When prospective customers look for local businesses, they often turn to Google Maps. Google maps help people find your business. The local search capabilities allow Google Maps list businesses that relate to the user’s search. Once these results are available, the user can view their options before making a decision to visit or contact the business. Google Maps act as a search engine to find the business that users are looking for and then as a map to direct users to that location. Let’s talk about how your business can get found and get chosen with Google Maps marketing.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this article.
- Why Google Maps Matters
- Claim Your Google My Business Profile
- How to Optimize your Google My Business Listing
- Increasing Visibility with Google Maps Marketing
- Birdeye Can Help
Why Google Maps Matters
Google Maps matters for a very simple reason: it’s one of the most popular ways for new customers to discover your business.
When you do a “near me” search for local businesses, you’ll see results like these.
With mobile search becoming more and more prevalent, these types of searches are becoming more and more common.
Google ranks businesses on Google Maps based on three factors: distance, relevance, and prominence. Distance and relevance are pretty straightforward. The closer you are to the customer and the more relevant your business is to what the customer is searching for, the better chance you have of getting discovered.
Claim Your Google My Business Profile
The first step to marketing your business on Google Maps is setting up and optimizing your Google My Business profile. Your Google My Business profile controls how you appear to prospective customers on Google Maps. Your profile is free to claim and register.
The first step is to claim your Google My Business profile if you haven’t done so already. Most existing businesses already have Google My Business. Go ahead and follow a step-to-step process to claim your Google My Business profile.
Having a Google My Business profile will help your business get discovered by more customers. According to Moz, Google My Business is the #1 factor determining your local search ranking. By claiming your profile and adding relevant information, you have a significantly higher chance of ranking at the top of search results.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Remember, the more information you provide on your Google My Business listing, the better chance you have of ranking higher on search.
The key here is to keep in mind the three main factors of distance, relevance, and prominence. Here’s some business information that can help you with these three factors.
Add an Accurate Business Description
Google allows businesses to give short descriptions of businesses that are 750 characters or less. This is a great opportunity to give customers and potential customers relevant information about your business.
Try not to stuff a bunch of keywords into your business description. But do make sure that you’re giving your customers relevant information about the services you provide.
Remember, one of the three factors that Google ranks your business on is “relevance”. That makes it important that you’re claiming all the relevant categories for your business.
Include High-Definition Photos
Customers form first impressions of your business based on your Google My Business profile. Make sure that their first impression isn’t a badly-lighted picture of a blurry storefront. According to Google, businesses with photos get 35% more clicks to their website.
With a third-party app, you can also add metadata to your photos. This is information that will help Google’s bots “read” your photos. Here you can add relevant information about the services that your business provides.
Increasing Visibility with Google Maps Marketing
Here are a couple of easy steps for businesses to start increasing visibility on Google Maps.
- Collect Authentic Customer Reviews
Remember, Google trusts reviews. The more reviews you have, the better chance you have of collecting customer reviews.
So here are a few tips to help you get started collecting reviews.
Send review requests via text or email
Chances are that you have a lot of customers out there who would be more than happy to leave a review. The only problem is that most of them aren’t going to be proactive and try to find your profile on review sites. By sending review requests via text and email, you can make the process easy for your customers.
(Quick side note: Here’s some info on Google Maps’ review filter)
Send review requests to all of your customers
The more reviews, the better. Be sure to send review requests to all of your customers. Chances are that you might get a few negative reviews. That’s nothing to worry about. A few negative reviews can convince potential customers that all of your reviews are authentic.
Claim Your Google My Business Shortlink
Remember, while reviews from every review site are important, Google does value the reviews posted on its own platform. So when you’re sending review request texts and emails, make sure that you include your own custom GMB short review link to get Google reviews. Here’s a guide to claiming your short review link.
- Respond to Customer Reviews
Remember, the story isn’t over when the customer has written the review. Make sure to respond to all of your customer reviews.
While responding to reviews helps you to build customer loyalty, it can also help you turn users into loyal customers. Google has confirmed that responding to customer reviews leads to a higher ranking on search and Maps.
Want to know how you can start responding to both positive and negative reviews? Download our free guide “Review Response Templates”.
- Use Google My Business Posts
Google My Business gives you the option to make posts. These posts are temporary updates that will appear on your Google My Business profile for seven days.
These posts are a great way to promote time-sensitive information. Google My Business Posts is an easy way to share discounts, promote upcoming events, and news about your business.
- Keep Track of Google Insights
Google My Business provides you with insights that tell you how your business is performing in terms of important metrics like direction requests, times for phone calls, and how many customers have seen your listing information. You can use this information to see how customers interact with your business.
- Paid Advertising on Google Maps
If you’re willing to spend, paid advertising on Google Maps can help get your business more visibility. Local search ads help your business appear on Google Maps more often. You’ll be required to pay every time a potential customer clicks on your ad.
How Birdeye Can Help
Remember, reviews are one of the most important factors determining your brand’s prominence factor. But keeping track of your online reviews is hard to do manually. Business owners typically don’t have time to send review request texts and emails every day and respond to reviews across hundreds of sites.
Luckily, Birdeye can help. With Birdeye’s all-in-one dashboard, you can send review requests to your customers automatically. You can get authentic reviews without lifting a finger.
Birdeye makes responding to customer reviews easier than ever. You don’t need to switch between Google, Facebook, and the hundreds of other review sites on the Internet. Birdeye aggregates reviews from 150+ sites within its dashboard. When you type a response, it will appear on the site where the review originally appeared.
Try Birdeye, the #1 Review Software
Don’t fall behind on Google reviews. Birdeye gives you all the tools you need to collect authentic reviews and leverage them for growth. More than 60,000 businesses use Birdeye to collect authentic reviews, improve customer experience, and drive revenue.