5 Ways to Boost Business with Google Maps

SEO

If you’re a local retailer and you haven’t fully optimized your local directories, now is the time. Customers who are on their phone and searching for local business are likely to convert. In fact, according to a Google study,  88% of customers use their smartphone to conduct local searches, 84% of them use a tablet. You need to be sure your site is mobile-friendly, and your local maps listings and directories are optimized and up to date.

Where are People Searching?  

google-local-directory-imageConsumers search for local information from both their smartphones and tablets/desktop computers. What they search for is different on the devices, and because of that, there are multiple ways you can improve your site’s performance.

Who uses Search Engines to Conduct Local Searches?

4 of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. As we stated above, it’s 88% phone and 84% tablet/desktop. This search intent is a significant opportunity for your business if you understand how to leverage the data. 

Why the difference between the two consumers? The consumer searching on their desktop has more likely recently realized they want to make a purchase and are in the research phase. They may be higher up in the sales funnel and not yet know where they want to buy. While the consumer on their smartphone is also conducting research, they’re more inspired to purchase. In fact, 50% of customers who search for local information on a smartphone will visit the store within a day. 34% of those who search on a desktop computer will do the same.

What Information Does the Customer Need?

As we discussed, the consumer who is searching on their phone is more likely to convert within a day. They’re likely already out and about and are looking for information on your store hours, your address, and directions to the store. A consumer who is searching from their desktop or tablet wants your store hours and address, but they also want to know if you have the item available right now.

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Does Optimizing for Local Search Matter?

Yes, local searches lead to store visits and purchases. 18% of local searches result in a purchase within a day, only 7% of non-local ones do.

So, how do you attract customers and boost your local SEO? By optimizing your local directory profiles. When you offer the information customers need and make it easy for them to act upon it, they’re more likely to convert.

We know customers who are searching on their desktop/tablet are more likely in the research phase. They’re higher in the sales funnel. They may not have decided who to buy from yet. So, it’s an excellent opportunity to attract new customers and introduce them to your business. How do you do this?

Optimize Your Map Directory Listings

If you have a Google My Business page and it’s not verified and fully optimized. It’s time to make it a priority. If you don’t have a page yet, you can create one for free here. Once you enter your necessary information, you’ll be asked to select a verification method. The default option is a postcard that’s sent to your mailing address.  If you opt for a phone call and be sure you’re ready – they can call within moments of you making the request. You must verify the business, and if you miss the call or lose the postcard, it can be a hassle so be ready. Now, you’ve done the basics. You have a Google My Business listing. Let’s talk about how we boost the performance of that listing.

5 Ways to Boost SEO Value

  • Add your store hours – make sure they’re correct and up-to-date. We know one of the top three reasons customers are searching for local information is to find out store hours. Make sure they’re current. If you have special holiday hours, update your Google My Business listing and your website both.
  • Add photos from the business. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, include images from within the store. It helps tell a better story.
  • Enable customer reviews. We know customers are searching for product information, they’re researching before making their decision. Consumer reviews are an important part of the research process for many people. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation according to this study.
  • Add Schema Markup to your website. Schema.org markup helps the search engines better understand and display the information on your website. You can include your hours of operation, product inventory information, pricing, ratings, and reviews. If you have local events, you can markup that information too.
  • Don’t stop at Google My Business – create your account on Yelp for Business and optimize your listing. Include the same information you’ve included on Google My Business.

Why do Local Directories and Maps Matter?

Some customers will never even visit your website. They will get all the information they need from map and directory listings. Your messaging needs to be consistent and optimized to provide the best information to your customer, no matter where they are on the web. By ensuring your local directory listings are optimized, you’re serving your customers’ needs better. Do you care if they visit your website or not before coming into your shop to buy? Probably not. If you’re not sure if your local directory listings are doing the most they can for your business, contact us for a free review and recommendation.

 

 

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