Using Google Maps with local SEO strategy is a fantastic way to boost your business locally. Google Maps is integrated directly into Google and can help you generate quality local leads and gain even more visitors. Google shows local Map listings prominently in both organic and paid results on Google Search Results and on Google Maps listings at the top of all paid search results. Local SEO has become extremely competitive and many businesses struggle to get enough leads to break even in a local area. However, with a well-planned local SEO marketing campaign, you can improve your online presence and increase local conversions.
Google Maps has different functionalities such as Google Maps source, Map source, postal map and Google satellite navigation. All of these different functionalities can provide you with an improved user experience when using Google Maps. The problem with relying entirely on organic search results for promoting your business is that it can be difficult to judge your ranking due to a lack of organic traffic. Organic search results rely heavily on the relevance of a site’s address and contact information and generally rely heavily on meta tags and schema markup. Google Maps has changed recently by adding a new layer called Zagat where you can enter more specific information about your business. By entering more information into Google Maps, you can get a better understanding of how Google views your physical location and what other sites you should be linking to.
One of the key factors in ranking highly for a local business listing on Google Maps is to provide contact information. Google Maps uses a special algorithm to evaluate a site’s credibility. When evaluating a site’s credibility, the relevancy of its address and contact information is given more importance than the overall number of incoming links back to the site. So, ensuring that your address and contact information are correctly provided on your Google Maps listing will help boost your ranking.
While Google Maps offers a number of benefits and uses an entirely different set of algorithms than the ones used by Google, it is important that you understand how they work in order to gain the best advantage over the competition. The major differences between SEO Google Maps and other ranking factors is the frequency with which you will update the information, the frequency with which you will share this information with third parties, and the relevancy of the information. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the other ranking factors depend on the quality of your links – if you do not provide high quality links, you will rank lower on Google Maps. As you may imagine, high relevancy is extremely important in order to rank higher on Google Maps since your potential customers will be much more likely to visit your website if they are convinced that the information you provide is correct and reliable.
The second factor that plays an important role in ranking higher on Google Maps is the relevance of the information provided. If you enter an address and contact information and the information you provide does not make sense then you will rank poorly. This is one of the major differences between Google Maps and the rest of the search results since Google uses its own proprietary information to derive rankings. On the other hand, the information you receive from other search engines such as Yahoo and MSN is based on different schemas. The Yahoo/MSN information uses the structure called XML schema markup to the Google Maps software use the simpler format known as GML format. In addition to the differences between the two schemas, each has its own sets of ranking factors associated with it that you must consider when working to achieve better ranking in Google Maps.
The final two factors that affect rankings are the contact information and the business listing itself. In order to rank higher in Google Maps, you should provide as much relevant information as possible about the specific business listing you are trying to obtain and you should ensure that the contact information you provide relates to the business listing as much as possible. For instance, if the business listing is for a dentist and the phone number is linked to a website promoting dog grooming services, the address that you provide is irrelevant since the real purpose of the link is for the contact details of the dentist. Google Maps will rank higher for higher quality links, since these are more relevant to the local business.