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How Do I Get My Firm to Show at the Top of Google Maps?

     -     Aug 13th, 2018   -     Local SEO   -     0 Comments

Many companies and professional service firms invest time and resources building up their website content, implementing and enhancing on-page SEO and engaging in social media. The focus on creating a content rich website that serves customers, clients and prospects is essential for success in search engine marketing (SEM). Since this requires a great deal of effort and consistency, it often draws attention away from other important tasks. Recently a client asked, “How do I get my firm to show at the top of a Google Maps search?” The question highlighted the importance of being found in Google Maps and of not overlooking the small items when managing your firm or company’s SEM efforts. The good news is that there is a set of steps that any marketer can follow to increase their ranking in Google maps. The unwelcome news is that it takes time and effort to optimize to get your listing to move up the list. To help marketers, business owners and others understand the Google maps optimization process, FlashPoint Marketing has provided a summary of key considerations below.

Google Maps Optimization

  • Update Your Google My Business Account – Before your company or firm can rank well in Google Maps, you need to ensure the information is updated and correct. Seems like an obvious step but most businesses have a single person that initially configures the account and information and then very little happens with it after that. It’s important to ensure the name of the business, website and business hours among other pieces of information that can be entered are up-to-date and correct. Additionally, Google discredits companies with multiple phone numbers and locations unless they are actual locations and can be independently verified. Google My Business offers many interesting features that not only increase maps ranking, but also provide essential information for clients, customers and prospects.
  • Google Reviews – Most companies solicit testimonials from satisfied customers after a service or transaction has been completed. This information is often featured on the website and in promotional material but never gets added as a Google Review. This is an important step in enhancing your maps ranking because Google wants to provide search results of the highest caliber. While opening your business for Google Reviews can be scary (because like with Yelp there is no way to control bad reviews) the potential upside is huge. Consider sending the reviews link from your maps listing to key clients and customers and ask them to leave a glowing review. Even a handful of positive reviews will serve as a launching pad for your ranking.
  • Embed a Google Map – It may seem strange, but another way that Google determines whether the information provided in your Google My Business account is accurate is by whether a Google Map is embedded on the company website. Most companies will use the embed feature on the contact or location pages of their website. Please note that Google used to make embedding maps on websites a free service, but they recently announced there is a cost for using the API. It appears there are different pricing tiers based on the Google Maps features you want to include on the site.
  • Add Photos – It goes without saying that listing in any directory is more engaging and attractive when there are photos included. Most marketers understand the need to be selective when identifying which photos to include in a public directory listing. Our advice is to find photos of the business location such as a service center location or office building. If you can include company signage along with the logo that’s a bonus. In any case, having photos will go a long way to attracting attention to your listing and pushing it up in the rankings.

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Optimizing your Google Maps listing to enhance ranking is a gradual process that will take time to accomplish. It’s important to periodically review your listing to ensure the information is accurate, positive Google reviews are provided and new photos are uploaded. Once you have achieved a high ranking it will be easier to maintain that position.

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