Google enables businesses to target a global audience. Yet, not all users want worldwide results when they type in a search query in Google. This is why they add a local modifier at the end. It can be in the form of a ZIP code or simply the name of a city or state. Google picks up on such modifiers and only displays local results for such queries. It is quite clear that the person doing the search wants to see local results exclusively so that is what Google shows him/her.
When a local search is conducted, Google also shows Google Maps listing for the relevant area in addition to the 10 search results. The map will show the businesses related to the search query that has been entered into Google by the user. Not only does this help him/her get an idea of the number of businesses in the particular industry but also find out where they are located. People want solutions close to their homes, not miles away. So, for any business looking to target a local audience, using Google Maps is a must. You should know how to use them to your advantage and most importantly, learn the tips needed to practice Google Maps SEO. Otherwise, you will miss out on the thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of searches performed related to your business. People are looking for you but you are nowhere to be found. You are losing out on potential Google Maps traffic.
Why Use Google Maps for Local Marketing?
Before getting into the technical details and the nitty-gritty of how Maps work, it is important to know why you should be using them. Let’s look at some of the reasons.
- Nearly two-thirds of people living in the US and Canada perform an online search for finding a local business. If you make it easier for them to find your business, they are likely to transact with you.
- Around 80% of the purchases people make are within a 15 mile radius of their homes. As mentioned above, people don’t want to commute too far to find what they are looking for. Google Maps marketing enables you to show where you are located.
- Over 80% of the searches people perform in relation to local businesses result in a purchase being made. This means that your conversion rate can improve greatly if you practice Google local marketing. Also, this makes local marketing more effective than general SEO and PPC.
- The growing number of people using handheld devices is also a reason for you to market your business locally. People search for things they want on the go. If they see you located nearby, they are likely to head to your outlet or location to make a transaction.
- A Google Maps listing means that you have a genuine, verified backlink from Google. As you know, backlinks have become an important part of SEO these days. There is no more credible source for backlinks than Google.
In addition, a major advantage you gain is that you can make use of other Google features and services to bolster your business including Google Places marketing. Since you are targeting people on Google, it only makes sense that you find them using Google’s services.
How to Use Google Maps for Local Marketing
There are some tips and tricks you can use to give yourself the best chance of making the most of Google Maps advertising. Here are some of the most effective ones.
- Avoid stuffing your title with keywords. It is tempting to add keywords, but it only works if they are incorporated into your business name or location. Otherwise, you should use only the name of your business as the title. Of course, keywords do play an important role in online marketing regardless of the method you are using. One of the best resources for finding and organizing the best keywords for your campaign is SEMrush.
- Don’t use a toll-free number. Rather, your Google Maps listing should have your business’ phone number that is registered at the location. Google will actually verify whether the number is valid or not. If you violate this guideline, you could incur a penalty.
- Include as much details as possible about your business in your listing. It is your chance to tell people about your business so the more information you provide, the better it is. However, make sure you don’t add any irrelevant data. You can check the extent to which your listing is complete using the meter on the sidebar.
- Make sure the information you provide on your Google Maps listing is symmetrical to what you have published on your website. Google will eye you with suspicion if there are any discrepancies between the listed telephone numbers of location addresses.
These are some ways you can use Maps for Google local marketing. It is the best way for you to benefit from this local marketing opportunity.