Local Search Strategy Google Maps Optimization
Google Maps Optimization is an important part of any successful local marketing strategy.
According to Google, an estimated 73 percent of all online activity is related to local searches. Customers turn to local search to learn about the businesses available in their area and evaluate what companies they would like to patronize.
For businesses who want to take advantage of the opportunities presented by these searchers, optimizing your Google local listing is an excellent way to get started. These listings are featured prominently in local SERPs on the popular search engine and are perfect for attracting attention and bringing in new customers.
An estimated 1 in 3 customers will do a local search on a smartphone before visiting a store. These customers are often looking for valuable, practical information such as the address of the business and the hours they are open. For your listing to be effective, you need to make sure that you fill in the information completely.
Google+ local listings use Google maps to generate locations and information for customers to help them understand where the business is and if it is close to their current location. Failing to correct any errors in your business location can end up confusing and frustrating these customers.
Google also places value on consistency throughout local listings for businesses. If there are discrepancies between your business listings on different directories, then your business results will rank lower because it can hurt the user experience. Wesley Young studied the impact of various factors on local search performance and found that the consistency of name, address, and phone number (NAP) on local business listings had a 16 percent influence in determining performance.
You should also be integrating location keywords into your local listing content. According to Young, keywords placed in business titles and when discussing the location of the business have a 19.6 percent impact on local search performance. You should look to use location keywords throughout the Google listing including in the title tag, H1 heading and URL. These keywords not only let Google know when your business is relevant, they also let customers know that this business is local.