Ever noticed the little yellow figure that you can drag-and-drop in Street View on Google Maps? That little guy is named “Pegman,” and he’s about to become your local business’ best friend!
Inbound marketing (including content marketing and social media content) as well as SEO (search engine optimization) are surefire ways to get your local business on the map. One oft-overlooked element of a successful SEO strategy is the optimization of your business’ map listing data.
When consumers are looking for a new business, they use mapping products (e.g. Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc.) 44% of the time! Additionally, on average, 41% of those map search results will result in an on-site visit. (Data from a Google study)
So what can you do to make sure that your business is being found (and is enticing to potential customers that find you via map search)? Read on to find out....
Just Be Yourself (Seriously)
There’s nothing worse than having the wrong information online for your business. That means you’re missing out on leads through phone calls or web traffic and potential customers who want to visit your business but can’t find the address.
The first step to optimizing your online presence (through both maps and search engines) is to verify that your business’ online identity is accurate and consistent across all platforms. That includes getting rid of duplicate listings!
There are some tricks (like Schema Markup code) that can help tell search engines information about your business. Make sure you’re not losing valuable business!
A Picture Is Worth...A Lot
Potential customers want to see what you (or, more specifically, your business!) look like before they come to visit. Make sure that you’ve got some quality photos that highlight your business’ aesthetic and overall vibe. Extra points if you can demonstrate something special that sets your business apart from the competition!
While you’re at it, make sure that there are no undesirable photos showing up in your listing’s online search results. Sometimes a user will erroneously tag the wrong business or a malicious competitor will post ugly images. Either way, make sure to flag anything that you wouldn’t want potential customers to see!
Hire a Pro
Sometimes, it pays to hire a professional to help. In this case, you could always investigate hiring a professional SEO agency to help your business’ online listings.
Another relatively cheap improvement is to hire a Google specialist to come and use a fancy camera to create a 360 degree virtual tour of your business. These tours let online users explore your business from the comfort of their desks and are highly likely to generate increased interest in your business. These tours also usually mean that your business will be ranked higher in the local map listings search results page.
In fact, Google found that business listings with photos and a virtual tour were twice as likely to generate interest from online views!
Get Your Name Out There
Whether someone looks up your business on Google or Google Maps, one of the first things that they’ll look for are reviews of your business. Those 5 little stars (and the words attached) can mean the difference between someone looking at a competitor or rushing out the door to get to your business ASAP.
Generating rapport with your customers to build your online review portfolio is a must for any business. You’ll also need to be smart about how you deal with negative reviews (yes, everyone gets them).
By taking steps to optimize your business online presence, you should be at the top of your local map listings in no time!