What’s the Google map pack when it’s at home? It’s the local business listings that appear when you search for a service near to you. You want ‘SEO Southend’ – You see those results at the top, that’s it.
Maybe you’ve searched for ‘Hairdresser near me’, then up comes a range of choices near to you. This is what we call the Google local map pack and it’s critical to appear in it for local domination. If you run a business that relies on local visitors, this is your route to free advertising. It’s probably the best bit of real estate you can target too.
When we opened one of our first bricks and mortar stores, I remember messaging my partner:
“I haven’t seen many people walk past mate.”
I was terrified.
Then gradually customers began to come in through the door. I asked them how they had heard of us, and every single one said “Google”.
It turned out, that while we may not have been on a main shopping parade, our business being one of the few at the time, was on the main parade of Google. Every person that typed in ‘Vape shop near me’ within a few miles radius, saw us right at the top of Google.
Google Map Pack is the Online equivalent to Prime Retail
The Google map pack is the easiest chance you will have to rank top of Google within your local geography.
It’s the online equivalent of prime retail. Do you know those shops on the high street that have huge rents? Well, this gets as many relevant views and doesn’t require a big wallet.
So it’s important you take these steps seriously, in order to have a shot at succeeding. That said, let’s go through 4 steps you should take to rank top of the Google map pack.
4 Steps to Local SEO success
Getting your business on the google map pack is as easy as 1,2,3 and 4
Step 1 : Register on Google My Business
So easy, pretty obvious if you know how, but you aren’t going to appear on the maps section if you don’t first register with My Business, and second request a verification card.
To register with Google’s My Business – Click here
Once on there, add in as much detail as possible.
– Include a description focusing on the key phrases that people search for businesses like yours
– Add pictures that show off your team, your location, your best bits. Important – Update these in time
– Include contact options
Now before you save all this content, a valuable tip is for you to save all that you’ve typed, including how you wrote the telephone number, into a word doc.
Why are you doing that?
Because as part of this guide, you’re going to be doing more than just filling in a Google business page.
Every time you write this information, you want it to be identical. This ensures Google can see that every directory listing of ‘Janet’s SEO Southend’ is linked. These listings pages are called citations, and if you are trying to rank in the google map pack for SEO Southend – you want to complete all of them.
Step 2 : Repeat Step 1 for every directory possible
Really this is just an extension of Step 1. In order to rank for that term ‘SEO Southend’. You will need to add your SEO company in Southend-on-sea in a host of different sites. This does 2 things for you.
1. Not everyone only uses Google to search for services. As crazy as it seems, there are people who use other websites for this. We actually get a lot of web traffic from Bing. A lot. So it’s best not to be dismissive and if someone is offering you SEO Southend agency a place to list it, then be polite and say yes.
Now, some obviously have more value than others, but if nothing else, it will give your business a whole bunch of backlinks to your own website which is good for better Google rankings.
If you don’t know what backlinks are, hit the Ctrl key and click the link below to open a new window to read after:
2. The directory listings site tell Google that your business page offering SEO Southend services is something that is reported in many places and therefore warrants a higher spot in their Google Map Pack.
How do I find these?
Well, I wouldn’t be the SEO Fairy if I couldn’t deliver you gifts. Here are two links to amazing resources for all the key business directories you need.
Fill in the listings for your ‘SEO Southend’ company on every one of these possible, and using that Word doc from earlier, you can be sure the content is exact each time.
This integrity of information across these sites means Google is in no doubt you are serious about this and they all represent the same company.
This is a little bit of a slow process and will eat up a couple of days, but once you’ve done this, you probably won’t need to revisit them again any time soon.
Step 3 : Get Reviews
If you want to get higher rankings on the Google map pack for this notional SEO Southend business, then you are going to need reviews.
How do I get reviews if I’m brand new?
Do I really need to answer this?
Right, let’s interpret this in a different way.
Do you have friends, colleagues, family who can attest that you are a.) Good at the skill you are saying you can do? b.) Can attest that you are reliable and trustworthy?
Now make it easy for them and send them a link to your business listing reviews section and get those ratings flying in.
If they want to be super helpful, they could mention a bunch of related keywords in their review too. If you are trying to rank for SEO Southend, then it may be:
– SEO Agency Southend on Sea
– SEO services near me ( I was looking for SEO services near me and I found these guys…..)
– Rank Higher Locally on Google
– Etc Etc
Why use keywords in your reviews?
The picture above shows that Google is analysing the content of reviews and even replies to them, for keywords. So in the example attached, simply because someone used the right words, the business appeared.
Also, remember what I said about other business directories, notice Yelp and 192 at the top?
Why getting reviews helps to rank?
So as well as being great for telling Google what it is your business does. It also knows that reviews are a sign of quality. Google wants to do one thing more than any other (Well besides making money) – help you find the right thing, quickly.
Step 4 : Update your Content First Impressions Count
This is so overlooked. We overlooked it.
Google wants to show good content, consumers want to see good content and YOU do not want to have embarrassing content.
So, easy fix, UPDATE IT.
What am I talking about here?
You know those photos you added to your Google Business Page 3 years ago. Well, those products you:
– No longer sell any of
– Aren’t made anymore
– And look ridiculously overpriced if you did and are displaying it
Well, they are still being seen.
“Oh but I’m sure not many people are seeing them….”
Take a look at the photo above. What you are seeing is, the insights (performance data) of a side project a restaurant owning friend of mine is doing.
He is running a boozy brunch in London, so we set up a Google business listing just for that monthly event. Then lockdown happened and it’s been neglected.
So I jumped on the listing page while I was writing this, to show you some data.
With limited photos, a few business listings, and some reviews, his event ranks fairly well.
But, there is a shed load of competition and despite all of this, and even with live hospitality events closed for 3 months, his Google map listing was still seen 30,000 times!!!
Imagine what a little TLC to the profile could do for actual visits to his event.
Could Google Map Results be the best free marketing ever?
So back to my original point in this step. With that many people seeing your Google Business content, it can be a curse as well as a blessing. First impressions count, and if you haven’t updated your images, but your competition has, why would Google want to serve outdated images by a company showing little effort to change them.
They won’t, they will show the others.
Google’s primary core value is this:
“Focus on the user and all else will follow.”
Ignore Google’s advice at your peril.
If you update your content and this many people are seeing it, there is a strong chance you will not only appear in the Google Map Pack for ‘SEO Southend’ but also draw those people into your service too.
Or whatever it is you do.
So there you go, 4 super easy steps to rank higher on the Google Map Pack. It’s never rocket science this and it’s something that any business owner can and should do.
You don’t need to pay someone, least of all us marketing guys to do it.
But, if you do want to see what other ways we can help you, we’d love the chance to talk to you. Fill in your details below and we will write back within 24 hours, whatever day of the week.
I have a strong background in offline and online retail and love talking all things 'Start-up'. I've failed more times than most will ever begin. Co-founder of The Skinny Kitchen, Vape & Juice and CBDStar.
I'm not just an SEO guy, I'm a business owner for hire. If you have a problem and no-one else can fix it, contact me here or on Fiverr @seofairy