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A beginners guide to ranking on Google maps

If you’ve already created and started implementing an SEO campaign, you might also be considering how you can rank higher on Google Maps. Google Maps appear at the top of the search results, although sometimes they can be below paid adverts. They include your company’s name, address and phone number (NAP), but can also feature directions and reviews. This guide will help you with the initial set up and will give you an introduction to the sorts of things you can be doing to improve your rankings.

Initial set up

 Before you set up your website on Google Maps, you first need to ensure your name, address and phone number are consistent wherever posted and that they are visible on your website. They might feature in your footer or sidebar, and you need to enter the exact same details on Google Maps. You should also consider embedding a Google Map into your site. To do this, follow this link and search for the address of your business. You then need to click ‘share’ then ‘embed’. Copy this embed code and place it in your chosen page on your website.

You should also consider schema. This is slightly more complex, but essentially you want to use the local business schema type that will show Google that your site is a local business. This should only take a few minutes, and there are useful guides online outlining exactly what you need to do.

The set up is vitally important, and if these steps are not completed correctly, your efforts will be in vain. Follow this link to sign up and make sure the category you choose is as accurate as possible. You will be sent a verification card in the post in order to complete to process. The set up is the most tedious part, so don’t let it put you off. It should only take you a couple of hours in total, and your hard work will soon pay off.

Citations

 Once you have completed the set up, you can now work on improving your rankings. One way to do so is through citations. Building a network shows Google that your site should be respected and rank highly. Citations are any sites that have your NAP and that link back to your own. It can be tedious to create these so you could consider outsourcing this.

 Once you have created your citations, your next step should be finding out what citations your competitors have. Using a site such as White Spark, you can enter in the keyword you want to rank for and see what citations your competitors are using that you aren’t and utilise these.

Google Custom Maps

 This is a powerful technique that will also improve your organic rankings. There are plenty of tutorials to follow online to help you do this successfully. In brief, follow this link and click ‘Create a New Map’ and make sure to include one of your keywords in the title. In order to really make a difference using this method, you need to create around 100-130 maps, making sure to add a keyword into your title and add your address and a description for each. You will also need to make each one public. This is time-consuming but effective!

Reviews

 Google Reviews can really help improve your rankings on Google Maps. Make sure you have at least five and ensure you have more than your competitors. Get into the habit of asking your customers to leave you a review as well as your family and friends.

Links from local authority sites

This is a simple tactic but can prove expensive. Try to secure links back to your site from the Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau and local charities.

These are just some of the things that you can do to improve your rankings on Google Maps. Your SEO campaign for organic rankings will also help. Remember that the world of SEO is always changing so make sure to keep on top of updates or to seek professional help.

For SEO help, contact the Webahead team today.

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