Google Maps has continued a massive impact on local searches over the last few years.
Being in the Google Maps 3 pack at the top of many search results is the holy grail of online exposure for a local business online.
And just when you might have thought Google Maps couldn’t dominate that space any more than it already has…
…Google just purchased Urban Engines.
This is a site that helps people get around traffic jams and find the fastest most efficient combination of public and private transport?
Google Wants To Totally Dominate The Local Space
This makes your phone a highly competitive GPS for your car. When I was in New Zealand, we opted out of getting a GPS and just used our phone.
If you’re going somewhere and you use a Google search to work out the fastest way to get there Google has you covered.
And it means Google can track people more and has more opportunity to advertise.
That puts Google in even control when it comes to local.
You can expect Google to launch all kinds of innovations in the local space over the coming years.
And so far there’s very little real competition in local search.
Ranking On Google Maps Is Essential
For any local business wanting customers from the internet (or not wanting to lose customers on the internet) ranking on Google for local search terms and on Google Maps is vital.
Here are a few tips:
- Google Maps rankings are still based largely on “citations”…the sites where a business’s name, physical address and contact details appear.
- Get the business name, address and phone number listed on a pile of local sites, authority sites and pages related to the industry the business is in. Press releases on high authority trusted sites, like you get with PressCable.com, can help you with this (and as it’s a little-known strategy it gives you a solid advantage)
- Be sure the contact details are EXACTLY the same in every listing. This is vitally important.
- Get authority site links back to the local business site in a natural Google-safe way (quality online press releases help with this too).
- Encourage people to search for the specific local business, and drive traffic to the site in other ways, as this gives a strong signal to Google that the site is important (and yes Google can track all of this very well).
- Put a lot of targeted, high quality unique content on the local business site related to what they sell and information that’s valuable to their prospects and customers.
- Use clearly structured data on the local site, like a page that Google can clearly understand is a menu for a restaurant, clearly labelled opening times, and schema code for the location.
Following these basic strategies will help a local business rank on Google Maps and rank for a pile of long tail search terms their prospects are looking for.
And the longer a business follows these strategies the more likely they are to start donig really well in those rankings.