So, if you’re feeling intimidated by how Google Maps works, and can’t figure out what to do to get them to rank your website higher in the search results, I’ve got a tip for you. This tip is mainly for small-to-medium businesses who are pretty new to online marketing, and this is simply one of the simplest ways to get listed higher than you currently may be.
This tip is really pretty simple: Claim your business listing!
Yes, that’s right! If you merely claim your business in Google Maps, this factor alone can help you rank higher than other businesses which have not claimed their own listings in Google. This is an open secret amongst local search marketers!
This is one of the FEW ranking factors within Google Maps which Google itself has actually publicly STATED will benefit rankings by some degree. From surveying hundreds and thousands of listings in many cities, I can confirm that this ranking factor appears to be very influential.
There are a few reasons why Google rewards businesses which claim their listings. First, listings claimed by their owners contain information which Google and consumers can trust better
— Google obtains business listings from a great many sources, and a common problem is that old, stale and defunct business listings get into directories, but it’s hard to figure out what needs fixing without getting input from the business owners.
Second, Google wants to expand information they have about businesses, so when you’ve claimed your listing, be sure to add in other information about your company within the Google Local Business Center interfaces.
Third, Google desires to get lots of small businesses to be very familiar with them, so that one day you might become self-serve advertising clients and purchase some of their ads.
There are other incentives to claim your listing, too. Businesses which claim their listings in Google have a better chance of achieving “Landmark Icon” status, enabling them to appear on more map views when users browse their area.
Also, Google has sent claimed listings “Favorite Places” decals which can enable consumers who pass by your store to grab a digital address to your Place Page in Google Maps with their cellphones.
So, if you haven’t done so already, claim your business in Google Maps and begin reaping the rewards!