Do you ever stop to think about how your customers are finding you? Most likely, they come home to a massive water loss, immediately pull out their phone, and search for "water damage company near me." Google will then provide them with search results that feature several local options at the top of the page.
Welcome to the Google Map Pack. This group of 3 local businesses often drives a significant number of calls for restoration companies. With this in mind, it is an integral component of a healthy online marketing strategy.
Today, we discuss several key ranking factors that can help set your business apart and land you visibility in the local map pack.
Why Does the Google Map Pack Matter?
As a company owner, you already have a lot on your plate. But giving some attention to your GMB listing is a great way to boost your business. Why exactly does the Google map pack matter? Well, consider these benefits:
- Increase your search engine rankings
- Increase customer base
- Improve brand visibility
- Outperform local competition
While these sound great in theory, you might need some more tangible results to understand the benefits of map pack placement.
- First, and foremost, Google 3-Pack holds the number 1 position in 93% of all Google searches. (SEOClarity)
- 86% of customers find a business location with the assistance of Google Maps. (GoGlobe)
- 88% of consumers look over online reviews before making a decision and consider these as important as a recommendation from a friend. (SearchEngineLand)
- 900%+ growth has been seen for mobile searches using "near me" and "today/tonight" - ex. "Fire damage company near me". (ThinkWithGoogle)
6 Important Ranking Factors for Google Map Pack
Source: White Spark
As the graph below shows, GMB is the most critical part of being found in the local pack. As such, there are some important ranking factors to keep in mind as you set up your listing. Let's discuss each.
When WhiteSpark drilled down into the data, they discovered several aspects of GMB listings that can make or break your presence. These are included in the chart below:
Clearly, there are some important ranking factors to keep in mind as you set up your listing. Let's discuss the highlights.
1. Primary Business Category
You will want to select a relevant primary business category. You can also add additional categories that are relevant to your services.
Google is constantly adding new categories. Be sure to update your categories regularly to ensure you are listed in the most applicable one. Joy Hawkins of Sterling Sky reports that two to ten categories are updated monthly.
2. Business Name
While you do not want to keyword stuff into your business name, you should use a descriptive name that gives searchers a clear idea of what you do. For instance, ABC Mitigation would likely not rank as highly as ABC Disaster Restoration.
3. Search Proximity & Business Location
Unfortunately, search proximity from the searcher's location is out of your control. You can maintain realistic expectations by considering the distance of your business location to your key service areas.
4. Link to Local Pages & Other Website Factors
You might feel inclined to list your website's homepage as your business link. However, it can be wise to link to your local service pages instead. When Google crawls the page, you will receive a boost in relevancy signals. The page's title and heading 1 and heading 2s should be optimized to include your keywords. You'll also want to evaluate the quality and quantity of any inbound links to your domain.
5. Quantity of Google Reviews
When customers think highly of you, it reflects in your map pack placement. Businesses with abundant positive reviews fare much better than those with negative or no reviews. The inclusion of geo-tags and keywords certainly only stands to help you perform better.
6. Quality & Completeness of Listing
There's nothing worse for a customer who is in the midst of a property disaster than thinking they've found a solid company than going to the GMB listing and finding information that is inaccurate or missing. Having a thorough listing that is representative of your business is the best way to go.
How to Rank Your Restoration Company in the Google Map Pack
As you can see, it gives you a huge advantage to rank well within the map pack. Use these critical ranking factors to shore up your listing and increase your chances of being featured in the pack.
1. Set Up a Google My Business Listing
If you want to show up in the map pack, you first need to create a listing on Google My Business. Simply type your business name in to claim it. Verify your ownership. If you do not find a match for your business, register the company.
2. Verify Your Address
To verify your company's address, you should fill out a GMB application form. After 3 to 5 days, Google will send you a verification code via post. Enter this code in your GMB account.
3. Enhance Your Listing
To show up in the big 3, optimize the listing with relevant and accurate details. These include:
- Business Category
- NAP data (Name, Address, Place)
- Business Citations
4. Be Sure Your Website Supports Your Listing
Your listing is no good if a customer follows the link to a poor website. Your website should load quickly and be search engine optimized. All information should match the data that appears in the GMB listing.
Some factors you should care about include: ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ
- Quality inbound links and citations
5. Gather Reviews
As discussed earlier, potential customers are quick to look towards reviews when making a decision about whether or not to work with you. Detail, location, and keyword-rich reviews from satisfied customers are often enough to assure a client that you are a reliable restoration company. You will want to gather several reviews when first creating your listing. Additionally, you will want to continue to seek reviews to show relevant, timely work and feedback from recent customers.
Land Yourself in the Map Pack
By taking these important criteria into consideration, you will enhance your chances of landing at the top of the map pack listing. The likelihood of customers finding your business increases exponentially with a bit of care to your GMB listing and website.