If your business selling to a local audience and you’re in the top 3 spots of the Google maps listings, it can give you a whole lot of customers. It’s actually the best place to be on a search results page but with lots of competition, that’s only getting stiffer, you’re probably wondering what can you focus more on to rank higher than your competitors.

Claiming your Google My Business Listing

This is a pre requisite, having that listing is essential if you want to rank in Google maps and to do so the first thing you need is just to claim that listing, so if there’s no listing yet you can start setting it.

It’s simple claiming your profile allows you to control the information that Google displays and if you don’t claim your listing, Google will try to provide the best information about your business, as far as they can which isn’t always correct, so by claiming your Google my business profile you can verify all the information about your business.

So it shows up the way you wanted to it, also lets you get reviews from customers and to show up in those near me searches,just make sure you provide as much information about your business as possible and that’s because the more complete your profile is the higher your chance to show up in that higher position since this is just a ranking signal to Google and stuff like images, your website link, your operating hours, your phone number and everything else you can fill out there right.

Domain Authority

It is just an unofficial search engine ranking score, that just can basically predicts how well website can rank in searches and there are a lot of factors they can improve a site’s domain authority, including the number of backlinks you are pointing to your site,how old your site is, the age of it and how good and thorough your content is, also being search engine friendly and social signals.

Now the next ranking factors we’re gonna talk about goes side by sides to meet at the ready and this is a link building there are two factors that are important to remember here, first is the number of links pointing your page in other words Google’s ranking algorithm takes into account the number of websites and pages that link to your site no there’s a really strong tie between the number of backlinks and how well the site ranks in organic listings as well as in the map packs what’s really important for both but I do need to say backlinks are not treated equally and quality usually out place quantity every time so you actually need to really strive for getting backlinks from quality and relevant websites rather than just chasing big numbers you know legal do much more good if it’s from a website it’s in the same or a related next your own business Google just considers those kinds of links to make sense and gives them some extra context as to what your website is about so having just a couple of backlinks from really relevant websites or pages that are in the same niches you or or topically relevant to your business media much more good than a ton of links from less relevant or spammy websites.

Quality and Consistent Citations

Citation is any mention of your business name, address and phone number, otherwise known as your NAP and Google uses citations to validate your business location the more citations your business has. The better you do so how do you get it here you can check defined website directories related your industry and make sure that your NAP is accurate up to date and 100% consistent across all of them it also needs to be consistent across your website and your Google my business listing to you the details definitely matter. Here for example if your business is listed on Google maps as Henry’s Restaurant even removes the apostrophe in Henry’s could actually confuses Google and that’s going to lower your chances to rank in the map 3 pack silly as it sounds, so make sure that your citations are correct and consistent across all of them all right.

Reviews

When’s the last time you went to a restaurant without seeing some good reviews?.First if you’re like me, I will go out on a limb and say it’s been a while you know reviews make any business more trustworthy, so Google likes to rank businesses with lots of good reviews higher on Google maps, go figure not to be completely honest with you, is this the biggest ranking signal no it isn’t, but it’s a key difference maker if all else is equal and let’s even take rankings out of it, for a second let’s say you were to show up in the map listings above two other competitors, you know even if you’re on top of them and they have better or more reviews than you, you’re probably still going to lose business to them, so reviews are important all the way around, okay?, so begs the question how do you get all these positive 5 star reviews well.If you get a good review write them back, this is gonna show people of your future customers how responsive and on the ball you are as a business, but when you get a bad review which happens you also want to respond to it, but be very careful how you handle it. I actually recommend just doing the thing where you walk away from it for a day, so you don’t end up saying something in them in the heat of the moment that could be damaging to your business. It’s a real complained of some kind you want to apologize accept responsibility and offer to make it right publicly, even if it wasn’t your fault you might have to suck it up, but if it’s a fake review left by competitor or even just an online troll, I would just replacing something like: “you know we love to make sure our customers are always happy with our service, but we have no record of working with you, can you give me a few more details please?” It’s never a good idea to get defensive or aggressive in your reply. Sometimes a bad review gives you the chance to actually demonstrate your professionalism which helps to mitigate any potential damage all right.

Prominence and Popularity

Google usually likes to reward is that are well known and just all around reputable brand, so to put it simply, Google wants to provide the most reliable information to its searchers and they’re always going to try to promote actual brands, whenever they can, as opposed to small businesses they might perceive as fly by night or on reputable in anyway, so usually pulls resulted up plenty of positive feedback because they seem to be the most trusted businesses out there, no gathering more reviews and ratings will always increase a business’s likelihood of showing up at the top of the map search, but this doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t like small businesses it just doesn’t always trust them right away, that’s why it’ll be up to the business owners and their marketing team if you have one to build up your company’s reputation and make it more prominent in the surrounding community establishing prominence can be done a lot of ways, from blog write ups about your business to getting those reviews to just brand mentions on social media, just try to cover as many bases as possible so Google can see just how widely recognized your businesses.

Right next we have embedded Google maps.Now, this is another way to rank higher in Google maps and it’s 100 percent in your control and building a Google map on your site, is just another way to tell Google that your business is located where your listing says it. It’s so just be sure you use the same address you have on your Google my business listing. I recommend to build out your site, they have a built in Google maps drag and drop to make it, really easy to put it on your site, but even, if you don’t use elements or they make it really easy just to copy the embed code and put it right on your site okay

Optimize your website for local search

Now, your website is definitely your most powerful marketing tool, so Google will rely on the information it finds on your website to figure out how relevant your business is to your niche,so when optimizing your Google my business listing one of the sections you fill in is your website address and when you do that your website that acts as a landing page for your Google my business listing, as well so it’s kind of a direct impact on your raking power, so when it comes to optimize your website for local search here’s all you need to look for specifically proper title, tags, so the title tag also known as the each one is the most important piece of content on any page, it tells Google a lot and should ideally include your business name metro area or city name and your business category next is the page description, so this is your opportunity to tell Google even more about your products or services, your description should reinforce your business category location and name finally and probably equally as important as the other two, is your NAP, remember that’s your name address and phone number and I suggest putting your NAP in the footer of your website again, it should be 100 % the same as it appears in your Google my business listing itself all right.
Next we have proximity, so the single biggest factor that impacts where and when you show up in the maps is still proximity,in other words, how close are you physically to the person searching and this can be frustrating especially when you were a business that doesn’t need to be close to your customers like if you travel out to them or if you just work remotely from home and hopefully Google’s going to start to catch up and differentiate between different types of businesses and focus more on other factors for certain niches, but for now, unfortunately, it generally helps to be in the center of town or at least very close to the most people searching now.