There are a number of best practices that you want to be aware of to properly optimize your Map listing.
- Company Name – Always use your legal Company Name – don’t stuff additional fields into the Name Field. E.G. If your company name is “XYZ Funeral, Inc. “ don’t try to stuff additional keywords like “Alan’s Funeral Home – New York”. This would be against the Google Local Business Guide lines and will reduce your probability of ranking.
- Address – On the “Address Field” use your EXACT legal address. Be intentional here. You want to ensure that you have the same address listed on your Google Local Business listing as it is on all the other online directory listings like YellowPages.com, CitySearch.com, Yelp.com, etc. The consistency of your N.A.P (Name, Address, Phone Number, Profile) is very important for placement.
- Phone Number – Use a local number (not 800#) and use your real office number rather than a tracking number. We find that 800#’s don’t rank well. If you use a tracking number it won’t be consistent with your other Online Directory Listings and ultimately won’t rank well.
- Categories – You can use up to five categories, so use ALL five. Be sure to use categories that describe what your business “is” rather than what it “does”. Use words like “Funeral Director” “Funeral Home Services.”
Service Area & Location settings – Google offers 2 options here 1. No, All customers come to my location 2. Yes, I serve customers at their location. Obviously, you need to select all customers come to my location. Not doing so can result in a penalty on your listing.
If you don’t have a Business Address or a Home Address to list the only other option is a Virtual Office. Unfortunately P.O. Box Addresses & Mail Boxes Etc. Addresses don’t tend to rank well. It’s important to put in your physical address.
- Picture & Video Settings – You can upload up to 10 pictures & 5 videos. Use this opportunity to upload authentic content about your company. It’s always best to use real photos of your team or office or building rather than Stock Photos.
- Pictures – You can get more juice from this section by saving the images to your hard drive with a naming convention like “your city + [Niche Keyword] – your company name” rather than the standard file name that came with the photo. You can also create geo context for the photos by uploading them to a video sharing site like Panoramio.com (a Google Property) that enables you to Geo Tag your photo’s to your company location.
Videos – Upload VIDEOS. They don’t have to be professionally produced and can help to resonate with your customers. A best practice is to upload the videos to YouTube and then Geo Tag them using advanced settings.
Once you have optimized your listing using the best practices referenced above, you want to be sure that you don’t have any duplicate listings listed on Google Maps. We have found that even just one or two duplicate listings can prevent your listing from ranking on page one. In order to identify and merge duplicate listings run a search on Google for “Company Name, City”.
To clean up duplicate listings, click on the listing in question and then click “edit business details”
- Then click “This is a duplicate” and let Google Know that the listing should be merged with your primary listing.