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How to appear more often in Google Map Listings

  • 26th February 201726/02/17
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For many businesses in the South West Google Map Listings will be a source of confusion and annoyance in equal measure.  We’re regularly met with questions about duplicate listings, their connection to Google+ and what dictates who, and who does not appear on the maps displayed when a search is made on Google for a certain term.

It’s that last point that we’re going to focus on in this blog and principally how you can maximise your chances of appearing on Google Map Listings.

The first thing to highlight is that map listings are formed using a different algorithm than the main (organic) search rankings.  The calculations made here are far simpler than those utilised to dictate the ranking of your website, and with this in mind there are some simple things that you can do in order to appear more often on maps.

Fill out your Google My Business account in its entirety

Once you’ve set up your Google My Business location and gotten over the fact that Google (the largest thing on the internet) still use paper postcards to verify business locations, they ask you to fill out some information on your business (this can also be filled out when you are setting up your account / location).

Our first bit of advice is to make sure that this is filled out in its entirety.  You’d be amazed at the number of businesses that don’t actually do this and it does have an impact; so whether it’s adding as many photos as you’re allowed, or making sure that your telephone numbers and opening times are completed and accurate, spend ten minutes to make sure it’s done.  It will be worth it!

Build familiarity with your address / location

How do you do this? Directory listings! Google searches business directories to gain an understanding and corroboration of where companies are based.  The more you’re on, and the more it finds your address listed at a certain location, the more familiarity it’s going to have with it and the higher your chances of appearing there on maps.

How do you find directories? Well there’s the obvious googling of “business directories”, but we’ll assume you’re already all over that one, so another method to try is by putting your competitors URL into Google and taking a look at the listings that come up.

For example, if we Google www.insertcompetitornamehere.co.uk we’ll be met by pages and pages of search results.  Go through the first 10 pages, and make a note of everywhere your competitor is listed in a directory, and get your own listing on those sites.

Make sure that it’s the same in format, and that means everywhere

We’ve said that Google wants to build familiarity, and an effective way of doing this is to ensure that your address is always shown in the same format and layout…

Example…

If you’re using the following format for your address:

Address Line 1
Address Line 2
County, Postcode

Ensure you use this on all of your listings and your own website.  Don’t change it to other formats such as:

Address Line 1
Address Line 2
Address Line 3
Town
County
Postcode

It’s important that it’s in the same format on your site and all other directory submissions and keeping it uniform will increase your chances of map glory.

Integrate a Google Map onto your website

An easy win and a quick addition for you and your website developer to make.

If you’ve not already got one, make sure you have an embedded Google map (that includes your location) on your website.  The most common and obvious place for you to add this is going to be on your contact page.

Get some Google Reviews

These are growing in importance and Google are also trying to encourage people to make more and more of them.  If you can, try to get Google reviews from some of your customers and clients.  Tempted to get everyone in the office to fill our some glowing reviews? Don’t; Google knows the IP address from which reviews are made and will quickly smell something a little fishy if you suddenly get a batch of 5* reviews from the same office block!

Conclusion

So there you have it! That’s five very simple and pretty quick ways to increase your website’s chances of appearing on Google Map Listings.  We’ve seen these alterations work for others, so give them a go and see how you get on.  Remember that there’s always a slight delay between any changes you make and their results on search engines, so have a little patience too!

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