We Achieved First Page Results On Google Maps
Like many of us, I found myself with a plethora of time on my hands during the Covid-19 lockdown. I binge-watched Netflix (please never refer to Tiger King in my presence). I finished YouTube. I read Rumi and Kahlil Gibran. I engaged in political fights on Facebook. I got on a first-name basis with my Uber Eats drivers. I consumed copious amounts chardonnay, sometimes for breakfast. And like for many of us, this routine quickly lost its appeal. Feeling listless, I focused on new challenges for my business. I wanted to achieve first page results on Google Maps.
First Page Results on Google Maps & Local SEO
By now, we are all familiar with the very popular Google Maps. Available on your laptop browser and as a mobile app on your smartphone, Google Maps, has revolutionized navigation. We’ve all seen those crazy Google cars driving on the roads, indexing our streets in much the same way Google indexes websites. Although there are many useful applications for this platform, we will focus today’s post on a very important aspect of Google Maps: Local SEO.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a sub-category of search engine optimization, or SEO. Local SEO shows up in both search result pages and map pages. An effective SEO strategy will generate results for both categories, but a strong Local SEO presence is imperative if you operate a small business with a specific geographical reach. Local SEO is the secret to obtaining first page results on Google Maps.
To learn more about Local SEO, check out our article: Local SEO: What Is It & Why Should You Care?
First Page Results On Google Maps
During the pandemic downtime, I educated myself on everything Local SEO. I learned to ignore the “black hat” tactics that will get you banned from search results and listened to what Google (and to a lesser extent Bing) wanted from us in order to achieve high domain authority, and therefore higher search rankings.
The first step in establishing a Local SEO presence is to make certain your business has a Google My Business account for each location and and a legitimate address. Google will not accept PO boxes or virtual addresses. In order to verify each location, Google will send you a letter via snail mail with a verification code. Once you receive this code, log back in and enter the code to complete your verification. Again, this action must be taken for every location you might have.
Now that you’ve taken this first important step, understand that you still have significant work ahead of you in order achieve first page results on Google Maps. Although Google has now verified your business, you have plenty of competition that has done the same and is also trying to get first page results. This is where where your website’s Quality Score comes into play. A Quality Score is Google’s assessment of your website based on multiple criterion, including:
- Domain age
- Website code quality
- Website speed
- Evergreen content
- Mobile-friendly (responsive design)
- Backlinks (external web pages that link to your website – websites with high domain authority that provide backlinks to your website will improve you QS even more)
- Local citations (similar to backlinks, but include your company’s name, address and phone number)
- Customer reviews
- W3C & ADA accessibility compliance
Following these guidelines, we launched an exhaustive campaign to improve our website’s Quality Score. There is no magic wand for this, just months of labor-intensive grunt work that included the creation of numerous blog articles each week. Here are the results:
San Francisco – First Page Results On Google Maps
Atlanta – First Page Results On Google Maps
Local SEO is a powerful strategy for small businesses to reach customers within their geographic reach. If you are interested in Local SEO and placement on Google Maps check out this article regarding what to look for when hiring an SEO company. To speak to us regarding your local SEO strategy feel free to call us at (415) 228-6861 or contact us online.