It’s a myth that SEO rules all when it comes to generating business. In fact, if you aren’t optimizing for Google Maps as well, you’re missing a vital component of local lead generation.
This is especially true since 73% of all online activity now revolves around local content and 66% of Americans use local search to locate businesses within their immediate area. That’s about 2/3 of the population that turns to the Internet to find local services just like yours. And if you haven’t optimized properly for Google maps, you’re missing out on all of them.
Now if you aren’t quite sure what Google Maps is, there’s no need to worry. In fact, we’re going to cover everything you’ll need to know about this crucial tool in this post.
So just sit back, and prepare to learn just how much one source of optimization matters for your business.
So, What is Google Maps?
If you aren’t sure what Google Maps is, it’s likely that you actually do and simply aren’t sure what optimizing for Google Maps entails.
Google Maps is simply the map that pops up whenever you search for something related to local search in Google. For example, if I type in “dentist Chicago” I’m going to get a map and somewhere between 3 to 7 local listings for dentists with their Google ranking, location, and phone number displayed. This should look something like the photo below:
As you can see, the map takes up the entire area above the fold of the page (i.e. the area that is visible when you land on a page). Of course, the paid advertisements are still displayed on the righthand side of the page, but these aren’t the focus. In fact, many individuals will land on this page and won’t even notice the advertisements.
This will happen whenever someone types in a service (whether it is for a dentist, surgeon, lawyer, or other professional) and a city (whether in Los Angeles, New York, or anywhere in-between).
The focus on Google Maps is even more pronounced for mobile searches, which are increasing at astounding rates. In fact, 88% of users conducting local searches are doing so on their smartphones. And when their results look like this…:
…you’ll be glad that you’ve taken the time to build your presence in Google Maps.
Google Maps is Commanding Attention in New Ways
Of course, Google Maps didn’t always look like this (or for that matter, dominate the search results page quite so much).
In fact, the placement of the map above the paid advertisements and the local results list above the organic results are both developments that have taken place in recent years. This means that businesses that pay sizeable money each month to dominate the organic results are getting pushed back by local optimization done via Google Maps.
Of course, this simply means that incorporating Google Maps optimization into your search is an essential way to secure leads that you otherwise might not. Remember, SEO is important, but you could be getting pushed further down the page due to the local listings that take precedence.
The Key to Successful Lead Generation is Differentiated Systems
Now I know what this post is going to make you think: why bother with SEO if Google Maps optimization is so important?
And the answer is simple: you need to differentiate your systems.
Think about this: if customers are searching for a plastic surgeon in New York and you show up not only at the top of the Google Map listings but also in the organic results, you’re simply getting more exposure. For customers, increased exposure not only makes them more likely to click on your business over others, but more likely to think that you’re a trustworthy provider due to your prevalence in their results.
Remember that 64% of customers convert within 1 hour of their search for a local business and you’ll be glad that you’ve invested in differentiated lead generation systems.
Google Maps Optimization Isn’t an Option, It’s a Necessity
If you’ve been searching for problems with your lead generation strategy and haven’t yet considered Google Maps as a viable option, it’s time to make a change.
Of course, the entire process can be time-consuming and confusing. If you find that you have questions or need assistance, Linking Up Local can help.
Contact us today to get the assistance that you need and invest in a lead generation system that will provide a guaranteed return on investment.