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  • Writer's pictureJustin Silverman

10 Tips to Improve Your Google Maps Ranking

Local business optimizing for Google Maps - how to rank higher on Google Maps

Are you a local business owner wondering why your competitors are always above you in Google Maps search results? You might be asking, "How can I rank higher on Google Maps and get more visibility?" The quick answer to your question is by focusing on three key ranking factors: relevance, distance, and prominence. Here's a quick breakdown:


  • Relevance: How well does your listing match what someone is searching for?

  • Distance: How close is your business to the location term used in the search?

  • Prominence: How well-known is your business, both online and off?


But, of course, there's more to it than that. Ranking higher on Google Maps requires a deep understanding of these factors and much more, including regular updates to your Google Business Profile and a robust local SEO strategy.


Infographic with Google Maps Ranking Tips - how to rank higher on Google Maps infographic step-infographic-4-steps

That's where we, Merchynt, come in. We're dedicated to helping owners just like you optimize their Google Maps ranking and thrive in the local marketing industry. We have created an AI SEO Chrome extension, ProfilePro, that alleviates the stress of SEO by doing the heavy lifting for you. If you're not familiar with what SEO involves, no need to fret; ProfilePro is here to help.


Join us on this journey, and let's explore these factors and ways to rank higher on Google Maps together.


Understanding Google Maps Ranking Factors


In order to devise a successful strategy for how to rank higher on Google Maps, it's crucial to first understand the three main factors that influence these rankings: relevance, distance, and prominence.


Relevance, Distance, and Prominence Explained


Relevance refers to how well a business matches the search query of a user. Google strives to display the most relevant results to users' queries, so ensuring your business is accurately categorized and described in your Google Business Profile is important.


However, as per the Google's Vicinity update rolled out in December 2021, the power of relevance was somewhat diminished. Now, it's not just about having an exact match keyword in your business name, but more about the category and subcategories of your business listing .

Distance is the geographical distance between the searcher and the businesses displayed in the search results. The recent Vicinity update has amplified the importance of this factor. If your business is located closer to the searcher, it stands a higher chance of appearing in the search results, regardless of whether your listing is highly optimized or not .


Prominence is a measure of how well-known or prominent a business is, both offline and online. This factor takes into account elements such as your company’s website organic positions, Google My Business (GMB) reviews, ratings, and backlinks. The Vicinity update has also impacted prominence, but it remains a crucial factor for ranking on Google Maps .


The Role of Google Business Profile in Ranking


Your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a critical tool for mastering Google Maps ranking. An optimized Google Business Profile can significantly enhance your online visibility, attract more local customers, and improve your Google Maps ranking.


To optimize your profile, make sure your business information, including name, address, and phone number (NAP), is accurate and complete. The categories, services, and products listed in your profile should be relevant to your business. Consistency in your NAP information across all online platforms is also crucial for improving your credibility .


At Merchynt, we understand that handling all of these factors can be daunting, especially for small business owners who are already juggling multiple responsibilities. That's where our AI SEO Chrome extension, ProfilePro, steps in. ProfilePro can help you manage and optimize these ranking factors, making it easier for you to understand and improve your Google Maps ranking.


Claim and Optimize Your Google Business Profile


After understanding the core factors that influence Google Maps ranking, the first actionable step is to claim and optimize your Google Business Profile (GBP). Achieving a higher rank on Google Maps starts with an accurate and fully optimized GBP.


Importance of Accurate and Complete Information


The information you provide in your GBP is critical in helping Google understand your business and match your profile to relevant searches. A well-optimized GBP sends a strong signal to Google about your business's existence, location, and services. Moreover, Google assumes the information you provide here is accurate and up-to-date, and cross-references these details with other local directories and resources.


When you claim your GBP, input all the necessary information about your business. This includes your official business name, main business category, contact phone number, website URL, and business address, if applicable. You also need to specify whether customers can visit your location or if you operate as a service-area business.


How to Claim and Update Your Google Business Profile


Claiming your GBP is a straightforward process. Simply search for your business name on Google or Google Maps, and follow the prompts to verify your listing. Once you have a listing and are logged into your Google account, you can edit it directly from the search results.


But the work doesn't stop there. After you've claimed your GBP, it's crucial to keep it updated. Google rewards active businesses with higher visibility, so regular updates to your profile are encouraged. This can include posting special offers, events, blog posts, or general business updates. Including photos and links to relevant pages on your website can boost engagement and improve your ranking further.


Role of ProfilePro in Optimizing Google Business Profile


If all of this sounds overwhelming, don't worry - that's where we come in. At Merchynt, we understand that as a busy business owner, you may not have the time or expertise to manage your GBP effectively. That's why we offer Google Business Pro services to help businesses optimize their profiles and reach more customers.


Additionally, our free AI SEO Chrome extension, ProfilePro, can further simplify the process for you. ProfilePro can guide you through the process of claiming and optimizing your GBP, ensuring that your business information is accurate, complete, and continually updated. With ProfilePro, learning how to rank higher on Google Maps becomes a breeze.


The journey to improving your Google Maps ranking starts with claiming and optimizing your GBP. By ensuring your business information is accurate, complete, and regularly updated, you're laying a solid foundation for your local SEO efforts. And with Merchynt's Google Business Pro services and ProfilePro, you have the tools and support you need to make the most of your Google Business Profile.


Regularly Update Your Google Business Profile


As a local business aiming to rank higher on Google Maps, your Google Business Profile (GBP) is more important than you might realize. It's not just a one-time setup and forget tool. Regular updates to your GBP can significantly improve your visibility and relevance.


Importance of Regular Updates


Regular updates to your GBP play a crucial role in your local SEO strategy. Google rewards active businesses with higher visibility. By frequently posting updates, you're signaling to Google that your business is active, responsive, and engaged with your audience. This not only helps in keeping your profile fresh but also contributes to a higher ranking on Google Maps.


Types of Updates: Special Offers, Events, Blog Posts


Updates to your GBP can include a variety of content types. Here are some examples:

  • Special Offers: Promotions, sales, and discounts are great ways to attract more customers. Highlight these special offers in your updates.

  • Events: Hosting a local event? Share it on your GBP. This not only promotes your event but also shows your engagement with the local community.

  • Blog Posts: Sharing relevant blog posts from your website offers value to your audience and drives traffic to your site.

Adding visuals and links to your updates is also highly recommended. Visuals engage viewers, and links to your website can lead to higher site traffic.


How ProfilePro Can Help in Regular Updates


If all this sounds a bit overwhelming, don't worry. At Merchynt, we understand that running a business can be time-consuming, and you may not always have the time or resources to consistently update your GBP. That's where our AI SEO Chrome extension, ProfilePro, can assist.

ProfilePro can help you manage and optimize your GBP, including posting regular updates.


It's designed to make local SEO more accessible and effective, even for those who are new to it. By leveraging ProfilePro, you can ensure your Google Business Profile is always up-to-date, helping your business rank higher on Google Maps and attract more local customers.


A well-maintained and regularly updated Google Business Profile is a key ingredient in your recipe for local SEO success. And with ProfilePro, you've got a powerful tool to help you stay on top of it.

Optimize Your Web Presence for Local Organic Search


Your Google Maps ranking is significantly influenced by your overall web presence. As Justin Silverman of Merchynt emphasizes, one of the best ways to rank higher on Google Maps is by optimizing your entire online presence with a focus on local organic search.


Importance of Local SEO Audit


Firstly, you need to understand the current state of your online presence. A local SEO audit provides valuable insights into your local rankings, helping you track your progress and adjust your strategies as needed. This can give you a clear picture of where you stand and what you need to work on.


Focus on Keywords, Content, and Linking


Next, consider your website's content, keywords, and linking strategy. Ideally, your content should include "follow" links that Google can recognize and follow to your content. The value of these links is widely recognized, and many directories even charge for inclusion. However, non-paid sources such as partner sites, industry sites, or service organization sites can also be valuable sources of these links.


Use relevant keywords in your content. Long-tail keywords—phrases of three to five words—are particularly important. They may not have significant local search volume, but these volumes can add up, and focusing on these kinds of keywords can be beneficial in the long run.


How Google Business Pro Can Assist in Local SEO


When optimizing your web presence, Google Business Pro can be an invaluable tool. It allows you to easily update your business information, add photos and videos, and respond to reviews, all of which can help improve your local SEO.


At Merchynt, we understand that SEO may seem complex, especially to those new to it. That's why we have developed ProfilePro, a free AI SEO Chrome extension. ProfilePro can handle the SEO for you, making it easier than ever to optimize your web presence and rank higher on Google Maps.


In conclusion, optimizing your web presence for local organic search is essential in improving your Google Maps ranking. With a local SEO audit, a focus on keywords, content, and linking, and the assistance of Google Business Pro and ProfilePro, you can significantly enhance your online visibility and attract more customers to your local business.


Use Local Business Schema


As you continue to improve your Google Maps ranking, it's important to understand and utilize local business schema.


Understanding Local Business Schema


Local business schema is a type of structured data markup code that you add to your website to help search engines understand your business and its location. In simpler terms, it's like giving Google a roadmap of your business details, making them more digestible and easier to understand for its crawlers. This is a standardization that search engines like Google prefer, as it allows them to easily validate and cross-reference your business details.


How It Helps Google to Crawl and Index Content


Using local business schema enables Google to crawl and index your business details more efficiently. With this roadmap, Google can easily validate your business's location and other details, which can boost your visibility and ranking on Google Maps. It essentially makes it easier for Google to understand your business, location, and what services or products you offer. This simplification and clarification of information can lead to improved rankings on Google Maps.


How ProfilePro Can Implement Local Business Schema


If all this talk about schema and structured data feels overwhelming, don't worry - that's where ProfilePro, our free AI SEO Chrome extension, comes in.


At Merchynt, we understand the importance of local business schema, and we've baked this knowledge into our ProfilePro tool. With this tool, we can help you implement local business schema without you needing to dive into the complexities of SEO yourself.


ProfilePro can automatically generate the necessary local business schema for your website, ensuring that Google can easily understand and validate your business details. This helps improve your visibility and ranking on Google Maps, driving more traffic and leads to your local business.

In the next section, we'll discuss another crucial aspect of how to rank higher on Google Maps - paying attention to customer reviews.


Pay Attention to Customer Reviews


Just like you, Google values what your customers have to say about your business. In fact, Google Maps gives ranking favor to business listings with positive reviews. This is why it's crucial to both encourage and actively respond to customer reviews.


Importance of Active Response to Reviews


Customer reviews can be a mixed bag of positive and negative experiences. While positive reviews can boost your reputation and visibility, negative reviews can harm your ranking if not handled properly. Regardless of the review's tone, it's important to respond to them. A well-structured response shows prospects how attentive you are to customers and how efficiently you resolve issues.


How Reviews Impact Google Maps Ranking


Reviews play a significant role in influencing your Google Maps ranking. Positive reviews can increase your visibility and credibility, leading to higher search rankings. On the other hand, negative reviews can harm your reputation and lower your search rankings. However, with a strategic response, you can mitigate and even reverse the damage of a negative review.


How Merchynt Can Help Manage Reviews


At Merchynt, we understand how critical managing reviews can be for your Google Maps ranking. That's why we've made it easier for you with our platform. With our tools, you can proactively monitor your reviews, respond to them in a timely and professional manner, and even generate more reviews.


If you find SEO and managing reviews overwhelming, our ProfilePro can do the heavy lifting for you. As an AI SEO Chrome extension, ProfilePro can help you manage and improve your Google Business Profile, including keeping track of customer reviews, allowing you to focus on providing the best service to your customers.


In the end, paying attention to your customer reviews not only helps in enhancing your customer service but also plays a crucial role in how to rank higher on Google Maps.


Update Local Listings and Citations


As we shift gears from reviews, another vital aspect of ranking higher on Google Maps is your local listings and citations. These are instances where your business's Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) appear across the web.


Importance of Consistent NAP Information


The consistency of your NAP information across various platforms is paramount. According to Search Engine Journal, Google and your audience need to see your NAP consistent and accurate across all sources. This consistency helps in building trust with potential customers and improves local search rankings.


other prominent business listing directories to check its validity. Hence, maintaining accurate and consistent NAP information is key if you're looking to rank higher on Google Maps.


How Inaccurate Listings Can Affect Ranking


Inaccurate or inconsistent NAP information can confuse search engines, causing a drop in your local search rankings. Moreover, discrepancies in your business information across different platforms can create a negative user experience, as potential customers might struggle to find or contact your business.


How Merchynt's Local Ranking Audit Tool Can Help


Managing all your local listings might seem like a daunting task, especially if your business information is scattered across various platforms. This is where we at Merchynt step in with our Local Ranking Audit tool.


Our tool helps you identify and update your NAP information across various sources, ensuring consistency and accuracy. It also allows you to manage other important business information like your website URL, services, or even relevant images, all from one central location.


And if you're new to SEO or simply don't have the time to learn all the complexities, our free AI SEO Chrome extension, ProfilePro, can take care of it for you.


In conclusion, updating your local listings and citations is a step you can't afford to skip if you're looking to rank higher on Google Maps. It's a crucial part of local SEO that helps boost your online visibility and attract more local customers.


Build Local Backlinks


A key aspect of figuring out how to rank higher on Google Maps is understanding the importance of backlinks. Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are essentially votes of confidence from other websites. They signal to Google that your business is reputable, trustworthy, and has authority within your local area.


Importance of Backlinks from Relevant Local Websites

Backlinks from relevant local websites are invaluable when it comes to Google Maps ranking. They serve as a form of validation for your business, both from a local and product/service perspective. When relevant, local third-party websites link to your primary website pages, it reinforces your local credibility and relevance. This, in turn, influences Google's algorithm, helping your business appear prominently on Google Maps.


As explained by Search Engine Journal, ideally, these links are “follow” links, meaning Google recognizes and follows the source of the link to your content. These links help validate your business and increase your chances of ranking higher on Google Maps.


How Backlinks Validate Your Business

Backlinks can validate your business from both local and product/service perspectives. They show Google that other businesses and websites vouch for your company, which can significantly improve your search engine rankings. Moreover, maintaining listings with links in local directories can further reinforce your local presence. Ensure those listings are in the proper categories and that they include “follow” links leading to your website.


How Merchynt's Agency Program Can Assist in Building Backlinks


At Merchynt, we understand the significance of building local backlinks. Our Agency Program is designed to help businesses secure valuable backlinks from non-paid sources such as relevant partner, industry, or service organization sites.


Our team of SEO experts will work with you to identify potential opportunities for backlink creation, ensuring they are aligned with your business and location. With our Agency Program, you can rest assured knowing that your backlink strategy is in capable hands.


If you're not sure how to go about building local backlinks or finding it too time-consuming, we can help. If SEO feels overwhelming, our free AI SEO Chrome extension, ProfilePro, can automate the process for you.


In the next section, we'll discuss the importance of engaging with your local community and how it can influence your Google Maps ranking.


Engage with the Local Community


Google values businesses that actively participate in their local community. This not only establishes your local presence, but it also boosts your business's authority, both of which are crucial factors for improving your Google Maps ranking.


Importance of Local Engagement for Google Maps Ranking


Engaging with your local community is a powerful way to demonstrate to Google that your business is an active and thriving part of your local area. This can involve partnering with local organizations, sponsoring local events, or being mentioned or linked in local news or other publications.


Google pays attention to these signals of local engagement, and in turn, rewards businesses with a boost in their local search rankings. As a result, customers searching for your services or products in your local area are more likely to find you at the top of Google Maps.


Ways to Engage: Partnering with Local Organizations, Sponsoring Events


One effective way to engage with your local community is by partnering with relevant local organizations or sponsoring local events. For instance, you could join your local Chamber of Commerce, sponsor a charity event, or partner with a well-known local business.


In addition, you could publish content related to these partnerships or events, such as event announcements or partner pages linked to these partner organizations. This not only increases your visibility but also provides valuable content for your customers and potential customers.


How Merchynt Can Help in Local Engagement


At Merchynt, we understand that running a business is a full-time job, and you might not have the time or resources to fully engage with your local community. That's where we come in.


We can assist you in identifying local engagement opportunities that align with your business, such as relevant local organizations to partner with or local events to sponsor. Furthermore, we can help you promote these engagements effectively, boosting your local presence and authority.

If you're struggling to navigate the complexities of local SEO, our free AI SEO Chrome extension, ProfilePro, can simplify the process for you. It's designed to automate the optimization of your Google Business Profile, so you can focus on what you do best - running your business.


In the next section, we'll discuss the importance of monitoring your Google Maps and SERPs ranking and how Merchynt can help.


Monitor Your Google Maps and SERPs Ranking


Once you've put in the work to optimize your Google Business Profile and implemented local SEO strategies, monitor your progress. To truly understand how to rank higher on Google Maps, you need to continually track how well your business ranks in search results and Google Maps listings.


Importance of Regular Monitoring


Regular monitoring of your Google Maps and SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) ranking is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. You can see what's working, what's not, and adjust your strategies accordingly.


Secondly, monitoring helps you stay on top of the competition. By keeping a close eye on your ranking, you can quickly react to any changes and stay ahead of competitors.


Lastly, regular monitoring allows you to spot any potential issues or discrepancies. For instance, if you notice a sudden drop in your ranking, you can investigate and rectify the problem immediately.


Manual Searches vs. Rank Monitoring Tools


While you could manually search for your business on Google and Google Maps to see where you rank, this method has its limitations. It can be time-consuming, especially if you have multiple keywords to track. Moreover, Google personalizes search results based on your location, search history, and other factors, which can skew your perception of your real ranking.


This is where rank monitoring tools come in handy. These tools automate the process, providing accurate, up-to-date information on your ranking for various keywords and locations.


How Merchynt's Local Ranking Audit Tool with Heatmaps Can Help


At Merchynt, we offer a free local ranking audit tool that makes monitoring your Google Maps and SERPs ranking a breeze. This tool provides a heatmap ranking report, visually representing your website's ranking for specific keywords.


This tool not only saves you time but also gives you a detailed view of your website's performance. It provides invaluable data such as keyword rankings, search volume data, and click-through rates. This information can inform your SEO strategy and help you better optimize your content.


Moreover, our tool allows you to track your progress over time, giving you a clear idea of how your Google Maps ranking is improving.


And remember, if SEO seems daunting or you're unsure where to start, you can always download our free AI SEO Chrome extension, ProfilePro. It automates the optimization of your Google Business Profile, making it easier than ever to rank higher on Google Maps.


In the next section, we'll wrap up our discussion and offer some final thoughts on improving your Google Maps ranking.


Conclusion

Recap of Tips to Improve Google Maps Ranking


We've covered quite a bit of ground in this guide, distilling complex SEO strategies into actionable tips to help you rank higher on Google Maps. To recap:


  1. Claim and optimize your Google Business Profile: Ensure your business information is accurate and complete. Regularly update your profile with special offers, events, and blog posts.

  1. Optimize your web presence for local organic search: Focus on local keywords, create valuable content, and build a strong network of backlinks.

  1. Use Local Business Schema: This helps Google to crawl and index your content, improving your visibility.

  1. Pay attention to customer reviews: Respond actively to reviews, as they impact your Google Maps ranking significantly.

  1. Update local listings and citations: Consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) information across the web is crucial.

  1. Build local backlinks: Backlinks from relevant local websites can validate your business and improve your local SEO.

  1. Engage with the local community: Partner with local organizations and sponsor events to boost your local presence.

  1. Monitor your Google Maps and SERPs ranking: Regular monitoring can help you understand where you stand and how to improve.


Final Thoughts on the Role of Merchynt and ProfilePro in Improving Google Maps Ranking


The journey to improving your Google Maps ranking may seem daunting. But remember, you're not alone in this. At Merchynt, we're committed to helping you navigate the intricacies of local SEO. We understand the struggles of small business owners, and we've developed tools to make SEO more accessible and less time-consuming.


Our ProfilePro AI SEO Chrome extension, for instance, can automate the optimization of your Google Business Profile for you. It’s a great tool for small business owners who may not fully understand what SEO is or how to implement it.


We also offer a Local Ranking Audit Tool, which can provide insights into your current Google Maps and SERPs ranking. This tool can help you identify areas of improvement and track your progress over time.


The key to success in local SEO and Google Maps ranking is consistency. Regular updates, active engagement, and ongoing optimization efforts are what will ultimately yield results.


We hope these tips will guide you in improving your Google Maps ranking. At Merchynt, we're here to support your journey every step of the way. Feel free to reach out if you need help or advice.


Thank you for reading, and here's to your success in ranking higher on Google Maps!

For further reading, you may want to check out our blog posts on customer reviews and our newsletter for marketers.


Google Maps Ranking - how to rank higher on Google Maps

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