oday, more than a billion users use Google Maps every month to find directions, information and local businesses. It’s thought that as much as 50% of click traffic now goes to the top three businesses that Google suggests next to the map result. These three businesses are what we call the map pack.
This is actually really great news for local brick and mortar businesses because it means that Mom’s Local Bakery no longer has to compete on Google with national chains with millions of dollars to spend on SEO and online advertising. Instead, Mom’s Local Bakery simply has to compete with those other bakeries in her market.
This makes a lot of sense for Google because Google’s target customers are those people performing a search, and to stay relevant, Google wants to give those searchers the most current and relevant information that Google can. This way searchers will keep coming back to Google for more information.
If you and I want to be found on Google, we have to play by Google’s rules by providing the most relevant and accurate information to someone performing a search that we can. If we can do that, Google will award us with customers.
If we can play by Google's rules, Google will award us with customers.
How to Show Up on Google Map Listings
Google uses the name, address and phone number (NAP) information of your business to triangulate the accuracy and relevance of your business. Google will compare the accuracy of your NAP information on your Google Business profile with the information on your website and on third-party directories across the web. (We will get more into third-party directories in a moment.) This means that you want your name, address and phone number to be exactly the same everywhere your business exists online.
For example, if your address is 1224 Park Street, don’t put 1224 Park Street on your website and 1224 Park St. on Google and 1224 Park on Facebook, because Google will see these as different addresses. It should say 1224 Park Street everywhere.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Gather Your Business Information
- Gather a Handful of Keywords
- Set Up Your Google Business Listing
- Set Up Additional Directories
Gather Your Business Information
We suggest you take the name, address and phone number on your website and copy those into a document that you will paste into other directories. If you copy and paste your information from a single document rather than hand typing it, it will be exactly the same across all properties. We call this document the NAP Info document.
Gather a Handful of Keywords
Google will use keywords to try to understand who you are and what your business does. It will look at your website for this as well as your Google Business Listing and third-party directories.
Either use an SEO tool or simply make an educated guess at three or four terms that a customer would use to try to find your business online. Put this into your NAP Info document.
One important keyword will be the city your business is located in, as well as the term “near me”. Both of these are used a great deal when someone is doing a search for a local business, because these are terms that Google suggests.
You will also want to write a five to seven sentence description of your business using those keywords and city, along with your business name.
For example, Mom’s Local Bakery, located in Boston, MA might look a little something like this: (keywords in bold)
Mom’s Local Bakery located in Boston, has more than 300 fresh breads, pies, and handmade pastries all baked fresh every morning. If you are looking for a bakery near me, you should give us a call today! We also cater and offer wholesale pricing for local restaurants.
Set Up Your Google Business Listing
Go to Google's Business profile page and create a free profile. Paste the NAP information into this profile from your NAP Info document. You will also want to add at least three photos, and a description of your business, but try your best to fill out all fields. This is where those keywords come in. Include those keywords in the labels and descriptive fields of your images as well as the business description you wrote.
Set Up Additional Directories
As previously mentioned, Google triangulates the accuracy and relevance of your business by comparing your NAP information and keywords from your website with that information on your Google Business Listing and third-party directories. Third-party directories are any website that will show business information, such as Facebook, Apple Maps, Bing and a list of directories most of us don’t even know exists for this triangulation of information, such as YellowPages.com, NextDoor, Zamato and more.
Once your Google Business Listing is set up, you should create accounts on at least ten other sites. When those sites ask you for your name, address and phone number, paste that information into the site from your NAP Info document. This will keep all of your information accurate. We help our clients stay 100% accurate on more than 65 directory listings.
Now, we know full well what you are probably thinking at this moment…how will I possibly manage ten business listings?
We know that staying up-to-date and accurate on even one Google listing can take a business owner a lot of time, much less ten listings. Then you add multiple locations into the mix and you can quickly see how a service like ours becomes relevant for businesses who want to win on Google Local Search results.
We keep our clients locations 100% accurate across more than 65 directories and include call tracking at no extra cost for the purpose of tracking sales results through those listings. Every one of our clients ends up in the top three map pack within 90 days. Because, no one else in their market is as accurate and relevant as they are.
We charge a flat rate for this service, which decreases per location for multiple locations managed.
If you would like to know more, we would love to chat. Just drop us a line or give us a call. No obligation ever, and no long term contracts.