By Ashley Halsey

Getting into the 3-pack on Google Maps is a worthy goal for any business because it can mean big profits for your business. This is the main thing that people look to get with SEO, but most businesses struggle to increase their Google Maps rank. Here are some great ways to boost your ranking on Google Maps for the city your business is verified in. 

1. Put your keywords in the GMB business name.

This is a big ranking factor for Google Maps. Companies use keywords naturally in a business name, so Google may pull up a business for a keyword because customers typing in the keyword are trying to find that company. This might be a tricky one, but if your competition is doing this it may be the only way to match them. The problem with this strategy is that it could affect your NAP (name, address, and phone number) consistency. However, if your business is already not NAP consistent but you’re ranking okay, then you might want to take a risk.

 2. Pick the right categories.

The Google My Business categories may not be exactly right for your business, but try to match your primary category as close as you can with the main keyword that you want to rank. Gordon Woords, a tech writer at Writinity and Last Minute Writing, says that “to do this, put in your main keyword and other big city names in Google and copy the ones that rank most frequently. You should also be maxing out the secondary categories to get more impressions on other keywords.”

 3. Get local relevance. 

Local SEO really depends on getting niche and local relevance; this is done through optimization on-page and off-page. To do this, build niche and local relevance by getting on a directory or related website. You can link out to them from your site to index them, or test them via the Google mobile-friendly tool. If they’re not indexed by Google, they won’t mean much for SEO and won’t help you rank

.4. Spend time with on-page.

On-page is really major for SEO and Google Maps and many companies don’t spend the amount of time here. Your website must have a good user experience, which means being mobile friendly, having an SSL certificate, and loading pages quickly. All of these will have direct ranking benefits by being mobile-first. 

The landing page content also has to be SEO-friendly, which means authoritative, over a thousand words, with geotagged images, modifiers, keywords and other key on-page elements. The Google Maps landing page should also have one good outbound link to another website that’s considered authoritative, and internal links to the right keywords. As previously mentioned, it should also match your NAP information from your Google Maps page to be consistent. 

5. Social, social, social.

Even Google Maps is turning to social signals to factor in your rank and in organic search results. Social signals mean how many times your site is shared, the likes it gets, and the social media appearance as seen by the search engine. Joanna Quentin, a marketer at Draft Beyond and Gum Essays, explains to her clients that “you can get social signals by buying a service or by running promotions on social media with links to your company. This has an added benefit of boosting your traffic in your region, getting you more customers and ranking you higher.” 

6. Get some reviews.

This is perhaps not too surprising, but reviews will also help you rank better on Google Maps and also benefit your click through rate from search results. Not only do you want to be in the map pack, but you also want to position your business as the most attractive option to get more customers. User behavior and click through rates are major bonuses for Google when they rank businesses.

To increase reviews, put the Google Maps review link on your invoices, in your email signature, and even on business cards. You can’t outright ask for reviews because you will go against Google’s policy, but you can make it as easy as possible for your customers to submit reviews.

 7. Write a press release.

Press releases are great backlinks for a business which show quality. Consider hiring a service that will do a press release for your business. Not only will you get great backlink benefits, but your customers will also be impressed that your business is mentioned in the news. 

Try these tactics and see how your business ranking improves on Google Maps!

Ashley Halsey is involved in marketing and website building projects, which she reports on for Lucky Assignments and Research Papers UK. She enjoys learning more about business development and how marketing can be used as a powerful tool for customer loyalty.