28th August 2013
How to make the most of your Google Maps page
Is your business' Google Maps page optimised as well as it could be?
Another reason you might be interested in Google Maps is from an SEO standpoint. When you correctly set up a fully optimised, completed Google Maps page, it can help with any SEO strategies you have running. It can make it much easier for your company to rank for location specific search terms. Over recent years, Google have made their Maps a much more integral part of their main search results.
So, how do you make sure that your Google Maps page is set up correctly, and optimised to its full potential? Simply follow our helpful steps below:
1. Firstly, set up a Google Maps page.
If you already have one set up, then please do skip this step. To set one up, go to www.maps.google.co.uk. On the left you will see a link saying ‘Put your business on Google Maps’. Click this link – alternatively, click here if you are in the UK. You will then see a screen similar to the one on the right. Whilst filling in your company information, you will see the map on the right change to fit your geographical location. MAKE SURE that you’re using a physical location which is relevant to any SEO campaigns or strategies you have in place. As the form suggests, if you have service areas where you regularly visit customers, then fill out the relevant information.
2. Verify your Google Maps page.
To ensure that you’re authorised to manage a Google Maps page for your business, Google will send you a Postcard. This will contain a code which you’ll be asked to enter into a specific section within Google Maps, once the postcard is received. Your map will not show within Google until this has been verified.
3. Fill out the page as well as you can.
You’ll see that there are many different areas of the page which need to be completed. When you sign in to your Google Maps page, you will be able to see a progress bar, which lets you know how much of the page still needs to be completed.
As you can see from the image above, there are several things you’ll want to add. Firstly, an image – When adding a MAIN image to this page, make sure that it’s something that positively reflects your brand. Make sure that if you use a logo here, it ties in with any websites or other marketing strategies you have running. People gain a sense of trust when they recognise a company logo. With Google Maps, you can add a variety of other pictures and videos aside from the main image. Always add these where possible, making sure that they are informative, attention grabbing and relevant to your company.
You can also add a company description – ALWAYS add as much information as you can here. Make sure that you enter keyword rich text, which includes search terms people are likely to use when looking for the products or services you provide. You can add text formatting and links here.
You’ll see that you can also add a number of Categories – In this example, we’ve used Web Designer, Internet Service Provider and so on. MAKE SURE that you only add categories which are completely relevant to your company, and that you add categories which reflect the main search terms which you are targetting. You can also add your opening times for people who need to visit your premises. Simply click on the Edit information button to make alterations / additions to any of the areas mentioned above.
4. Encourage Reviews.
Whenever you can, encourage clients or customers to review your company on your Google Maps page. These can encourage other potential clients to contact your business.
A few other handy tips and hints:
• When setting up your company’s Google Maps page, make sure that you use an email address which can be accessed by other people. Other individuals within your business may end up being responsible for updating or editing your page. Make sure that they have access to the page and that they have the relevant login details.
• Do not duplicate any Google Maps listings, or create a Maps page for a company which already has one.
• Note that any time you decide to change the location of your business within your Google Maps page, you will have to re-verify that you’re authorised to update the page.
• User a local telephone number within the Map page information, wherever possible. Avoid using call centre numbers if you can.
• Categories should depict what your business is (e.g. Web Design Agency) instead of what you do (e.g. Website Design). Relevant information on what you do as a company should be added to the company description section.
• Fraudulent or illegal activities aren’t tolerated on Google and may result in account suspension and removal of listing information from search results.
If you’d like help with setting up a Google Map listing or your overall SEO strategy, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the professionals at Varn.