Google map listing placement is very important to local businesses. With more and more people using their mobile device to search (in 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones), the local map listings are one of the first things people see when they search for a local service or business.
For example, here’s a local search to me for “SEO Edinburgh”
You can see how important it is to be on this map listing panel as that is one of the first things that searches will see.
So How Does a Business Feature on the Local Pack?
Well to answer this question industry experts have provided a list of what they believe helps with getting onto Maps. Nobody knows for sure of course since Google hasn’t told anyone. This list of factors is determined from experts in the world of search. We’ll focus on the two most important factors:
Google My Business Pages
It is clear that one of the main factors suggested to get onto the local maps is having a well-structured and active Google My Business page. A business needs to make sure that their name is consistent, their categories are relevant and that they have verified the listing.
Google gives loads of help on this and it is easy to follow. Google has enabled a lot of functionality and there are ways to see how useful your listing is by looking at the Insights which Google provides. Google has provided lots of different ways to make your business stand out:
- Google Posts
If these functions are available to complete then it is a pretty big hint that we should be using them. Most businesses have the ability to complete their GMB quite well – we all have photos, know what our business does, when it was opened etc. And getting reviews should be your priority.
Links are very important in helping get onto the local pack. These aren’t low grade links which some people “buy” but quality links from highly authoritative websites or local websites. Local website links are important as they give Google an idea about where your business is anchored and help reinforce the signal that you are a local business. Search engines also care about the quantity and the diversity of links. So getting 100 links from one site is not as beneficial as 100 links from 100 good quality websites. This takes work and there are different ways and means to attract links. Sometimes businesses employ an SEO agency to do this.
Once you are eligible to be on Google Maps, it is important to remember that the primary factor for a searcher to see your business on maps is due to this: Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance) i.e. how close are they searching to the physical location of your business. So someone searching for a service in a different neighborhood from where your business is may not see your business on Maps if there are eligible businesses nearer.
Getting your business to rank is not easy despite what some people say. There is skill and hard work to do it. But when the competition is fierce it can be a game changer to feature on maps.
If you need help with getting onto the local pack, give us a call as we help local businesses do this.