December 2, 2021
Marketing
10 min read

Google Maps Marketing: The Beginner's Guide

Everything you need to know about starting on Google Maps Marketing.

Ben Bitvinskas
Co-founder, Atlasmic
Are you here to find out more about marketing on Google Maps? Good. Here at Atlasmic we are trying to give you comprehensive knowledge on various topics, related to the world of online business and more specifically e-commerce. But, we can’t overlook Google Maps marketing (also known as local SEO) which is the hottest new trend for marketing and advertising. Slowly but surely, Google Maps has become Google’s second most-used service (after the search engine). It’s now a hugely versatile tool that impacts your business’ SEO results and marketing strategy efficiency.
With that being said, it’s kind of new, and not a lot of people have sufficient knowledge about it, to put it to use. So, let’s dive deeper and look into Google Maps marketing to outline a guide for beginners!

First off - Google Maps benefits for your business

Google Maps has 1 billion monthly users. According to Forbes, close to 95% of all consumers use Google Maps to find out information about businesses close to them.
Out of those 95%, 61% called up a business after successfully finding their telephone number and 59% came and visited. We guess that there isn’t too much need for further explanation, but just to clarify.
There’s also the Local 3-Pack that everyone likes to emphasize.
The Local 3-Pack is a stacked search info window that displays a map with three recommendations of local businesses that Google deems most-suited for users like you. The suggestions are based on search history, activity of similar users, users in your area, etc.
It’s a great way to be noticed, but focusing solely on the 3-Pack doesn’t cover the whole entire spectrum of Google Maps. There’s a lot more to marketing on that platform. Let’s throw some numbers at you to see what we’re on about, praising the numerous benefits.
If you have 10,000 potential customers in your area that could be interested in your products and/or service(s):
  • 9,500 will use Google Maps to find out information about businesses like yours in that area
  • 6,100 will call yours or similar businesses
  • 5,900 will visit
So just imagine the sheer potential of effective information placement. If you were to be able to utilize Google Maps marketing for your own benefit, even a simple 5% conversion rate from visits, with a small potential audience of 10,000 people and 5,900 in-store visits, you could be looking at 300 new sales. That is an amazing opportunity just waiting to be grasped.
Don’t waste any more time and stop your competitors from stealing both online and physical traffic away from you. Here’s how you do that!

Set up your GMB account

For managing everything business and Google Maps-related, with regards to your business, you need to go and visit Google My Business (Click here). It’s a platform dedicated to business owners and entrepreneurs who wish to manage their commercial activity on Google.
Once on Google My Business, everything is very easy to navigate. Type in your business name or add a new business to the database.
Google My Business is a very straightforward, free-to-use platform with everything optimized to be understandable even for people with minimal past involvement with Google platforms.
The main point of Google My Business is to manage your NAP from the perspective of local SEO. It’s an acronym and it stands for
Name, Address, Phone Number
, highlighting the three crucial and key elements for business optimization for the Maps platform.
Keep in mind that in order to add your business or to edit the information on the current database, you have to provide a proof of ownership or proof of representation. Upload relevant documents and Google will take a day or two to review them. After the approval, your account will be associated with the business and then you’ll be able to make changes and adjustments to your information on Google.
Just a few pointers for you before we move on:
  • Keep the name of your business short (don’t put too much detail in the name section)
  • Make sure that the address and phone number are correct
  • Properly adjust your working hours
  • Make sure your service or product category is listed
  • Create a short description for your enterprise
  • Create local landing pages with contact info on your site, if you have branches, affiliates, or departments in different cities, regions, etc. Then, integrate Google Maps map with the location info on the page.

Next up - get reviews

Reviews matter. A lot.
As you can see, people trust that most online reviews are genuine and sincere, which is why a whopping 84% of them trust it as much as the most dependable form of review - personal recommendation.
Stats and general practical experience have shown us that a business without any reviews is always struggling to do business. From your own experience, you perfectly know that making the first sale and satisfying the first customer is always the hardest.
Getting reviews isn’t easy. So should you even focus your attention on getting them? Should you spend time and cash trying to get customers to give a review? It seems so and two figures will show you why!
More than a half of people browsing will be impacted by a positive review and will want to visit your website.
To begin with, if you have reviews, it’s easier to do business further on. Don’t mind the occasional neutral or negative review. These things happen and you should always acknowledge the dissatisfaction of the customer, make them feel heard. Even the brands with the best possible customer service and the creme de la creme in terms of products and services can have negative reviews. Your goal should be to attain more reviews ASAP so that people searching on Google Maps can see your star rating.
And now, the second figure.
If you’re thinking about a solid marketing campaign and long-term growth both locally and online, 74% of consumers will have more trust in your brand if you have positive reviews.
Hence, reviews are crucial to the results of your business right now and in the upcoming future.
If you’re having a hard time trying to persuade customers and clients to leave a review, incentivize the process. Offer a discount, even temporarily upgrade their product/service tier, send complimentary gifts and just do something nice to acknowledge their efforts. In the end, they’re doing you a favor.

Google Maps Ads

A decade back, Google was a multi-billion dollar company as it is today. However, at that time, only a few of Google’s features had monetized features available. Right now, you can advertise pretty much on every available digital space that Google manages, including Google Maps.
Google themselves state that local search ads (Google Maps Ads) are a great tool to drive more traffic to your website, but its primary goals are to encourage in-store visits and calls. So, Google Maps Ads is mostly about helping the client find the channels to make an action. Or in simple words - it helps people find you.
Just as with regular Google Ads, you are charged on a Cost-Per-Click basis. A click on more competitive keywords (in this case - more competitive location) and searches cost more than a click on an ad that’s either in a location or with a keyword with less engagement and interest.
If you want to create your very own Google Maps ad, just navigate to Google Ads and enable your location extensions. Make sure your Google My Business listing is in order and all information on there is both unique to your business and correct. You can then target a location and bid specifically by location.
Don’t forget your keywords as their optimization is crucial to the success of the whole marketing campaign.

A few more tips towards success in Google Maps Marketing

Now that you know the theory and the basics behind marketing on Google Maps, it’s time you can put that knowledge to good use and create your own strategy. We will share a few specific tips and insights on how anyone can start and run a more successful campaign on Google Maps.

Add photos

Statistics show that on Google Maps if your business has images visible to the user, it has a 40% higher chance to be clicked on for more information.
Close to 42% of users will try to find you by clicking on the DIRECTIONS button which will calculate the route from their current or pre-determined location to yours. And a solid 33-36% will click on your website’s link and visit it.
Google My Business allows you to add photos of your business, but later on, it’s the community of billions of Google users that are able to contribute by sharing imagery, regarding businesses.
Within Google Business profile, you can add your logo, set a representative cover picture, and add business photos to showcase different aspects of your enterprise (e.g. the storefront, surroundings, products, menu, etc.). These pictures are helpful to the people who are trying to find you.

Google Attributes

Google Attributes are an awesome feature. They are little tags that can help people learn more about your business. For example, a McDonald’s can have a Take-Out attribute tag, other companies can add things like accessibility for the disabled, etc.
There are numerous tags to add and a lot of them are practical and useful. Adding these attributes is simple, just make sure that they genuinely reflect your business.
Attributes are generally divided into four categories:
  • Accessibility
  • Amenities & Convenience
  • Ownership (veteran-led, black-owned, women-led, etc.)
  • Friendly (LGBTQ friendly, primarily)
For LGBTQ-friendly, women-led, veteran-led, black-owned, and very highly rated businesses, Google can add a particular icon on the Business profile.
This is how the icons look like. They can appear as a separate attribute in the Business profile tab.

Accurate, descriptive introduction

Google Maps business profile is also offering you the chance to uniquely describe what your business is doing. The description will appear on the Business profile tab and people will be able to learn more about your business.
Katz’s Delicatessen in New York shows an amazing example. It’s fun, unique, describes (in detail) the features of the restaurant, and showcases heritage, since it opened all the way back in 1888.
Keep in mind that if there are plenty of search results visible (e.g. The Local 3-Pack or a whole list), only a short version of the description will be visible. To read more, customers will have to click on your business in particular.

Don't ignore reviews

Google also strongly suggests that you respond to reviews made by your clients. It’s common sense, really. If you show your appreciation and sincere interest in what your clients have to say about you, the perception of the brand and its reputation can be improved.
Responses to reviews also have an effect on how easily new people will be able to find you.
Take your time and reply to both positive and neutral or even negative reviews. As we’ve mentioned before, incentivizing reviews can help you get more positive ones!

Summary

So, we hope that we have successfully covered the basics of the topic - Google Maps marketing in this article. As you can see, Google Maps is the biggest untapped market that local businesses can pursue in order to get more local customers.
You need to update your Google My Business profile, add relevant information as well as pictures to present a more likeable brand to online users. Once you get reviews, respond to them and set up some Google Maps ads to help you out even more. And then, come back to Atlasmic blog where we post insightful blogs about business marketing and everything related to running your own business online!
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