Google Map Citations for Local SEO: a Key to Business Success
It’s easy to understand the value of Google Map Citations for local SEO. Let’s suppose you’ve just started a new biz and you are looking for more traction and to get noticed in your town.
What about having some sort of “virtual contribution” that helps Google understand where your business is located, what service or product you have to offer, and what other people think and say about your activity?
This will get along with your plan to rank your business higher in Google local search results, with the benefit of generating more leads, more traffic, and eventually, more customers.
In this article I will explain exactly what are Google Map Citations, why they are important for your business and how you can get some high qualifying Google Citation for Local SEO to help establishing your business.
Does it sound interested? More is yet to come!
- What are Google Maps Citations
- Why Are Google Map Citations Important for Local SEO
- Tradition SEO vs Local SEO: What is the Difference?
- How To Get Google Map Citations
- Five Important Aspects You Cannot Miss (especially if you are a new Business)
What are Google Map Citations?
A Google Map citation is a mention of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on a third-party website. These citations help Google verify the accuracy of your NAP information, which can improve your local search ranking.
They are nothing but three pieces of information made available to anyone on a 3rd party website. Now, the info doesn’t have to be random but has to contain exactly three things:
- The Name of Your Business
- The Address of Your Business
- The Phone Number of Your Business
All these three info together make up what is called NAP (Name-address-Phone).
Google Maps is a popular mapping service that displays local business listings in a given area. These listings are often accompanied by relevant information such as the business’s address, phone number, hours of operation, and website link.
Google Maps has become an important tool for businesses to attract new customers, and Google Map citations play a significant role in helping businesses achieve a higher ranking in local search results.
Why Are Google Map Citations Important for Local SEO?
Well, it should be quite clear and direct after explaining what they are meant for. But here I want to give you some extra reasons:
- They help Google understand your business’s location. Think about Google Database. How many businesses are registered there? Well, if you ever came across the definition of a database, you’ll usually find something like: ” a set or ordinated data”.
If relevant websites show the same location for your business, this will help Google’s users to find what they want. I guess you have searched at least once for Restaurants or Plumbers “near me”. This is exactly what we are talking about.
- They help Google understand what you do. The ultimate Google goal is to deliver extraordinary service to its users. The keywords and phrases used to describe your business on other websites can help Google understand what your business does. This helps your business rank higher in local search results for relevant queries.
- They help Google understand what other people are saying about you. Reviews, reviews, and more reviews. People trust Google and Google trusts legit business activities. Google Reviews plays a huge part in attracting new clients as well as improving your local search ranking.
Traditional SEO vs Local SEO: What's the difference?
Google always acts with the same principle: “Delivering an outstanding experience to its users”. This concept is indeed applied not only to the mere google search, but to all its applications.
I have already discussed how you can check if your website is SEO-friendly and aligned with Google policies of delivering incredible experiences as well as listing all the benefits of SEO application for small businesses but here is a suggestion that will help you to understand the whole logic.
Traditional SEO on your website will act as the main set of information on a global scale. This is generally good for traffic generation and customer conversion.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focuses on optimizing a website to increase its visibility for relevant searches. With the right technical approach, SEO will help google to process and index your pages and made them available for specific queries.
Local SEO is a subset of SEO that focuses specifically on optimizing a business for local search results. This includes ensuring that a company appears in local listings, optimizing for geo-specific keywords, and managing reviews and ratings.
With Local SEO, Google aims to provide a more tailored experience to its users considering local aspects, relevance and authority of all the business and attraction in the area of interest.
How Google Maps Enhances Local SEO
As I mentioned before, Google leverages a plethora of applications and aspects just to optimize the CX of its users. In fact is important to consider the following:
Google My Business (GMB):
One of the first steps in local SEO is setting up and optimizing a Google My Business listing. GMB directly integrates with Google Maps, allowing businesses to appear in map searches and the local pack (Usually, the top 3 businesses show up for local searches but this number is constantly changing).
It is important that you have your Google My Business Page that includes all the relevant information about your business like; Name, Address, Phone, Description, and Opening Times, and these must be aligned with all the other citations online.
Reviews and Ratings:
Google Maps emphasizes user-generated content, such as reviews and ratings. These not only influence a potential customer’s decision but also play a role in SEO rankings. A business with numerous positive reviews is likely to rank higher in local search results.
Make sure to ask for reviews and manage all types of reviews, especially the ones with low ratings. Google is able to detect the interaction between the owner and its client base and this plays a big role in establishing your online presence
Consistency in Citations:
A citation refers to a mention of your business on other websites, even if there isn’t a direct link to your site. Google Maps and other local directories are prime places for these citations. The consistency of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) across these citations impacts your local SEO ranking.
The Benefits Optimized Google Maps and Local SEO
As you might have understood, everything is working synergically. Let’s now list out the benefits of having an optimized Google Maps and Local SEO.
Trust and Credibility:
Google’s primary goal is to offer users the most relevant and trustworthy information. By ensuring your business is verified on Google Maps and consistently managing and updating your GMB listing, you’re signaling to Google that your business is credible and trustworthy.
This will foster new leads/conversions and ultimately, more clients,
Increased Visibility and Engagement:
Google Maps and Local SEO feed into each other. An optimized GMB listing contributes to better local SEO rankings, while effective local SEO practices increase the chances of your business being found on Google Maps.
The two will work together to respond to customer queries online. Make sure to pick and tailor your keywords and create a compelling description for your business leveraging copywriting techniques.
Matching User Behavior with Google Maps:
Today, when users search for services like “restaurants near me” or “best coffee shop in [city name]”, Google Maps plays an integral role in providing immediate, localized results.
The integration of reviews, opening hours, photos, and other business details offers users a comprehensive overview of local businesses at a glance.
How to Get Google Map Citations
There are many ways you can get Google Map Citations. Here you can find the three most common ways
- First: Claim and verify your Google My Business listing. If you have a physical shop and you are meeting all the criteria to request a Google My Business verification, I highly suggest taking this step. As your biz will be using Google as a main source of traffic, this gives you a kickstart approach.
GMB is a free service that allows businesses to manage their online presence on Google. Once you claimed and verified your Google My Business listing, you have successfully obtained the biggest citation of all.
- Second: Submit your business to websites and local directories. You might already know some of the most famous ones like Yelp or Yellow Pages however the list doesn’t stop here.
Do you own a restaurant or a pub? List your business on TripAdvisor. Finally, consider the fact that some of them might be completely free and others will be taking on your listing after paying a fee.
- Third: just ask your customers to review your business on Google. You can ask for reviews in different ways but just make sure to do it politely and with the right timing. Some people love to express their opinions and will be glad to help. Some others would rather receive a reminder instead. Just make sure to be prepared!
Five Important Aspects You Cannot Miss (especially if you are a new Business)
Remember that every citation acts like a vote of confidence in your business.
The more consistent and widespread these citations are, the higher your chances of ranking well in local searches. It tells Google’s algorithms that your business is genuine and has a solid presence, both online and offline.
I will now share a list of aspects that you ultimately want to consider for better results, especially if you are a new business.
1. Claiming and Verifying Your Business:
Begin by claiming your Google My Business listing, ensuring that every detail aligns with your business’s actual information.
2. Ensuring Accurate NAP:
Your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) need to be consistent across all platforms. Any discrepancies can confuse search engines and reduce your credibility.
3. Utilizing Photos and Videos:
Visual content can significantly enhance your listing’s appeal. Regularly update photos of your business, products, or services.
4. Importance of Regular Updates:
Keep your listing fresh with regular updates about your business, such as new products, services, or events.
5. Ignoring Negative Reviews:
Addressing negative reviews with professionalism can turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one. Ignoring them can harm your reputation.
I hope you are feeling more comfortable now that we have gone through the core part of Google Map Citations. Your NAP (Name- Address-Phone) consistency on the web along with a decent citation portfolio will definitely improve to get more traffic and sales.
Strive to increase your visibility by leveraging all the tools that Google offers. Finally, remember that you want to analyze the quality of the citation and not just be mentioned in a directory with a bad reputation.
Now it’s your turn, which aspect will you focus on first? What’s your experience with Local SEO and NAP creation?