Business owners know how vital a top ranked listing in Google Maps can be, it is literally the lifeblood of many local businesses. But many businesses are on the outside looking in wondering how they can get a Google Maps listing with a balloon next to it so local prospects can find them online.
They know that if their business showed up in Maps for their target products or services (aka keywords), it would be much easier for potential customers to find them online, call and easily navigate to their place of business. So what is the biggest mistakes made by businesses hoping to be listed in Google Maps? Drum roll please… the number one mistake, that is so easily avoidable is…. Variation in business information. Google and Bing are just computers and as they scour the internet they are constantly trying to match data. When data matches, trust is increased. When data does not match, trust level decreases and you may not show up on page 1.
For example, a business might have the following variations showing on their website, local business directory and Google Places or Google Plus Local profile.
1751 Walnut Ave, Suite 125
1751 Walnut Avenue #125
1751 Walnut Avenue, Ste 125
To the human eye, we can easily decipher the address, but computers are not human and the kind of variation shown above can cause your listing to be flagged and moved down the search results page and a more trusted listing is moved up. Run a search on your business and find all the listings with variation, claim them and make all the listings consistent, including company name. Variations in the company name can also be fatal, depending on a number of factors, but let’s make it easy for the search engines. For example, the below are not necessarily the same business listing to a computer:
United Brick Co.
United Brick Corp
United Brick Corp Inc
Finding all listings and making them consistent is one of the easiest ways to improve your trust with the search engines and move up in the rankings, and it is the first step to getting on page 1. As you can read in a previous blog post, relevant backlinks are another critical component of establishing trust… and let’s not forget social media.
Are you wondering how much does a Google Maps listing cost? Actually, they are free. And Google will never call you to sell you a Google listing, only agencies will. But getting just the listing and consistent business information updated is only the beginning. To get in the Maps listing box, sometimes called the “7 box”, can take more than adding your listing and crossing your fingers.