With mere months away from 2017, it’s a good time to start re-assessing our local SEO strategies. Here at Captivate Search Marketing, we’re taking-on a more integrated approach by embracing the opportunities in Google Maps marketing.
Many immediately envision the local 3 pack listings that are shown in Google search (typically under any Pay Per Click ads.) However, there’s more to Google Maps marketing then the local listing component.
While the 3 pack is unquestionably the most powerful form of marketing real estate, there’s also the search results in the Google Maps interface. Otherwise known as the ranked Google Maps results, these listings are influenced slightly different ranking signals.
For this reason, in addition to AdWords, the outlook on Google Maps marketing offers a multi-faceted approach for local businesses. Let’s take a closer look at the different opportunities that our Google Maps marketing services have to offer.
Local 3 Pack
As mentioned above, the local 3 pack is prime marketing real estate that can literally grow a business by leaps and bounds. Depending on the city or geo-reference, countless companies may be competing for placement in the coveted 3 pack. This can make it a difficult endeavor, and one that needs to be put into realistic perspective for some businesses.
At Captivate Search Marketing, we can help devise a Google Maps marketing program that’s designed to meet attainable outcomes and expectations. For instance, if you operate a plastic surgery practice that is located 30 miles outside of San Francisco, and yet want to rank for “plastic surgeon San Francisco” against fifteen other authoritative surgeons (who are actually based in the city,) we’ll be honest with you. We’ll tell you that your chances of ranking the 3 pack are slim to none. (But there’s alternative avenues to generate traffic from such keywords.)
We understand ranking factors that impact the local 3 pack listings. In addition to city-center proximity, among the most impactful are citations, Google My Business page, customer reviews, and website. For these Google Maps marketing and SEO services, see our Captivate Local branch. There you can learn more about the importance of having a well-optimized website and Google My Business page, abundant citation profile, and review generation strategy in place.
Ranked Google Maps Results
The second component to Google Maps marketing is the ranked results shown directly in main Google Maps interface. If you click on the “More Places” option under the local 3 pack (as shown in the figure,) you’ll be taken to the ranked Google Maps results.
These listings are shown for search queries submitted in the Google Maps mobile app. And for mobile searchers who do not have location data activated on their device, these result may be shown automatically.
According to local search data, the ranking signals for these Google Maps listings depend mostly on a company’s Google My Business page. Further, citations are less of a ranking signal (and some local SEO’s will dispute that citations are not a ranking factor at all.)
As part of our services in Google Maps marketing, we can help optimize your Google My Business listing to its fullest potential. If you do not already have a page claimed and verified for your businesses, we provide the solutions to help you accomplish this first step. Further, we can help optimize your listing with specific techniques that your competitors are probably unaware of.
Google Maps Ads
The last component, which is distantly underutilized, is Google Maps advertising. Using the AdWords platform, you can create ads that make your business more pronounced in the ranked Google Maps results (shown in the figure below.)
In a competitive search market, advertising in Google Maps can offer a number of benefits. Not only is it immediate, but advertisers only pay when users click their ads. And because less businesses are leveraging Google Maps ads compared to traditional search ads, they can help companies get a leg-up on their competitors. Further, it’s a great alternative (or supplement) to the latter mentioned components.
There are four new ad features that are available in Google Maps:
- Promoted Pins (which can include logos and branding elements)
- Customizable business pages
- In-store promotions
- Local inventory search function
Ads can appear in the search results shown in the Google Maps app, the desktop and mobile versions of the main Google Maps interface, and on Google.com’s Expanded Map results.
As an AdWords Certified Agency, we at Captivate Local can help you set-up a Google Map advertising campaign. Drop us a line at (404) 666-3887 or visit our contact page to learn more about how we can help you with Google Maps marketing.