Google Maps helps users navigate their way around cities and countries easily. The service has millions of users worldwide who trust its information. So how can you optimize your map listings to increase your visibility on Google Maps? What does the Google Maps SEO checklist include?
As maps become ubiquitous, it’s important to get them right – both in terms of accuracy and usability. Google Maps aims to provide accurate mapping data and information. This allows businesses to target customers according to their location, helping retailers improve customer satisfaction and increase sales.
Having Google My Business accounts enables you to manage offline locations, store inventory, and share promotions and events from multiple channels.
Here’s our complete Google Maps SEO checklist for local searches and driving traffic to your website.
Table of Contents
What You Need to Include in Your Google Maps SEO Checklist
In this guide, we will look at creating an effective Google Maps SEO checklist. Then, we’ll show you what you need to include in your Google Maps SEO guide. Finally, we’ll explain why these things matter.
Have You Set-Up Your Google My Business Account?
Google My Business is a free platform provided to local businesses by Google. You can use this service to create an online presence for your business. Your business can be listed on Google Maps, Google Search, Google+ Local, Google Shopping, Google Reviews, and more.
This business page should include everything about the company, such as the business name, address, phone number, business category, business hours, and the likes. It should also include information about the products and services offered by the business. This page aims to increase the ranking of the business on the Google search engine and increase traffic and revenue.
Have You Given a Good Description of Your Business on Google Maps?
The first thing is to make sure that you have a good description of your business on Google Maps. This can be done by adding a free business listing, or if you already have a paid listing, you should add a short description with a list of keywords.
How to Setup Your Google My Business
Step 1: Log into your Google Account.
Step 2: Click on the blue button. It would say ‘Manage Now.’
Step 3: Create the business listing and name your Business Profile.
Step 4: Add all of your important business info. Before creating your GMB profile, you should familiarize yourself with Google’s guidelines. Don’t create GMB spam. Not only does this will offer a horrible user experience for your potential customers, but it will also put you at risk of penalties and suspensions.
Step 5: Add as much information about your business listing as possible. This is when you’ll get to add them to your profile. Use this free platform to include as much information as you can. Make sure that your Google My Business contact info matches your website.
This is an easy step-by-step guide to get started with Google Maps SEO. You can also use this as a reference if you’re stuck while trying to optimize your map listings.
Have You Completed Your NAP?
NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) are very useful for companies like Google who want to organize their business. For example, you will find out if this address belongs to a company or not. Also, when you go to a destination, you will know if the place exists or not.
If a NAP looks incomplete, Google won’t recognize it and may not list it on Google Maps. So always ensure that all the required fields are filled in completely to avoid this problem.
The description of the location is a place where many businesses fail. For example, many businesses use the same description on every location page and change the city name. Similarly, you should avoid keyword stuffing when adding relevant keywords to your description.
To fix this problem, create unique descriptions for each listing. This includes both the city and street names. Take into consideration the area codes too. For example, look for a business like a pizza restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. They would likely take the following structure using the +1 866 formats. “Pizza restaurant located at 50 Alameda Street, Berkeley CA 94710.”
How Do You Include the Company Name On Google Maps?
You must check your online listings to see if they’re included in the Google My Business dashboard. The dashboard shows you information about your listings across various platforms, including your Google Places page, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, and Twitter account.
Can You Get All of Your Locations In One Place?
The easiest option for showing multiple locations on the map would be using a polygon shape in Google maps. Polygons are shapes that connect many points at which a single line segment can pass through.
To include a polygon shape in the center of your map, start by drawing a straight line between two points. These lines connect two different places. Once you complete this step, you can use the circle tool above the map to draw a polygon around these lines. You can drag the circles by holding down shift when clicking anywhere on the canvas. Then, drag over each point to connect it to the previous point.
Once you complete this step, the first set of polygons appears on the map. Now simply click each polygon once to turn it into a marker. Then, click ‘add another’ in the top left corner to keep adding new ones.
Note: Some businesses prefer to put multiple markers for different addresses on the same map, especially if they have more than one store or office. This option is available when creating/editing a location marker.
You can change how the pins look by changing the icon style. To do this, you can also change the color of your pin by typing in the box below called Pin Color.
Have You Added Directions to Your Business in Google Maps?
Directions to your business can be helpful both to users who want to find you and to people that might be fascinated with your business. Including directions to your business can also help naturally work into geo-specific keyword suggestions and target your copy.
Adding Directions to Your Business Takes Just Two Steps:
First, you need to ensure that the address you want to direct people to is publicly listed. If it isn’t already there, visit your Google Places page and add the address under the ‘More Info. You’ll see an asterisk (*) next to the address name. Click on the * and enter your website address. When completed, click Save.
Next, head back to your main map tab of the Google property manager and select ‘Directions.’ You can then search for nearby directions to your business. By providing a destination such as “1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View,” you can specify what kind of directions you’d like to show up.
You can choose from driving directions (which will show on the map), transit directions, walking directions, bicycling, or biking and driving directions. You can also customize your results to only show traffic lights when relevant or provide additional information such as time estimates. And finally, you can adjust your results to show directions from any point within a specific radius of your business.
Note: Driving directions will only appear on the map after a user has entered their address — so make sure you’ve added your address to your Google Places page before you try this feature.
Have You Already Built Local Links?
Local links are very important for SEO. Building local links is an especially important ranking factor for Google Maps. Links that aren’t marked as nofollow pass authority, but local links have a much higher chance of driving business.
Start with local businesses you already have relationships with, organizations you’re supporting, or even companies you know well. Offer to write or record a review in exchange for a link. Then, create a piece of content that helps both of your audiences.
Link building is something that is done slowly and strategically. Some people like to work through directories; others prefer blogs. But, as long as you keep doing it right and regularly, you’ll see results over time.
Local business owners often collaborate, and sometimes there are opportunities for cross-promotion. Businesses benefit when they share content, such as tips or offers. Cross promotions help to drive traffic and boost sales.
Here’s How to Pitch for Local Links
Niche content creation is an effective strategy for growing your audience and increasing conversions. You should consider reaching out to other businesses within your industry and asking them to help promote your content. This also helps you learn more about common types of products and services your target customer questions and needs.
This process can also work even without an existing relationship with the company currently.
Here’s a simple outreach template you can use.
Say hi to and tell them you’re also a business owner. You might ask about what’s going on in their business and mention that you’d be happy to help if they ever needed any assistance.
Take this chance to introduce yourself and tell them that if there’s ever something their team needs, don’t hesitate to contact us.
“I’m currently working on writing an article for [BLOG NAME] about [INSERT BLUEPRINT ARTICLE TITLE]. As we’re both serving a similar audience and complementing each other well, I wondered whether you would like to be mentioned in the article?”
You can also use this template:
If I were writing an article for a blog about [topics related to their industry], then I’d want some words from someone who has experience working within [their industry]. [You could add a section for resources to your website’s resource page.] If you’re interested, please tell me whether you would be willing to participate.
Thanks for your time, and I’m glad we got to meet!
Pro tip: If you’re looking to build internal links on a tight budget, get approval for the links before investing the time and resources into content collaborations.
Have You Checked Your Positive User Experience Reviews?
Reviews are still one of the most vital components in Google Maps’ ranking factor. Building more reviews offers a much better customer experience, helps to build up social proof, and manages customer expectations. Also, reviews can sell your product or services before you even contact your potential customers.
Reviews are important when you’re looking to buy something online. You need to know if someone else had a bad experience with the product before buying it yourself.
Don’t ask for reviews too early. You’ll be asking for a review when your customers haven’t had enough time to use your product or service.
Reviews are an important element of any business. Google Maps helps customers find businesses based on reviews. Business owners need to know how to use reviews as a marketing tool.
Google knows what customers want when it comes to reading reviews. Reviews are important to them, and they use them as a guide to making decisions about products. However, they do not consider who has the most reviews, but whether the reviews are helpful or not.
Reviewers should be trained to ask for customer feedback. Businesses need to create systems and processes to help them generate reviews. A tool such as Moz Local can help with this by monitoring the flow of reviews and allowing businesses to respond to reviews in real-time.
When asking for reviews, don’t ask too soon. You want people to use your product/service first. Then, when they’re having problems, you can get them to write about it!
Have You Added Schema?
As a rule of thumb, all local businesses should find the most specific business type relevant for them. Then, check out Scheme.org for a list of more specific business types to match your business.
A schema is a powerful tool that enables a major search engine to understand what type of business you have. It uses structured data markup to make websites easier for humans and machines alike. When your web pages have schema markup, Google will see the keywords as clear signals to highlight your page in its search results. Google search also displays a preview for each result.
Schema markup is beneficial because it allows searchers to read a brief description of your business’s specialties without having to click through a long-winded menu. This ensures that searchers will only see the information they need.
Schema can help you gain visibility through organic search, but it may also help boost your search rankings in paid ads. Always use the latest version of Schema for best results.
Have You Tracked Your Analytics?
Tracking your results is crucial in search engine optimization and online marketing, but Google My Business is no exception. As a result, most of your business profile data will be found in your GMB account. You can obtain this information by going into GMB and selecting insights on the far left side of the page.
Tracking your keyword research tool results is crucial in SEO and online marketing. Google My Business is no exception. Most of your profile analysis will be found in your account. You can retrieve this information through Google My Business and select “Insights” on the far left side of the page. This shows you how many people searched for your business name or keyword ideas and whether those mobile searches were successful or unsuccessful.
Log into your Google Analytics profile and pick “Insights” from the menu bar at the top left corner to get insights for your Google Analytics profile.
The first thing you will see in the Insights section are the most important metrics, including:
- Google Reviews
- Avg. Review Time
- Reviews per Month
- Most Helpful Reviews
- What target keywords led visitors to your listing
- How many times does your listing appear on Google Maps
- What the customer took actions
- The location of customers that queried you
- The time of the day your customers have queried you
- What photos have been viewed
- The frequency of such photos have been viewed
Have You Optimized Your Meta Data?
Metadata is information about the content types on a page within the HTML document. It may contain things like title, description, long-tail keywords, etc. In this instance, you could use them to create an SEO strategy for optimizing the page to rank higher in search results.
Metadata helps identify and target people who are interested in a particular area. It also helps determine how much traffic a location will receive from mobile phones or tablets. If you add this information to a map, the audience quickly finds nearby businesses.