Adding Google Maps for Local SEO
Today we’re going to take a deep dive into an often-overlooked tool for improving local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Google Maps. Whether you run a brick-and-mortar business or you’re a digital-based service catering to specific geographical areas, integrating Google Maps into your website can do wonders for your local SEO.
What Is Local SEO and Why Is It Important?
Let’s take a quick look at local SEO. Essentially, it’s the practice of optimising your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. These searches happen across the entire search engine ecosystem, but predominantly on Google and Google Maps.
Local SEO is particularly important for small to medium businesses that operate on a regional level. Unlike national or international SEO, local SEO focuses on reaching potential customers in your specific area, improving your visibility to local searchers. A well-optimised business is easier to find, and this increased visibility can lead to more foot traffic, enquiries, and sales.
The Impact of adding Google Maps on Local SEO
Google Maps isn’t just for getting directions. For businesses, it’s a potent marketing tool. It helps in building credibility, demonstrating legitimacy, and improving local search rankings. Here’s how:
- Building Credibility and Demonstrating Legitimacy: A Google Maps integration on your website provides immediate visual affirmation that you’re a ‘real’ business with a physical location. It adds a level of trust and professionalism to your online presence.
- Improving Local Search Rankings: When your business is correctly listed and verified on Google Maps, Google takes this as a positive sign about the relevance and legitimacy of your business for local searchers. This information feeds into Google’s local ranking factors and can help improve your visibility in local search results.
How to Integrate Google Maps into Your Website
Now, let’s crack on to the real meat and potatoes: adding Google Maps into your website. It’s a pretty straightforward process:
- Get a Google Maps API key: Before you can add a map to your website, you’ll need a Google Maps API key, which is a unique identifier that links your website to Google’s map service.
- Add the Map to Your Website: Once you have your API key, you’ll need to add the relevant code to your website. This typically involves embedding an iframe into your website’s HTML. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, there are numerous plugins that can handle this process for you.
- Verify Your Business on Google: Make sure you’ve created and verified a Google My Business listing. This ensures your business information is correct on Google Maps and other Google services, and is a crucial step in optimising your local SEO.
It can look something like this
Optimising Google Maps for Local SEO
Merely adding Google Maps to your website isn’t enough. To get the full SEO benefits, you’ll need to optimise your map listing:
- Add Relevant Business Information: Make sure to fill out all relevant information on your Google My Business listing, including your address, hours of operation, phone number, and business category. This information should be consistent with that on your website.
- Encourage Customer Reviews: Reviews on your Google My Business listing can influence your local SEO rankings. Encourage your satisfied customers to leave a review, and always respond professionally to feedback, whether it’s positive or negative.
- Use High-Quality Photos: Photos of your business location, products, or services can help to attract potential customers and can influence your ranking on local search results.
- Use Local Keywords: Just as you would with the rest of your website content, make sure to use relevant local keywords in your Google My Business listing to help improve your visibility in local search results.
Adding Google Maps to your website is a relatively small step that can yield significant benefits for your local SEO efforts. Not only does it add a level of trust and professionalism to your site, but it also provides valuable signals to Google about your business’s relevance and legitimacy. Start leveraging Google Maps to boost your local SEO today!
Also published on Medium.