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Google Maps Marketing: How to Optimize Your Listing and Website

Local SEO is a hot topic for small businesses. Many are just starting to realize that it’s strategic use can give them an edge over bigger, perhaps global competitors with deeper pockets. Google Maps marketing is a specific part of local SEO that helps businesses use Google’s data and infrastructure for various local marketing efforts.

Google Maps marketing has long been, and will continue to be, a prime source of phone calls and walk-in traffic for local businesses. ~Guy Sheetrit

How Google Maps Aids in Local SEO & Marketing

The ultimate objective for businesses that participate in Google Maps marketing is to make their business listing the first one that comes up in Google searches. Two factors are important for achieving this end goal: proximity and rank.

Local SEO Factor: Proximity

Search results based on proximity display whatever is nearest to the searcher, that best fits their query. For example, if you’re searching for grocery stores, Google will serve up search results based on your location. The nearest one to you is tagged on the Google Map result as “A,” the second nearest “B,” and so on. Google wants searchers to use these results to find local businesses.

Local SEO Factor: Rank

Not everyone enables location data, or has a location feature on the phone they use to make a Google search. Google Maps shows results based on your internet location, even if you’re not necessarily physically there. For example, if you’re out shopping, you might expect search results to reflect your current location. However, it’s more likely that your location-based search results will reflect the location you’ve designated as “home”, or wherever your home internet connection is based.

Local SEO Factor: Reviews

Besides location, Google often ranks results by star ratings. These star ratings are a result of customer testimonials left on Google My Business profiles. As such, it’s important to provide an excellent customer experience to encourage customers to leave 5-star ratings. That said, you should never pay for Google reviews. If Google finds out that you’re “unethically” influencing reviews (through some sort of reward or compensation), there may be repercussions for violating their terms of service.

Furthermore, don’t just ignore 1 or 2-star ratings – reach out to those customers and let them know that their voice is heard. Don’t barter with them to change their review, but know that the simple act of outreach might influence them to change reviews to be more positive

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for Maximizing SEO Juice?

Local SEO and Google maps marketing is a veritable ladder to success for businesses with local appeal. Increasingly, Internet users are depending on Google searches to find business establishments close to them. Also, the rapidly expanding popularity of mobile searches and voice searches is contributing to the increasing potential of maps marketing and local SEO.

Ask any local SEO expert; the first step is to claim and verify your Google My Business listing. Once this is done (Google generally sends you a postcard for address verification, once you complete you business profile), you can start optimizing your My Business listing. Not many people realize, but there’s a lot you can do by using the supplementary features that come with Google My Business. In this guide, I’ve put together some of these optimizations.

Provide Google All The Info It Asks For

When you create your Google My Business (GMB) profile, Google asks you for a lot of details. It could be tempting to not bother with much and complete the profile with basic information only. Don’t do it. Here are two reasons:

Chances are your competitors will create their My Business profiles soon enough and give all the information, which will help Google understand the nature of their business, and potentially cause it to rank their Google maps listing over yours.

Competitors with malicious intent could alter important information about your business in the My Business profile, by using the ‘suggest an edit’ or ‘answer quick questions’ options visible under the business listing in SERPs.

Google Maps Marketing

Choose the Category Correctly

The choice of a business category shouldn’t sound like a complex choice, right? Not exactly. Google offers you very nuanced category choices. This means that you have to strike the right balance between two variables:

Competition: A generic category name naturally implies that your business listing is in competition with a correspondingly large number of other businesses operating within the same niche.

Exposure: A very specific category choice, on the other hand, means that only someone making an equally specific search for a business will see your listing in the search results. This could limit the exposure your listing gets, although the CTRs will be great.

Here’s an example of such a difficult choice!

Choose a business categoryChoose a business category

Create Posts in Google My Business

Notices the Posts section in your My Business dashboard? This is a pretty useful feature that can help you improve CTRs from SERPs. Posts are sort of mini advertisements that appear alongside your business listing in knowledge boxes and Google Map results.

create posts in Google My Business

The key idea of using Posts is to improve the visibility of your business, showcase upcoming events, and differentiate the listing from competitors. Here are the content themes you can explore:

  • Upcoming promotional sales and discounts.
  • Special menus in restaurants
  • Celebrity visits to your store
  • Regular content posts, with some promotional content giving reasons to readers to visit your business

Note that Posts stay live for 7 days and expire once the event date is past. Posts can improve the ranking of your business website’s map ranking, so the additional effort is worth your time.

Consistency Of Information Across Channels

Though setting up Google My Business is the most crucial aspect of your local SEO and Google maps marketing, you also need to understand that the algorithm also tries to contextualize the information it fetches from your GMB listing. Consistency in your business information, primarily it’s NAP (name, address, and phone number), helps Google establish legitimacy for the listing.

Also, it’s likely that you will start working towards creating more citations (again, it’s basically the NAP information of the business) online, on business directories and high authority web pages. All this information must, ideally, be the same as mentioned in the GMB listing.

Whitespark is a useful tool to help you organize your online citations efforts, identify sources for new citations verify existence and correctness of existing citations.

Whitespark Citations

Optimizing Photos for Your GMB Profile

Of course, photos are a crucial element of your Google My Business profile; these could be the differentiator when Google shows up to 3 results in a ‘restaurants near me’ search result for a potential client (for example).

I recommend you choose a profile image that reflects the core competence of the business. Your business logo, and all additional photos can follow on. Hiring a professional photographer could be well worth the expense, because these professionals can help bring out the best from your business place in Google Maps.

Also, follow these Google recommended best practices:

  • Format: JPG/PNG
  • Size: 10KB to 5MB
  • Minimum resolution: 720px tall, 720px wide
  • Quality: Focuses, well lit, no Photoshop editing, representative of reality.

Also, remember to update the photos if you carry out renovations or facilities upgrades within your location.

Use The Booking Button

If you are in an appointment based service business or an event organizer, here’s a pro tip to help your Google My Business listing deliver great results. The Booking Button feature helps you offer the option of making a booking for your service/event right from the Google SERPs. Imagine how amazing your business listing will appear in comparison to others. Also, this reduces the customer journey duration, reducing risks of attrition during the transaction.

Booking in Google My Business

Note: This option works if you are already using a Google supported scheduling software. Here’s list of these scheduling services.

Google Business Reviews

A crucial aspect of optimizing Google My Business for great SEO results is to make the best use of the ‘quality signals’ it indicates to search engines. Customer reviews and ratings are a key aspect of the local website quality signals.

Your business listing results in Google Knowledge Panels and Maps results also show snippets from customer reviews. These improve your rankings, drive improvements in CTRs, and establish trust with users. Whereas Yelp blatantly dissuades business owners from asking for reviews, Google motivates business owners to do so, ethically. Remember to respond to all reviews with a natural and (ideally) personalized message, even if it’s a negative review.

How to Avoid Over Optimization (which could lead to penalties)?

For obvious reasons, Google looks for signs and signals that indicate suspicious and manipulative account activity on business profiles. This could attract penalties, which could be very demoralizing and confusing. Here are some things you’d want to avoid.

  • Using a redirecting URL instead of the eventual and actual URL
  • Multiple My Business maps listings for the same business location
  • Specifying wrong or fictitious address for your business
  • Trying to add keywords in Google Maps fields unnaturally

Note Keep on reviewing Google’s guidelines for My Business listings, here.

Make Good Use of Your Google My Business Listing Insights

Over the years, Google has made several analytics data points available for business owners to optimize their My Business listings further. Key points to check out analytics for:

  • Contribution of discovery searches (where a user searches for a product/brand/service relevant to your business, and your listing Google Maps shows up) in the total searches.
  • of search views and # of maps views
  • Follow up actions done by users after finding your Google Maps listing Visit website
  • Check directions maps created to and from your Google Maps listing
  • Call View photos on your Google Maps listing
  • # of phone calls received from customers within a given time frame generate by your Google maps marketing efforts.

Google My Business

For rank-based listings, customer reviews aren’t the only contributing factor. A businesses’ Google Business page is also an important factor in your Google Maps Marketing.

Google My Business was introduced in 2014, and was formerly known as Google Places. Google My Business integrates with Google Maps, Google, Google Search, Insights, Analytics and Reviews to give the complete online profile of a given location.

As business owner, you have control over your business listing and the information it contains. This information includes your address, phone number, website, opening hours & ratings. If you have a Google page for your company, your Google My Business profile will have been created already.

If you don’t yet have a Google page, here’s how to setup a Google My Business profile:

Google Maps Marketing

How To Verify Your Business On Google

1.  Enter in all relevant listing information as detailed below. Aim to be as accurate as possible, and make sure that any information you enter mirrors existing information on your website.

Google My Business - Map Creation

2. Next, you’ll be asked to verify your business listing, and demonstrate that you’re authorized to manage the business and that you agree to Google’s Terms of Service.

Authorize Map

3.  Google My Business will next ask you to verify your business via mail. If you’re setting up a listing for a location you don’t yet have access to (like a new business), you can opt to verify the listing later.

Verification Postcard

4. Once you’ve decided how you’d like to verify your business, you’ll be redirected to the initial setup of your Google My Business Profile.

Google Maps

5.  Note that you can make edits immediately, but they won’t actually appear until you’ve verified your Google My Business profile. Regardless, it’s a good opportunity to complete your information with a profile photo, hours of operation, contact info, and photos. If you’re ready to take things to the next level, consider adding a virtual tour that walks searchers through your business.

Complete Map Verification

It’s also necessary to note that some elements of your Google My Business profile, like the reviews and insights sections, will remain locked until your business is verified. The sooner you take care of this, the sooner you can reap the benefits associated with Google Maps marketing.

Improving Google Maps Marketing Components

There are many simple things you can do to improve the different pieces that go into Google Maps Marketing:

  • Implement Local SEO best practices. Provide the complete NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), preferably one used by the US Postal Service. The more of this information you add to Google My Business and your company’s website, the higher your search and Google Maps ranking will be since Google can easily trace back the source to your business.
  • Update company Google maps listings often, and match those to the ones found in your website.
  • Be specific with listings. This means thinking like a person optimizing for long tail keywords, instead of simple terms. Think “organic grocery store” instead of the more generic “grocery store.” What sets your business Google Maps apart from other similar types of local businesses?
  • Get your listing maps verified. Businesses that have been Google verified are twice as likely to be considered reputable. Don’t underestimate the value of trust.
  • Embed Google Maps on your contact page. Search your business name while in Google Maps. Once you’ve found it, click on the three lines beside your business name in the search bar on the top left. You can then choose the option to “Share or Embed Map.” If you need more help from a technical perspective, shares a number of Google Maps WordPress plugins worth considering.
  • Respond to reviews on you map listing. Customers that see reviews being responded to will likely give their own. Google will most likely rank a business with more reviews higher than another in Google Maps, since they can see that there are people interacting with it.
  • Have a profile photo for your business . This adds credibility to your Google map listing and helps people to “see” themselves there.

Adding Google 360 Photos and Videos

As mentioned, embedding a Google Map on your contact page, and having a profile photo for your business, may aid in Google Maps marketing efforts. To take things a step further, complete your Google My Business page by adding a Google Business View virtual 360 tour.

This virtual look at your business is an interactive tour that will take a customer around the store, all from within the comforts of their own home. It will make them feel as if they are walking through the store. Using a Google Business View virtual 360 tour, you can zoom in on objects or just “walk” around normally.

This Google Maps marketing feature is available on desktop, mobile or tablet and does not require a website.

Why Add a Google Business Tour 360 Virtual Tour?

The Google Business View 360 virtual tour will accompany the data for your business on Google Maps, will appear on relevant Google searches, and will be available to those looking at your Google Business page. To summarize, when people search for your business, or keywords relating to your business, your Google Business page comes up, as well as photos and a map to your business.

If you offer a virtual tour, potential customers will see a section beside your business photos that says “See inside”, and looks like this:

Google maps 360

The “See Inside” call to action looks even more prominent on mobile searches:

Inside look of google maps 360

Besides showing up on Google searches and Google Maps, you can also embed the virtual tour on your website.

Customers that perform local searches act quickly once they’ve found the information they need to make a decision, and are more likely to contact a business that has images, and especially a complete profile. Having a virtual tour will allow potential clients to see what your business looks like so they know what to expect.

Besides your website, a virtual tour can also be added on your company’s Facebook page to assist the customer decision making process. Implementing a virtual tour may also increase traffic to your Places page or website, which shows up in your Knowledge Graph and Maps tab.

Google Street View

The Google 360 virtual business tour is free to put up in your business. You may notice it otherwise branded as Google Street View (as this is the technology behind the offering, which was originally called Google Maps Business Photos. Specific types of “Street Views” include the Business View and Virtual Tours.

Here’s what each of those view include and involve:

Street View

Google Street View is a project by Google Earth and Google Maps that provide panoramic views from positions along many streets around the world. For the Street View, Google takes photos from their Street View car, trolley, trekker, snowmobile or trike, but it also accepts contributions from users.

Photos from users are given corresponding attribution and ownership, and anyone can contribute.

Contributing to Google Street View

To add your own Street View content, take 360-degree photos of your business or hire a professional photographer. These photos must be high-resolution and follow the basic standards set by Google. For reference, make sure your images comply with the standards set for Google Trusted Contributors. Google provides a list of recommended tools and even allows people to borrow 360 cameras to be able to contribute.

After taking 360 photos of your business premises, you can upload them to the Street View app. Alternatively, you can also take photos directly from your phone using the app.

If using a camera, you’ll have to take a series of photos–not just one. Google will stitch these photos together, later on, to be turned into a 360 photo. To make this possible, make sure to follow these steps:

  • Place the camera at a certain height (20 – 1.80 m / 4 – 6 ft) and angle by using a helmet, tripod or monopod
  • Space the photos about two small steps apart (1 m / 3 ft) when indoors and five steps apart (3 m / 10 ft) when outdoors
  • Walk along a natural path so that there is a clear line of sight in photos

Of course, If you’re using a 360 camera, all you have to do is connect it to the app.

Choose the photos you want to publish, and upload them to your business profile. This also applies to indoor shots, called Business View.

Business View

Business View uses the Street View technology to take you inside the business. This view was specifically created for businesses. So, if you have a website and verified Google Business page, you can create your Google 360 Business View whenever you’re ready with no further verification needed.

If you’re taking photos for the Business View, follow the same general guidelines set for Street View contributions. Also, make sure to limit the photos within the Indoor collection to a total of 100.

Virtual Tour

Because Google allots money for arts and sciences and likes to use its resources to educate people, we’ll be referring to the tours of popular landmarks that Google takes people on as Virtual Tours. These tour types aren’t for any other purpose but to educate. To give a few example, these include the Abbey Road virtual tour which is interactive, a tour of the CERN (European organization for nuclear research), Kennedy Space Center and even a tour of the breathtaking Taj Mahal.

How to Add A Google Business View Virtual Tour to Google My Business

Google My Business is a dashboard that encompasses everything that connects your business: from your Google Business page, Insights, Maps, Search and Analytics.

To add a virtual tour to your Google My Business listing, you have to first publish your photo spheres on the Street View app. Then, you have to add them to a Maps listing to link them to the business.

When the photo spheres are published and approved on Maps, you can connect them into a virtual tour using the Street View app. Once they’re on Google Maps, they can be seen on your Google My Business listing.

You and any customer can contribute photos of your business via the Street View app, which seems to be Google’s way of encouraging user-generated content. Note that photos added by Google Trusted Photographers take precedence over others in the Google 360 gallery, so it’s definitely a good idea to hire a Google Trusted Photographer who can upload your images for you.

Note also that only the Google Trusted Photographers accepted into the program before July 25, 2016 will have the “See Inside” feature when their photos are added to a Google My Business page. For photogs accepted after that date, this call to action will be replaced with a Google 360 gallery. So if you want the “See Inside” feature to appear, you have to hire one of the photographers who got in with Google

How to Add A Google Business View Virtual Tour to Your Website

Only the Street View (panorama from the street) and Business View are applicable to business profiles, with the latter of particular significance.

To add the virtual tour of your business to your website, first go to the page where your virtual tour shows up, and click on it so it fills the screen. You’ll have to choose a starting point. For this example, let’s take a look at the CERN virtual tour.

virtual tour google my business

Click on the 3 dots and select “Share or Embed Image”

virtual tour google my business part 2

Click on the “Embed Image” tab and choose which size you want to add to your site. You can also enter custom dimensions. Next, copy the source code.

virtual tour google my business part 3

Paste the source code onto the HTML page (or HTML editor for the page), wherever you want it to appear on your site. Change the width setting to 100% to ensure that it scales to fit the device it is being viewed on.

Lastly, check your website to see if everything is working properly and is on brand, then let your customers know about this new feature!

Reviews: Why They’re Important for Google Maps Marketing

One important Google Maps feature is the ability to receive reviews from users, which is an important ranking feature when people are performing a search to find a relevant local business. Of course, it’s also important to note that Google’s ranking factors change all the time, and currently, the focus seems to be on content, uniqueness, being mobile-friendly, and social sharing.

According to a presentation made by Chris Bullick to Brighton SEO, review signals account for 9.8% of total ranking factors. As such, it’s important to focus on getting good reviews to increase your likelihood of connecting with a relevant searcher when they’re performing a local search.

Why Online Reviews Are Important

Aside from SEO rankings, reviews bolster the customer experience and help people when making purchasing decisions. When someone is at the end of the buyer’s journey and has already made their mind up as what they need/want, the specific terms they use to perform a search reflect the intent that they’re looking for a business to fulfill that need/want.

Reading online reviews can help influence that decision, and are often an important consideration in the buyer’s journey. 90% of customers say that their buying behavior is positively influenced by online reviews, while 86% said negative reviews deterred them from transacting with the business. It’s hard to deny the power of customer reviews when it’s clear that they could easily tip a prospect one way or another!

Online reviews are a form of user-generated content. Having good reviews can also influence future customers because they will see that others have worked with your business and had a positive experience (or vice versa!). 84% of people trust peer-to-peer recommendationsmore than any other form of advertising. The best online reviews can be reused as testimonials on your website, social platforms, and even on email sends to your list.

Online reviews also help to earn favor with Google. Put simply, businesses with plenty of positive reviews translate to social proof and authority, which Google likes and will help you rank higher.

Online reviews also help boost social conversation. Receiving reviews, whether good or bad, means the customer cares enough to write about their experience with your business. The least you can do is respond, even to bad reviews, because they give you insight on which parts of your business may be in need of improvement.

How to Encourage Reviews

Before you ask for reviews, first determine which sites are best for reviews specific to your type of business and industry. To do this, start with a simple Google search of “[industry] reviews”.

Some websites allow reviews directly on their site (usually product pages in e-commerce sites), while others sync reviews with other search engines. While a major player like Amazon might be able to keep all their reviews in one place, a local business should expect reviews to transcend their own platform. That said, allowing the option to leave reviews directly on your website may make them easier to respond to, and can help negative reviews from spreading to third parties.

In regards to third-party review websites, take note of each review company’s policies. For example, Yelp does not like it when others solicit reviews and immediately takes action when something feels fishy, while others don’t run their platform with the same big brother attitude.

Some common review platforms where you might want to be proactive in claiming your local business profile:

  • Google Maps
  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Zagat
  • Foursquare
  • Citysearch
  • com

Obviously, you’ll want to start with Google Reviews, primarily because they also appear on the search and Google Maps results. That said, having a presence in other review platforms can also help with ranking on relevant search engine results pages, and shouldn’t be ignored just because they lack Google branding.

Google Reviews

Though there are some customers that give out reviews just because, you have to create a strategy around getting them because Google reviews are only displayed when you have more than 5 Google reviews. In case you forgot (or skipped ahead!), reviews help boost SEO efforts, so having a review acquisition strategy really is vital for ranking.

Google recommends doing these 3 things to get reviews:

  • Get verified on Google Maps. Only verified businesses marketing on Google Maps can respond to Google reviews
  • Ask your customers to give reviews on Google maps. If you’ll recall the saying, “Ask and you shall receive?” you’ll understand that the simplest way to get reviews for maps marketing is to just ask for them! People can do this by using their Google accounts, and going to your Google Maps business listing, then clicking on “Write A Review”. At the same time, they can also rate the business with a Google maps star rating from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent). Alternatively, they can search for the business and see the “Write a Review” button on the right where Google My Business results are displayed.
  • Respond to your customers’ reviews to build trust in your Google maps marketing campaign. If they leave a bad review, this also opens up a discussion that may result in them changing their review.

Other Tips and Strategies to Get Reviews

A few additional tips for getting reviews on Google:

  • Make it easy for the customers to get to your map. As mentioned above, it can be hard to get a review due to the multiple steps required to get customers to go to the Google Maps or search your business. Make it easy for them by linking directly to this page when asking for reviews via email, social media, or directly on your website. Create an email template to send to customers to automate this process after they’ve made a purchase or some other important action. Integrate with an email service provider to execute this automation.
  • Give incentives. It’s unethical to buy Google reviews but to encourage reviews, give customers an incentive, like a discount code or something similar in your marketing.

How to Handle Negative Reviews

Every now and then, you will receive negative reviews. Don’t sweat these–they’re normal, and you can’t please everyone.

Before getting worked up, it’s important to remember is that it’s nothing personal; bad reviews are just a result of mismatched expectations or a bad day for the business/reviewer. And not all bad reviews mean bad things for a business: 52% of buyers trust a product if it has a few negative reviews, according to research from Capterra.

Bad reviews demonstrate that your products/services are authentic. They show that sure, you have negative reviews, but a lot of people also loved your product. Alternatively, too many positive reviews look like you might have purchased them, and can act as a factor that goes against trust.

Furthermore, negative reviews can create buzz, like Botto Bistro, a California pizzeria that gives discounts to customers that write bad reviews on Yelp. For businesses such as Botto Bistro, they’re essentially nullifying the power of this review platform (Yelp), which has been known to engage in shady business practices that work against the businesses represented on their website.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

First of all, keep the bad review. You may be tempted to erase it, but keep it published. It shows that you have nothing to hide. A troll will only repost it anyways, potentially with a screenshot framing you for the act of deleting their review in the first place. This will hurt trust with your non-troll audience.

Second, decide whether a review is actually worth responding to. Some reviews might just be from people trolling around, and looking for fights. When you feel the bad review is worth responding to, respond immediately and publicly. It shows that you care about the issue and care to resolve it with a public response. Of course, not all issues can be solved publicly. If there is a need for further discussion, communicate with the person via email or on the phone. If more than a simple acknowledgment is needed, provide contact information so you can take the issue offline.

There are also times that you’ll receive a review that is false, malicious or inappropriate. Ask the website or poster to take it down. If you control the reviews, don’t publish it.

When responding to a negative review on your Google maps, remember to be polite. If dealing with an especially harsh feedback, remember to be calm. You don’t want to say anything you will regret later. This goes back to not taking anything personally.

In any situation, deal with the problem ASAP. Show the customer that you value their feedback by acting on the issue immediately. Once a review has been responded to, follow up with the customer to ensure that they’re happy with how their issue was handled or resolved.

As always, continue to solicit more reviews, so you have a broad spectrum from which to work from, presenting a well-rounded view of your business for people to solicit for their own purchasing decisions.

Checklist for Google Maps Marketing

There’s a lot you can do to make the most of Google Maps marketing. The following can be helpful in ticking off one thing at a time.

Website

  1. Implement Local SEO and maps marketing practices by providing the complete NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), preferably one used by the US Postal Service and in Google maps.

Google My Business

  1. Start setting up your Google My Business profile by entering the necessary information. Make sure the information entered matches the one on your website.
  2. Verify the business map listing by postcard, phone, email or Google Search Console
  3. Edit your Google My Business profile by filling in other information, like operating hours, contact information, and photos of the place. Note that these edits will not appear unless the business is verified.
  4. Add a profile photo to make your map listing look professional and trustworthy.
  5. Be specific with listing by optimizing for long tail keywords. The more specific, the better for your overall Google marketing campaign.

Google 360

  1. Take photos of your business using your camera phone or a 360 camera, borrowing one from Google, or hiring a Google Trusted Photographer.
  2. Upload the images to the Street View app. For camera phones (or those without a 360 camera), you can take the panoramic photo directly from the app so Google can stitch it together later.
  3. After uploading the photos on the Street View app, add it to a Google Maps listing. If the Google Maps listing is connected to a verified business, it will appear on the Google My Business listing.
  4. After the photos appear on a Google Maps listing, you can connect them to be a virtual tour.
  5. Embed the virtual tour on your website by going to the Google Maps link. Choose the starting point of the virtual tour, copy the source code by going to the Share/Embed option, and paste the source code to the part you want your virtual tour to appear on the site.
  6. Add a Google Maps listing to your contact page.

Reviews

  1. Look for review sites that complement the industry of your business to find marketing opportunities.
  2. Read up on their policies, because some review sites are more strict than others.
  3. Assuming the Google My Business profile is created and verified, create additional profiles for review sites, such as
    1. Facebook
    2. Yelp
    3. Foursquare
    4. Zagat
    5. CitySearch
    6. com
  4. Ask for reviews from customers by emailing them as part of your loyalty program maps marketing.
  5. Make it easy for them by linking directly to the maps review page.
  6. Provide incentives to encourage maps reviews.
  7. Respond to reviews on your Google Map listing to engage and build trust with customers.

Dealing With Negative Reviews

  1. Determine if the review is meant or if it’s just Google Maps spam.
  2. If it’s real and particularly aggravating, be calm. You don’t want to say things you don’t mean.
  3. Respond courteously, publicly and professionally.
  4. Respond to more serious and long-winded issues privately.
  5. Deal with the issue ASAP.
  6. Take down defamatory reviews.
  7. Follow up with the customer to ensure that the situation was handled the way they wanted it settled.
  8. Continue soliciting more reviews on your maps to have a variety of them.

Google Maps Marketing: How To Optimize A High-Quality Google My Business Map Listing

Optimizing your site for Google Maps is straightforward, but a multi-faceted process. If you want to make sure to get it right the first time, hire someone who can assist with local SEO services, including considerations for Google Maps marketing.

What are your best practices for Google Maps marketing? Tweet at @OverTheTopSEO, and we’ll share our favorite insights![/fusion_text]

For more information about your maps marketing contact the Over The Top SEO team at 800-550-3101

Do you want to know what it will take you to rank higher?

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Some of our clients

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Because over 98% of our clients request confidentiality. You would, too, if your site suddenly ranked higher than your competitors and you started getting their customers! That’s why we respect our clients’ wishes.

But we’d be happy to show you specific SEO case studies based on your industry. That way, you can decide for yourself …

What to do now?

Take the next step. Request a Free SEO Diagnostic Review.

During your private 30-minute meeting by phone or Skype, an SEO expert will perform a live analysis of your website to uncover lost opportunities in your search rankings. You’ll see exactly what your website does well, what it doesn’t, and what to do next.

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