Local Maps – Tips and Best Practices to This Critical Marketing Tool
Where would you be without your preferred digital map? Without Google Maps, Apple Maps, Yahoo Maps, or local directories like Yelp or Homestars we would be lost – literally!
Google, Apple and Yahoo Maps are much more than direction finding apps, they are powerful marketing tools that every business should harness.
What is Local Mapping or Maps Marketing?
Local Mapping refers to the process of making your business easier to find, and more accessible for consumers. While Local Mapping is vital for business of all sizes, it is actually more important for smaller businesses. Big companies will have no problem rising to the top of search engine results pages, and because they have huge brand recognition most consumers will be able to find them one way or another.
Local Mapping and Digital Marketing
Local Mapping isn’t just about directions; it is about being discovered by consumers in the first place as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. With a strong strategy and precise implementation Local Mapping will help your business rise through the local rankings to the top of search engine results pages.
Proximity Based Results and Mobile Search
Mobile Marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing fields. More and more people in Canada and around the world use their smartphone to search for businesses on the go. When you search from your phone on Google, one of the first results will likely be of a map with different locations denoted with the letters A, B & C in red dots. Of course these locations will change depending on where the search is conducted. Your business may not always rank for the keyword “Italian restaurant,” but being on Google Maps will mean that if someone in your town, city or neighbourhood searches “Italian restaurant” then your business will almost certainly appear, and will likely appear much higher than it otherwise would.
When you search directly on Google or Google Maps for a particular keyword, business name, or other search term the results will be ranked on the side of the map. This ranking takes into account a number of factors, including:
- Google My Business listing: how complete is your Google My Business profile? Google favours comprehensive listings.
- Reviews: Google factors in reviews that your business has received on G+, Yelp, and other local directories, giving greater weight to the more trusted businesses.
- Relevance: ensuring that your online listings are as accurate and relevant to your business as possible will help you rank higher.
Don’t just focus on Google, Apple, and Yahoo
Even though your goal is to appear on map services like Google, Apple, and Yahoo, you don’t want to ignore complimentary services like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Canada411, and Homestars. These also include mapping features, and will add additional relevance and trust to your digital presence.
As is always the case when it comes to digital marketing, when you are looking to add your business to local maps you will need to be patient. Fixing up your profile, adding your business to Google My Business, Yelp, and other maps and directories is just the first step. It will take time for search engines to recognize and adjust to these changes.