If you want to increase your local visibility, a local map listing is one of the most effective strategies. You can do this by creating or claiming your Google Business Profile page.
Local maps are a prominent feature on organic search engine results pages (SERPs) for local searches. Getting into the Google Map Pack is extremely competitive and requires several local SEO tactics. For more information, read on Digital Marketing Agency Orlando.
1. Easy Access to Information
Local maps are one of the most effective ways to connect with a local audience. They help users find the businesses they are looking for and provide key information like contact details, website addresses, operating hours, customer reviews, and more. Getting listed on local maps is an important part of any business’s online marketing strategy, as it can significantly improve sign-ups, site visits, phone calls, and other desirable conversions.
Local map listings are featured on search engines, navigation apps such as Google and Apple Maps, and social media platforms. They typically display a map with small pins indicating the location of different businesses in an area. When clicked, the map displays a list of results with important information about the business, including its name, address, and phone number (NAP), its website, and a link to its Facebook or Foursquare profile.
The local map feature, also known as the “Local 3-Pack,” is a special section of the SERP that shows three businesses related to a user’s query. It appears when users enter a local intent into their search query, such as “barber shop near me” or “best sushi restaurants in [city].” The Local 3-Pack is the most visible type of SERP listing and has the potential to drive an enormous amount of traffic to a business’s website, storefront, or phone line.
Getting your business to rank within the local pack requires an effective combination of local SEO strategies. These include optimizing your business’s Google Business Profile, claiming existing listings, updating listing information, and enhancing the number of positive customer reviews your business has. You can also make your business stand out by adding photos of your storefront, interior, or menu and ensuring that you update the information regularly, such as when your opening times change.
When it comes to local listings, NAP consistency is a key factor in achieving the top position. However, this can be a challenge for service-area businesses that do not have a published address. This is why it is important to use citation sites that offer the option of hiding an address for service-area businesses. By using these citation sites, you can ensure that your NAP data is displayed accurately across all the relevant local listings.
2. Increased customer interaction
Back in the days of real-world phone books and paper directories, local map listings were almost a necessity for businesses. They provided a quick and easy way for customers to find and reach out to a company, whether they were walking in front of the business’ brick-and-mortar location or simply looking them up in the phone book. With the advent of mobile devices and search engines, the need for a robust and accurate local map listing strategy has become more important than ever.
A local map listing displays key information about a business, such as its address, hours of operation, and contact information. Additionally, it allows consumers to review and share information about the business. These reviews and ratings often play a major role in the decision-making process of potential customers, particularly when it comes to purchasing services.
The local pack features three results that Google considers most relevant to the query and the searcher’s location. This is a big advantage for businesses that serve specific areas. However, if a client’s website is not highly optimized for local searches, it may be difficult to appear in the Google Map Pack.
This is why it’s so important to optimize websites for local searches and make sure that Google Maps has all the relevant information for a business. Gaining backlinks from other local websites and organizations, such as community organizations, tourism websites, or newspapers, can help prove that a business is associated with a specific geographic area.
It’s also crucial for local businesses to have a strong social media presence. Social platforms such as Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter can boost a brand’s visibility and increase customer interaction. By sharing positive user-generated content (UGC), a business can increase trust and credibility among potential customers, which will ultimately improve its local ranking.
In addition to having a strong social media presence, local businesses need to ensure that their NAP data is correct and consistent across all of their business listings. This is why utilizing a service that can identify and update your NAP across various local directories and apps, such as Yext, can be a helpful tool for any local SEO campaign. These services can even provide access to extra tools and insights, such as the ability to manage Google Ad campaigns or view specific metrics about how customers are interacting with their local listing.
3. Better Conversions
Getting your business listed on Google Maps is a great way to improve your online visibility and establish trust with potential customers. Maps listings also make it easier for customers to find your products and services, helping you drive more sign-ups, website visits, phone calls, and other desirable conversions.
In order to appear in the Local 3-Pack, businesses must have a Google Business Profile listing that is optimized and able to receive positive customer reviews. Then, to rank high in the local pack, it’s important to follow other local SEO strategies such as focusing on the right keywords, optimizing on-site and off-site content, and creating effective landing pages.
It’s crucial to remember that Google’s search algorithm is constantly changing, and the local results it displays depend on many different factors. For example, the vicinity update in December 2021 greatly shifted the weight of factors such as distance and location when it comes to local search rankings.
As such, it’s crucial to continually monitor your local search results (preferably in Incognito Mode and while not logged into an account) to ensure that you’re still ranking highly for the keywords you’re targeting. Fortunately, there are numerous rank monitoring tools that can help you do this easily.
4. Access to Google Maps Packages
When it comes to local search, Google has really cornered the market. It is clear to see why many businesses have shifted their focus to obtaining a spot in the Google Maps Package (also known as the “Local 3-Pack”). Appearing within this pack can drastically increase online visibility and lead to increased sign-ups, phone calls, site visits, and other desirable conversions for businesses.
The Maps Package is a prominent section in Google’s SERP that showcases the top three results for a given search query. Each listing includes key information such as the business name, address, contact number, photo, and website link. Additionally, the pack displays reviews and other relevant data that can help a user make a decision on which business to choose.
While the Maps Pack is a great way to increase visibility for a local business, it can also be challenging for marketers. Obtaining a spot in the Maps Pack requires a combination of local SEO strategies as well as optimizing a Google Business Profile. In addition, different algorithms power the main Google search results and the Maps Pack, so it is essential for businesses to have a holistic approach to local SEO.
Unlike other online directories, Google allows anyone in the world to add a business to the Google Maps database. However, only the verified owner of a business has control over their listing. It is important for businesses to regularly monitor their listings and check whether there are any unauthorized edits. If there are, the business should promptly notify Google so that they can correct these listings and ensure their information is up-to-date at all times.
As Google continues to evolve and introduce new features for the Maps Package, it is important for businesses to take note of these changes. A few of the most popular features include filtering options, traffic reporting, ad scheduling, and integrations with social media. These new features will further improve the overall experience for users and help businesses better compete in the local space. To keep up with the latest features, it is recommended that businesses stay updated on Google’s official blog.