If you are a local marketer, you are likely all too familiar with the recent Google updates this year. They heavily impacted Google maps and organic rankings that appear in the Local 3-Pack, the most coveted position in the search results.
The reason why these spots are so coveted is because they are in a prime location to drive local business and traffic to your site. Unfortunately, this also attracts a lot of spammers and lead generation companies that want to siphon your leads and customers, only to sell them back to you for a referral fee.
The fake map listings that these companies create are loaded with keywords, which is a common black hat practice, an action that is against search engine guidelines used to get a site ranking higher in search results.
Having your local businesses appear in the map listings lessens your reliance on these types of referral services, because it gets your actual business in front of potential clients at the moment when they are most ready to make a purchase.
With the recent influx of spam in the map listings, these updates have been aimed at cracking down on everyone who violates Google’s Terms of Services. All efforts to clean up the maps are closely linked to two factors.
The first is the total amount of traffic that these listings receive and their relevance and importance to a consumer’s search. The second, which is Google’s sole purpose, is to deliver consumers results that are both reliable and trustworthy.
So, how can you make sure that your facility is trusted by Google?
- All your local listings should display accurate name, address, phone number and website (NAPW) information across the entire web — and we mean everywhere. A great place to start is the information listed on your Google My Business (GMB) page.
- In addition to being up-to-date, make sure your GMB page is managed well. Keep your GMB page fresh with updated business hours, answering questions asked by consumers and even posting FAQs. Updated photos are good, but what’s even better is to make a simple video that displays any signs with your business name, the main entrance and lobby area, and a brief walkthrough of the building.
- Be on the lookout for any authoritative sources that carry a lot of weight within your industry. Online directories are a great place to claim your business listing and ensure that your NAPW is accurate.
Industry-specific directories are a great resource to accurately tie out your business information across the web. Getting content published and securing a backlink to your website from high-value, relevant sites like these are critical in ensuring your digital success in a competitive industry. n