I bet you’ve seen a Google Map like this when searching for places to go. It shows a number of nearby locations on the map itself and the top three choices for the search listed below:
If the top three results aren’t quite what you’re looking for, you can click the map itself and view a greater variety of locations:
Look at these images once again. The first three locations on the map are the same three as in the original Google Search. What you need to do is make sure your business is always within the top 3 to ensure you get more clicks and visits to your venue! But, how do you do this? Let’s get down to business…
Google ranking factors are also called local ranking factors. They are all related to location, both yours and the searcher’s. According to Google, the three main local ranking factors are:
- Relevance — how well your business matches the user’s search
- Distance — how close your business is to the searcher
- Prominence — how well-known and well-liked the business is
Let’s go into more detail on each of these three factors:
Simply put, relevance is how well a business matches to the search. So, for example, If I Google ‘Cafes in Southampton’, I shouldn’t expect to see Mechanics in London, or Pet Shops in Brighton. Here, Google uses your industry settings within your Google My Business account to help make sure your business is relevant to the search that is being made.
Distance is probably the only factor you can’t control (unless you start opening more venues) but it’s very important. As you can see, even a poorly filled-out listing can get into the top 3 results if it’s located close to the person searching.
No ratings, reviews, prices. Nothing. Still, the snippet got into the top 3 because of the location and how local it was to the searcher. Why? Because Google is trying to show users the most convenient results without them needing to travel miles across a town or city.
This one is often described as the most difficult but most important ranking factor to pin down.
Google’s documentation cites prominence is based on how well-known a business is, both offline and online. So, in other words, they consider; your company’s website organic position, Google reviews, ratings, and frequency of reviews.
The power of prominence is clearly seen if you search for a place in a location different from your current one (say, you want to find something in another city you’re planning to visit).
As you can see the top result has a rating of 4.8* and a lot more reviews than the other two. They also get reviews more frequently with text, which shows Google this is a credible business.
Now, keeping the 3 local ranking factors in mind, let’s move on to the practical part.
What can do you do to increase your Google Map rankings?
- Optimise your profile with relevant opening hours, services, contact details
- Regularly add images and information to your account on a regular basis
- Encourage your customers to leave you Google reviews
Here at Unaro, our product Connect can help you collect genuine google reviews from your customers. Our automated software will send them an email following a visit to your business asking for some feedback on their experience. The software uses your guest WiFi and 24 hours after they’ve logged in, will send them an automated email from your business’ email address.
If you’re interested in hearing more about our google review growth tool, just drop your details in the form below and a member of our team will reach out.