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Benefits of Local SEO - Rank High on Google Maps - Deal with Bad Google Reviews

How to Rank High On Google Maps

Ranking high on Google Maps can be very profitable & beneficial for your local business, especially if you are a tradesman, painter, plumber, electrician, hairdresser or any other business operating locally. Google presents the local results to its online searchers when they search for businesses near to their location. E.g. if you are looking for a painter, plumber, cleaner, restaurant or coffee shop, Google will show you the businesses close to your location. Businesses appearing on the top positions of Google maps reap the benefits as the maps information is displayed on mobile devices and desktop searches more often now. Obviously, in order to rank high and improve your Google maps listing, you must join Google My Business platform first which is created by Google. Once you have verified your Google My Business account, you can login and complete your business profile. We have compiled a list of steps that you can take to improve your business Google maps rankings. There is, however, no 100% guarantee that taking these steps will definitely display your business on top because Google uses various factors to rank businesses in the Google Maps listings, such as keyword relevance, distance to businesses, popular known locations etc. Google’s main priority is to present results to the searchers that are most relevant to their query and useful for their purpose. Below is a list of steps that you can take to improve your local business Google maps listing:

  • Verify your Google My Business location

  • Always input accurate information in GMB

  • Add your business profile & cover photos

  • Add genuine staff and office pictures into GMB photos section

  • Add competitive keywords into business name; avoid keyword stuffing

  • Choose a few correct business categories

  • Add additional business sub categories

  • Make sure Google maps listing address matches the address on your website

  • Describe your business properly in the GMB description section

  • Target your main keywords in the business description

  • Add business local contact numbers

  • Add your website URL address

  • Add accurate business hours

  • Link Google maps account to main website

  • Use Google snippets & schema markup

  • Join more review websites & gather customer reviews on them

  • Improve your website load speed

  • List your business in reputable, trustworthy and relevant directories

  • Optimise homepage and other inner pages of your website

  • Join major social media sites

  • Gather customer reviews on Google maps

  • Respond to your Google maps reviews

  • Remove non-usable and duplicate listings from your GMB account

The Numerous Benefits of Local SEO Services

If your business products and services are not optimised for local searches then you are losing out on plenty of potential business that you could have otherwise gained through Google local searches. Google and other search engines present local search results to customers close to their physical location based on their geographical location and search queries. In layman terms, local SEO means optimising your website so that it is more visible to geographically local customers. 

Local searches are generally performed in a certain way e.g. plumber near me, dentist near me, hairdresser in Derby, cleaners in EC1. Many stats show that when people perform local searches, they are highly likely (above 60%) to go visit the local store or purchase products and services within a day. Local SEO is very beneficial for businesses operating locally such as plumbers, tradesmen, painters, electrician, lawyers, dentists, restaurants and takeaways etc.

If your business is doing well nationally that doesn’t mean it will automatically appear on the top pages of your local searches. Local SEO is different from organic SEO searches. Investing in local SEO marketing can be very beneficial for your business if you are offering products and services locally. To take benefit of local SEO, you must register your business with Google My Business to appear in local searches. We have compiled a list of the key benefits of local SEO marketing:

  • Increases foot traffic from local searches

  • Helps to improve your online visibility and sales

  • Generate more business than your local competitor businesses

  • Local customers return if they like your products or services

  • Build a strong local customer base

  • Appearing in Google’s 3-Pack can be very beneficial for your local business

  • Gain more customer reviews which could be beneficial for your business

  • Local SEO has no marketing costs and is free to use

  • Content and back links improve relevance

  • Great return on investment through local SEO

  • Local SEO traffic & clicks can improve your organic rankings too

  • Get more exposure for your business for free from local SEO

  • Additional traffic from mobile devices

  • Local SEO has a high conversion rate

  • Local SEO helps to build your brand credibility


How to Deal With Bad Google Reviews On Google My Business

Bad reviews can tarnish your business’s reputation if not addressed properly. Negative reviews do not always come from real customers; they can also be posted by your business competitors to destroy your business’s reputation. Negative reviews can be very damaging for your business if they are more in number than your positive reviews. If the review is fake then you should flag it and request for its removal. But if the review is genuine and your customer was not satisfied with your service then it is best practise to address his/her concern. There are several ways to address a bad review and limit its impact:

  • It is always best practise to not panic and evaluate the situation

  • Do not act aggressively and respond to reviews professionally

  • Limit the impact of a bad review by asking for more reviews from your customers - positive reviews can overshadow the negative reviews

  • Address your customer’s concerns and request them to change the review

  • Read the review text: if it is not related to your business products and services, you can request for Google to remove it

  • If the review uses inappropriate content, you can place a request for its removal

  • If multiple reviews are coming from the same source and you have evidence, then ask for their removal

  • Improve your products and services to avoid future negative responses from your clients

  • Always be transparent about your mistakes

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