Chances are if you’ve got a smartphone, you’ve used a navigation app. More specifically, chances are you’ve used Google Maps. Why Google Maps? Because Google Maps is preferred by nearly six times more people than its closest competitor, Waze.
While Google Maps is undeniably useful to smartphone owners, it’s also extremely beneficial to another group: business owners.
Read on to learn how Google Maps marketing can help your self-storage business grow, including a breakdown of the benefits of Google My Business along with tips for making the most of Google Maps.
The 411 on Google Maps Marketing
Google Maps marketing is a local SEO strategy in which businesses incorporate relevant information in their Google My Business profile such as hours of operation, customer reviews, phone number, and other information about your business. Google rewards this with higher search rankings— greater business visibility and the increased revenue that goes along with it.
While ranking higher on Google Maps is a benefit of Google Maps marketing, it’s not the only objective. It can also help you get a high ranking in local business results listings. This is especially meaningful for self-storage facilities, which depend heavily on local business.
What Is the Google 3-Pack?
One especially beneficial outcome of using Google Maps marketing? Google Map Pack.
Google Map Pack is the term used to describe the location-based results that Google displays along with a map. It shows the user what is determined to be the three most relevant businesses based on many factors such as search queries which include words like “near me” and the user’s location.
We all know how important it is to achieve high search ranking results. Google Local 3-Pack raises the stakes by giving the top three businesses featured billing. Also referred to as the “local pack” and the “local SEO 3-pack,” or simply “Google Map pack,” they’re the first three Google Maps results that appear when you conduct a local search on your phone or computer.
For example, if a user enters “self-storage units in [your area],” wouldn’t you like your business to appear front and center? That’s exactly what making it into the Google Maps Local 3-Pack will do for you.
Tips for Getting in the Local 3-Pack
While there’s no clear-cut organic formula for landing your business a coveted Google 3-pack spot, there are some things you can do to boost your chances. Start with the following three tips:
Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
First, make sure you’ve set up and/or claimed your Google My Business listing. Formerly known as Google Places, this is a free and user-friendly tool that lets businesses assume control of their online presence. This is much more than a business listing; it comprises many functions and features, and significantly factors into local SEO.
Setting one up is easy, and it’s the only way to ensure that your business listing is accurate across all of Google’s entities.
However, having a Google My Business Profile is not enough. You must also make sure it’s optimized. In addition to making sure all the information it contains is accurate and up-to-date, be sure to add business categories. This is how Google knows which business types to return for local search.
Next, make sure that your listing information precisely matches all the information on your website and wherever else it might appear on the internet as Google uses consistency as a ranking factor.
Also, be sure to include photos. Google rewards sites with photos, and so does Google Maps. Not to mention that people are visual, too. In addition to getting the optimization benefits, your listing will be more appealing to searchers.
Finally, to get the full benefits of Google My Business, getting your listing verified should also be at the top of your to-do list.
Get Great Customer Feedback
When people search for businesses “near me,” they often include a qualifier in front of it. “Best.” Again, Google puts great stock in validity. So how does it determine which businesses qualify as the “best” in your business type? It looks for those with the highest star ratings.
This is extremely important because even if your self-storage business is closest in proximity to the searcher, Google won’t include it in the 3-pack if it doesn’t have a minimum rating of four stars.
Keep Up With Local SEO
The algorithm Google uses to determine search rankings, including the Google local pack, is always changing. If you want to rank well, it’s essential to make sure your local and total SEO is on the mark.
Following best practices on your website is the best place to start. This means making sure it’s mobile-friendly, includes a location in your meta tags, and contains the information that search engines will be looking for.
One last thing to keep in mind about improving your Google Maps marketing visibility? It won’t happen instantly. While none of these tips are instant fixes, and there’s no sure-fire way to get in the pack, these steps will eventually pay off. In the meantime, your efforts are still moving you in the right direction of providing your customers and potential customers with access to the information they’re looking for.
Approximately 77 percent of smartphone owners regularly use navigation apps to get where they’re going. Will they use it to find your business as well? That’s up to you.
Unfortunately, many busy small- and medium-sized businesses are missing out on the advantages of Google Maps marketing and other digital marketing initiatives because they lack the resources to know and implement best practices. That’s where we come in.
At The Light Digital, we are digital marketing experts with the experience and know-how to help your self-storage business thrive. From Google My Business management services to email, social, and SEO marketing, we can help.
Whether you’re specifically looking for a Google Maps marketing agency or you want to learn how to start attracting and engaging new customers with Google Maps marketing and more, contact us today.