional and experts and once signed up you will want to know who will be working on the project.