More Visitors = More Leads = More Sales & Profits!

Google is now very good at showing locally relevant results in its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Whether your local business has one location or twenty locations, it is increasingly important for your company to be locally visible.

By ‘visible’, we mean how high in the rankings your site or other content shows in either Organic Search Results or in the Google Map Pack, also called the 3-Pack or the Snack Pack. The first 3 positions in Google Maps benefit the most.

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Your website will not only be at the top of Google Maps, but will likely be shown on the first page of Google’s organic rankings. As a local company you also benefit directly when your company scores higher in Google Maps.

But how do you get your website awarded one of the three positions in the 3-Pack? Here we give 8 tips to help you rank:

Tip 1: Understand how Google determines your ranking position in Google Maps

Google itself discloses in Google My Business Help that the ranking position of your business listing depends on three factors that are weighed in its algorithm:

Relevance
Distance
Prominence

Relevance (close match to the searcher’s keyword) and distance (physical driving distance for the searcher) both depend on the information you provide in your Google My Business account. The searcher may designate a location along with their keyword. If they don’t, then Google will calculate the distance based on given information. Prominence is based on how well-known your business is in the offline world (famous places, for instance), or online (like links, articles, and directories).

Tip 2: Create an entry in Google My Business

Be the first to make an entry for your business using Google My Business. It may well be that you have already made a business listing. This used to be called Google Places and you could also create company pages via Google Plus. So first look for the name of your company in Google. Four situations can now occur:

1. Claim your Google My Business Listing

Do you see the question “Are you the owner of this company?”. If you see this listing, you can claim the listing. You do that by walking through a verification process. Sometimes you can receive an SMS or you should consider until you receive the verification code from Google by mail.

2. Create your Google My Business Listing

Is your company new, it may be that Google does not yet have a listing of your company. You can create an entry simply by adding your company name with address, website and telephone number. You can now indicate whether your location should be included in Google Maps or not. The verification process always takes place via mail. Through the post you get code from Google with which you activate your listing.

3. The Google My Business Listing is managed by someone but you do not know who

It sometimes happens that a company no longer knows who has access to Google My Business. To find out, you can go through the normal process to create a new entry. At the end of this process, Google reports that the listing is already under management and displays a portion of the administrator’s email address. If there are still no bells ringing, then unfortunately it is necessary to go through the escalation process. That can take a few weeks.

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4. Edit your business listing on Google

By logging into Google my company, you can edit all data about your company:
• Company Name
• Address
• Phone
• Category
• Opening hours
• Website
• Characteristics
• Photos

Note: Make sure that your data matches your other listings such as the telephone directory or other company directories. Choose the right category that your customers are looking for and add multiple relevant additional categories if possible.

Tip 3: Increase the reputation of your company on the internet

Google discloses that as more information about your company is available on the internet, your position in the Google Maps box will be higher – your listing’s rank will increase. You want to establish more and more:
1. links to your website
2. online articles about your company
3. entries in telephone and company directories
4. reviews and ratings

Tip 4: Copy the links from your competitors

If your competitors score higher in Google Maps, this is largely due to the backlinks they have obtained. You can find these links by using one of the many link building tools, such as: Semrush.com, Majesticseo.com and Sheerseo.com, among others. Many great tools have a free trial period, so you can use them to see if they fit your needs. And, when you find a fit, they also offer different levels of pricing to fit your needs and budget.

You can then try to obtain the same links to your website, for example by submitting an article (in the case of article directory sites)..

Most important, don’t link to just any site. Pay attention to the quality. Not all links are good for your website. Good links are from relevant, high authority sites. Google clearly rewards for a few high quality links over a large quantity of low quality links. Always go for quality over quantity.

Tip 5: Search online for article and backlink opportunities

You can easily identify opportunities for links or articles that are relevant in your location or region, or for your industry or niche, by simply using the right keywords to search Google.

For example, Find Your Competitors’ Guest Posts… Then Write for the SAME Sites!

GUEST POST BLOGGING - Lionheart SEO - Igniting Business Growth - Small Business Clients

Search Google for combinations of keywords to find different types of backlink opportunities:
• Guest post + (your region / industry)
• Contributions + (your region / industry)
• Articles + (your region / your branch)
• (keyword) + Directory add
• (keyword) + Directory submit
• (keyword) + advertising
• advertise + (keyword)
• (Keyword) + intext:”this is a sponsored post”
• News + (your region / industry)

By entering these different combinations in Google you come to a list of possibilities. Then you can draw up a plan to use the possibilities. For example, by accessing the webmasters directly or via your network or groups in Linkedin.

Tip 6: Higher in Google Maps with more listings in business directories

Listings in business directories also ensure more ‘prominence’ of your company, according to Google. If your company is mentioned in more directories, then your company will be better known, as is the assumption of Google. Usually that is also true. But you can also actively search for industry-relevant and interesting business directories.

For example, search Google for the name and address of your most important competitors and soon you have a host of possibilities. You can search for the combination (your niche) + “business directories”.

Some high authority directories with free account login and backlinks:
• Yelp.com
• MerchantCircle.com
• LinkedIn.com
• YellowPages.com
• Whitepages.com
• Supermedia.com
• Yellowbook.com
• CitySearch.com
• Mapquest.com
• Local.com
• Foursquare.com
• ThinkLocal.com

Make sure you enter the same format of your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) everywhere. If your company with different addresses is mentioned in various directories, this leads to Google down-ranking, and not to a higher position in Google Maps.

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Tip 7: More good reviews in Google result in a higher position

Let’s be quite clear that the presence of more real, 4- and 5-star reviews in Google will result in a higher position in Google Maps. So make sure you get real customer reviews via your Google My Business listing. The importance of reviews cannot be overstated. And recently Google also disclosed that more good reviews actually contribute to a higher position in Google.

Tip 8: Work patiently and consistently at higher positions in Google Maps

Patience, dedication and good organization ultimately lead to positive results. So do not expect immediate results after you have posted a few articles. Spread your activities consistently over a period of time. And perhaps even more important, keep a good record of your work. Do not underestimate the work that is involved.

Do you have little time or patience? If so, then just outsource the work. We will get you ranked faster and higher than anyone – including you!

BONUS TIP: “Do what YOU do best – and OUTSOURCE the rest”

Your time is best spent in your business, not promoting it online. Leave that to us, the experts. To find out if we can help you achieve your goals, let’s explore & see if there’s a fit.

ABOUT LIONHEART SEO

Lionheart SEO is a ’boutique agency”, which means that we keep our shop small, and give each client white glove service – no exceptions. We don’t accept all businesses that approach us. We only work with clients when we are 100% confident that they will grow fast, and profit from each campaign. We handle only a few select clients at any given time. And when we are full, we don’t over-extend. That way, no client takes a backseat.

Give us a call or contact us by email to discuss your situation. Find out if we are a fit for you – and you are a fit for us.

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