Let’s take a look at Google Maps; this marketing tool that boosts the visibility of your establishment!
Google Maps is the location tool of the Mountain View giant. It is used by about 1 billion internet users every month (Google data) to find their way to a place, including a physical sign.
Given this link that Google Maps creates between users and local companies, GMaps presents itself as a real marketing tool for the latter. To get more visits to your POS, and potentially more customers, you need to be well referenced on Google Maps and have strong local SEO strategies in place.
How Google Maps works
Google Maps is a geolocation application installed natively on Android OS or accessible via maps.google.com. Google Maps is displayed as an interactive map, on which users:
see their position
perform location searches by entering a name or activity
browse to see the location of an establishment
receive routes optimized to go from place A to place B
calculate travel times based on means of travel and real-time traffic
The GPS tool of the Californian firm also offers compass functions. For anyone who needs to get recommendations of places (restaurant, gas station, hospital, etc.) based on their location, Google Maps is therefore of great use.
Generally, users take advantage of the multiple functions of the app either by opening it directly or by being redirected to it from a Google search. In either case, this is where Google Maps proves useful for businesses too. Since internet users receive recommendations, your points of sale benefit from being well positioned among the proposals of places in your category of activity. You must then work on your local visibility, So that your sign is recommended to GMaps users whose location coincides with your catchment area.
How to be present on Google Maps?
With nearly 25 million updates made every day, Google’s Maps tool offers its users location data to travel to more than 200 countries. You must therefore guarantee good visibility on Google Maps to your unique brand located in Paris, Lyon or Lille, or to all your physical points of sale anywhere in the world if you are at the head of a multinational. Each point of sale or shop must have a unique “identity” on Google Maps and be referenced.
For your brand to be present on Google Maps, it must have a record on Google My Business (GMB). Google My Business is a business activity management utility offered by Google directly related to the Maps tool.
On business.google.com, you access it directly. All you have to do is click on “Manage now”, then on “Add your business to Google”. You then provide the requested information:
name of the sign,
category of activity,
Google performs a multi-step verification of your identity.
The procedure is the same when you go directly through Google Maps (“Contribute” menu, “Add a place” option). The only difference here is that ordinary internet users can also register a sign. Google therefore first asks you if you are the owner of the place, before redirecting you to a Google My Business record.
Both during this initial configuration and in the management to be done afterwards, you must optimize your GMB sheet to ensure that you are well referenced on Google Maps.
Tips to be more visible on Google Maps
Google visibility through SEO and local visibility on Google Maps go hand in hand. On your website, publish content that is optimized, contains the right keywords and has the right structure. Among other things, in a logic of local on-site SEO, some of these keywords must combine terms related to your activity and the name of your locality of implantation. Also write effective meta-titles and meta-descriptions and take care of the internal mesh, to get a good ranking on the SERPs. Also remember to set up an off-site SEO plan (quality net linking, placement in directories, etc.).
When a local company has a website positioned among the first results, Google offers links to its GMB page and to get a route to its point of sale. But of course, beyond the “classic” SEO, the optimization of your Google My Business page is essential.
Provide accurate and up-to-date information
Provide complete information on your Google My Business listing. The physical address, telephone number, category or attributes must be filled in precisely. In terms of category, rather than a general indication such as “fashion boutique”, prefer a more precise wording such as “women’s clothing boutique”. The times indicated must also be precise, and frequently updated for events or holidays.
Manage reviews intelligently
Interactions between institutions and users are important in the ranking on Google Maps. When you respond to reviews, you are proving to Google that customer and user reviews are important to you. Then encourage your customers to leave a review.
If positive reviews improve your visibility, good management of negative reviews is just as useful.
Add photos frequently
On the users’ side, the photos allow them to get an idea of the services to which they will be entitled by going to your point of sale. For Google, this approach is seen as a desire to give potential customers as much information as possible to better guide their choices. And that’s a good point for you.
The criteria of the local ranking on Google Maps
Internet users frequently search for a property close to their location. Google displays results based on several criteria, including proximity to registered brands.
This key parameter considers the distance between the starting position indicated by the internet user and each establishment that can meet its needs. If no starting position is specified, the user’s location at the time of the search is retained by default. According to Go-gulf data, 72% of internet users searching on Google Maps end up visiting a sign within 8.5 km.
The profile of your establishment must correspond to the expectations of the internet user. It is on this condition that your point of sale is displayed as the result of its query. It is therefore essential to provide complete and accurate information on your Google My Business listing. Google can then better understand your activity and judge whether it fits a query.
Google takes into account the degree of popularity of the places to offer them to Google Maps users. Thus, an establishment more popular in fact than on the Internet has every chance of being well positioned. For this criterion of popularity, reviews and ratings also count.
The ranking of establishments combines all these factors. For example, in response to a user’s request, between two brands, the first of which is further away than the second, but better rated and more popular than the latter, Google gives priority to the former. Optimize the GMB profile of each of your points of sale to better position them on Google Maps!
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