As a Niagara web design company, we've had many local companies come to us that have already a bit of search engine optimization general knowledge and ask, "what are some of the best strategies or best techniques we can use to help us rank higher in Google Maps Pack?"
We've had other local companies with less local SEO knowledge instead ask us, "how can ranking higher in Google Maps Pack help my local business?"
TL;DR - best strategies & techniques to rank your local business higher in Google Maps Pack:
- Construct a great Google My Business listing
- Generate 5 star reviews and respond to reviews from customers
- Build local citations
- Engage with your Google My Business listing
Best Strategies & Techniques To Rank Higher in Google Maps Pack
Before we dive into some of the best strategies to rank higher in Google Maps Pack, lets answer a few vital questions as it pertains to Google Maps Pack.
What is the Google Maps Pack?
The Google Maps Pack is when you or your customers search for local business, and the search results return the area that lists businesses with reviews.
The great thing about being a local business that offers a local service, is that pretty much anyone and everyone (yourself included) go Google Maps Pack to contact local companies for what they need.
Rarely do people click on Google Ads when they're searching for something locally. And only sometimes do they go down to the organic search results that are below the Google Maps Pack results.
More often than not - if you have a local business, you need to be in the Google Maps pack top 3 spots if you want the most local customers coming to your website, and ultimately doing business with you.
How Do I Appear In The Google Maps Pack?
To simply appear within a Google Map Pack (not talking about being the top 3), you need to create a Google My Business listing.
Once there, Google will prompt you to fill out all of your business info. Things like address, phone numbers, your company name among other vital pieces of information that will help you show up properly in Google Maps Pack.
Once you fill out all of your business' Google Maps Pack information, Google will send you a physical post card with a verification code to the address you supplied when filling in the Google Maps Pack data for your business.
Once you receive that verification code from Google, you simply login to Google My business, input the code and your listing should appear in the general Google Maps Pack within 24-48 hours.
How Do I Rank In The Top 3 in Google Maps Pack?
Appearing in the Google Maps Pack versus actually ranking in the top 3 spots when someone Googles for the local service you provide, are two completely different stories.
The first one is easy. The second one can be incredibly difficult, depending on how much competition is in your area.
1. Construct a great Google My Business listing
A big part of ranking in the Google Maps Pack is having a great Google My Business listing.
What are the quality of a great Google My Business listing?
- Use your real business name
- Be as accurate as possible and fill out all vital pieces of information. This includes your business name, business categories, map location, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, etc.
- Write original and compelling content to fill in with the description area
- Upload high quality photos of your interior / exterior of your business, as well as your logo
- At all times make sure that your Google My Business information is up-to-date and correct
- Regularly update your Google My Business listing. This can be quick posts, offers, things that are new, etc.
It's very important that you make a Google My Business listing that's compelling, accurate, filled out with content and updated regularly. This tells Google that you're using their platform regularly, and they'll reward you for it.
2. Generate 5 star reviews and respond to reviews from customers in your Google Maps Pack
A big part of ranking well in Google Maps Pack is having reviews.
Not terrible reviews, but good reviews.
Aim to give out incentives to past or current customers or clients. For example if I'm a landscaping business, I'd tell my clients to give my business a 5 star review and in return I'll give them a discount on their next project.
You need to be creative with incentivizing if that's the approach you'd like to take. If you don't want to, you can always simply ask.
A lot of people are happy to give a quick 5 star review.
Make sure there's also text in the review though, not just a 5 star review with no text. That's very important.
Also, you need to respond to negative reviews as well. When potential customers see a negative review, they almost immediately go down to what the 'owner' responded with.
Make sure to keep it positive and professional. You want people to see that you will correct your mistakes if ones are made.
If you respond harshly, that's a great way to lose potential customers. Keep it positive.
3. Build local citations for your Google Maps Pack
Building local citations for your Google Map Pack is one of the best strategies & techniques for landing your business in the top 3.
What is a local citation?
A local citation is an external website that you can put a link back to your website from, that specializes in local business.
For example, Yelp. If you make a profile on Yelp for your local business and fill it out properly (matching phone number, business address, business name etc), and put a link to your website in the Yelp profile, congratulations.
You just built a local citation.
Note - It's extremely important to make sure that when building citations, that the information you put on those local websites matches exactly with the information that's on your Google My Business listing.
If they aren't, there's a big chance you won't end up ranking in the top 3 of the Google Maps Pack.
4. Engage with your Google My Business listing
Engaging with your Google My Business listing is another great strategy / technique to helping you rank in the Google Maps Pack.
Local businesses that end up engaging on the platform rather than those that leave it stagnant for weeks, months - or even worse years, will absolutely have a better chance at ranking in the top 3.
What do I mean by engaging?
- Post regular updates. New offers, simple announcements, deals, etc.
- Keep up-to-date with store hours
- Respond to all customer reviews
- Upload new photos now and then
One of the best strategies / techniques here is that you engage. The more you engage, the more Google likes it.
The more Google likes it, the higher chance they'll reward you.
Ranking in the Google Map Pack can be hard.
However, it doesn't have to be. By creating a great Google My Business listing, getting positive reviews / responding to negative ones, building local citations and engaging with your listing - you'll have a much higher chance of success when it comes to ranking in the top 3.
Want us to help rank your business the local Google Maps Pack?
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