Why is the map so important?
Not every industry can benefit from the map, but if you look up some, such as “SEO Kingston”, or “Doctor Kingston”, you will see that Google automatically populates a map. It’s called Google Places and as a business, it’s one of the first places you should populate with information. All you have to do is set up your free Google my Business account.
The map has become a great tool for people. The list is perfect so people can choose the best location based on Google’s recommendations. Many people don’t realize that it isn’t the same thing as Google’s search list. You may not rank well on one, while you come first on the other.
But how can a business take advantage of the map? How can you increase your position?
1. Business information
- Your Business Information has to be on your Google business page and across the internet. Once Google can confirm your information is accurate, it will determine that you are a real company and that you’re local. Make sure you add your company information to as many listings as possible.
This section is really broken down into a few smaller points. Make sure your name, phone number, and address are correct and consistent and local. You will also want to make sure your category is correct. You don’t want to compete with Walmart if you aren’t in the same industry.
2. Google Business Page Photos
- Adding photos to your business page will help prove to Google that you’re real as well. Not only that, but people looking at your business page will be able to see what your facility is like. If you are show-worthy then people will be more inclined to show up.
3. Google Map
- Embedding a Google Map on your website may seem like a you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours situation, but it isn’t. It’s more that Google can verify your location if you have their map on your page proving it.
4. Google Reviews
- Google believes in the power of social proof. It’s why they have Google+ and why they have a review system. In fact, having more reviews will overweight everything. It’s arguably one of the most important things you go do to make sure people not only see your flag on the map first, but explore yours if you aren’t first. People will tend to gloss over a business that has fewer or no reviews. Making sure your reviews are populated with write-ups is very important too. According to Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers see reviews as powerful as personal recommendations.
Aside from item three, you don’t have to be a web developer to accomplish these items. You want to make a habit of getting them right however so you can ensure people are choosing you over your competition.
Get into the habit of searching for your company to see where you show up. Add your contact info to every new directory that you find, but make sure it’s consistent.
When it comes to reviews, it can never hurt to ask. I’m sure you’re already doing a super fantastic job for them so everyone will want to shout your praises. Saying it, and writing it down or having the time to think about it are two different things however. The best thing you can do is send them an email asking for a review. Be honest with them, you need the reviews to spread the word.