In August 2015, Google made some major changes in their local search history that resulted in a major difference from what SEO experts and users have been experiencing all along. With this update, SEO experts aligned with local SEO in working around a solution for this Google update.
When such a scenario occurred, SEO enthusiasts and users noticed that when you are searching for a local business or premises, rather than 7, the results will show 3, which was not the case earlier. The Google map that emerged along with the search results was unchanged.
The aim of Google Maps has always been to provide a convenient experience to users. For this reason, the changes did not come as a surprise to many of us; rather, they seemed to be a logical amendment that led to an improvement in search engine experience.
What about the business and establishment owners who ranked between 4 to 7 on local maps? It was natural for most of them to be disappointed as it denied them an opportunity for visibility. Though the changes have become permanent, and business owners need to adapt quickly if Google search has to work for them. In hindsight, this was not the only change.
A few Google Maps SEO tips that you need to adhere to are as follows
There has to be a physical address in the town that you are targeting
If you wish to optimize locally, it is necessary for you to have a local address in the town. Even the premises should be located within or as close to the area that you are targeting.
Proper utilization of Google My Business
Google has gone on to enhance the importance of GMB, indicating that any business that you add will reflect on Google search. Google + and Google Maps. This makes it easier for the customer to locate items irrespective of the device they are using.
Make sure that the NAP on the website matches the NAP on GMB
Apart from the physical address, the Name, address, and phone number should be consistent with the actual name of your business. Wherever the details appear online, it has to be the same.
Especially you need to use the exact template for NAV when you witness the details, whether it is on your website, Google+ account, Google My Business, directory listings, or any website.
Check whether the website has a map of your premises
Besides having contact information on your website, an effective Google Maps SEO tip has an actual map on the website to showcase your precise location. The code to add a map to your premises can be found on the contacts page of your website. Some of the information would be useful to have on your website and on the contacts webpage.
Different business processes will have a distinct web page
If a business has multiple departments or branches, it is vital to create distinct web pages that are optimized for each specific location.
Every product or service does have its distinct web page
If you have different products or services, ensure each page has relevant content with specific details. These distinct pages can be linked from a single website that summarizes all products or services in a single portfolio.
Proper use of citations
Obtaining citations in regional and global directories, along with local directories, gives Google maps SEO new dimension. Citations lend credibility and authority to your website and are known to drive traffic to your website. Even if you do not have a website, local listings will provide more visibility.
If you are complying with all these, make sure that the citations are consistent. You should find a way to get your newspaper mentioned in local business articles or blog posts.
Make sure that your website has unique and quality content
To avoid penalized content, you need to ensure that all the web pages provide unique content. The time on site, click-through site, and bounce rate are more important than ever. You need to ensure that your content is rich enough to engross your audience.
This means that the website should be versatile, attractive, and comfortably used on various devices with varied screen resolutions. Organic SEO plays an important role in Google search engine rankings. So, a business strategy needs to focus on good organic SEO.
Maximize business and website review
Google is known to take business reviews seriously as people look for personalized information and check reviews to find insights about what a business really does. Their main objective is to find out whether it will benefit them or not.
There is a lot of debate on the best ways to obtain reviews, but encouraging customers to write reviews about your business will not hurt. Of course, providing high-quality products along with services will automatically make customers post positive reviews. Do not be tempted to write your own fake reviews, as the damage can be irreparable to your business.
Optimization and utilizing inbound links
To develop authority and a good reputation in the local community, your business needs to be recognized in the neighborhood. Local maps SEO may provide links to your website that can be beneficial. There are numerous ways by which a business can obtain links. They can host an event locally, make donations and develop quality relations with influencers and people.
To conclude, it is better to focus on local SEO practices, and ignoring good practices will lead to a rabbit hole situation and failure on the part of SEO. If you alter your SEO plans to achieve success at local SEO, adopt a long-term strategy. Merely relying on reactionary tactics will not help. The forward business that is successful in local SEO has focused on website authority and reputation as their main choice.
You should be doing that if you are seeking long-term success. They are bound to achieve noteworthy results with the passage of time.