7 Things We’ve Discovered About Google My Business

google my business listings

7 Things We've Discovered About Google My Business

It's impossible to talk about local SEO without talking about maps as well. In particular, Google Local and Google Maps are so closely intertwined that promoting businesses locally depends largely on Google Maps optimization. Google has made several changes to its maps recently, however, and this has made finding the right strategy tricky. With the introduction of the Google Local Carousel, Reviews Pop-ups, the new Google My Business dashboard and the new Google Maps, it can be difficult and somewhat overwhelming to address every feature simultaneously.

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Sometimes all it takes is a little digging, however. Local SEO expert Andrew Shotland experimented with the new Google Maps and discovered several features of interest. Here's a brief summary of his findings and their implications for Google Maps optimization.

    1. It's easy to find the top reviewers in your area. When you type a keyword into the new search box, you can filter your results by "top reviewers" by choosing the option that pops up immediately below the box. This allows you to find the individuals in your area that post the most reviews. Browse the Google + Local pages of the businesses in your search results and look for the most active reviewers. If they haven't reviewed your business yet, it's a good idea to add them to send them a link to your Google Mt Business reviews page.
    2. You can find related searches for your category in the search box. One popular SEO tactic is to mine related search data. Google's new maps make this easy by displaying related search terms at the bottom of the search box. You can use these related terms to stand out in the crowd of similar businesses. For example, if you search "coffee shops" and find that few local coffee shops come up when you click on the related search term "free wi-fi," you might want to add that term to your social media accounts descriptions.
    3. You can see what people are saying about your business on other sites. If you receive a lot of reviews on other sites, additional keywords will pop up under your business name on the map. These keywords show up because they are popular in discussions about your business on non-Google sites. It's possible to influence what keywords appear here by promoting buzz about particular products or features of your business.
    4. Strong domain authority helps your visibility on the map. When you zoom in on the map, often several similar business that are located near each other will appear. Sometimes these business listings will overlap on the map, and the order in which they overlap is not random. The business with the strongest domain authority, that is, the business with the most links and citations, will come out on top.
    5. Using all caps for your business name also increases your visibility on the map--if you can get past the Google My Business guidelines. The listings on the map can be quite small. If you want to stand out, one way to do it is to put your business name in all caps. Do this with caution, however. The Google My Business guidelines on this subject state: "You may capitalize the first letter of each word or include up to a four-letter acronym. However, entire words should not be capitalized."
    6. Ads help your business stand out on the map. Businesses with ads show up on the map in purple and white instead of the usual red and white. Since the volume of these ads is low in any given search, the different colors help the associated businesses stand out quite a bit.
    7. Sexy keywords have the best impact up front. The ads underneath the map listings are small and only include 10-13 characters. If you want the greatest impact, the first few characters of your ad should feature sexy keywords such as "free."

    The new Google Maps and the associated Google Local can work wonders for your local SEO efforts. You need to know the ins and outs of the system, however, and new discoveries are being made every day. Google Maps optimization hinges on the proper exploitation of the application's many features, which are constantly updated. The primary weapon in your arsenal is up-to-date information on Google practices.

    For more information on Google My Business or Google Maps Listings, contact Quantm Media and speak with a local SEO expert. At Quantm Media we offer local SEO services that are customized to your specific geo-location. We provide the appropriate mix of on-page optimization, inbound and outbound relevant links along with social signals. We utilize the latest in white-hat internet marketing strategies that allow your business to grow organically.

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