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It’s common for people to search for businesses that not only offer excellent service and fair pricing but are conveniently located to them as well. How do you harness that and improve your businesses’ ranking locally?

Ranking highly according to the parameters of local searches requires a specific strategy. Appearing in Google Map results is incredibly important for local businesses. Google used to just gravitate towards location and industry type to assign rank, but now there are a number of factors that play a role.

Here are tips on how to improve your local ranking visibility.

#1 Make Sure Google Business Listing is Accurate

Make sure that your Google business listing reflects your proper business information, including hours, and location. Also, ensure that information isn’t duplicated. The more accurately that Google can get to “know” your business, the higher your placement on Google map results.

Categorize your business under the proper industry as well to aid with SEO.

#2 Get Your Map Embedded on 3rd Party Websites

Google really likes 3rd party data because it helps to prove that your business is legitimate and offers value to customers, which is what they favor in their rankings. To be more visible to Google, it is to your benefit to be able to link to a number of 3rd party sites, particularly those with reviews. What’s even more helpful, both to your ranking and to facilitate user experience, is to have your map embedded on these 3rd party sites (think Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google reviews, etc.).

It’s important that you claim your 3rd party listings; not only does this help with SEO, it also lets you verify that the information that is posted is legitimate.

It will also help your SEO to embed a map on your own website.

#3 Getting a Google 360 Virtual Tour for Your Map Listing

Customers love visual appeal and so does Google, so being able to give your potential customers a chance to experience your business before even setting foot in the door can go a long way.

There are certain businesses where having this kind of visual cue can really entice customers and can help separate you from the competition. In terms of landing visibly on the SERPs, offering this kind of value-add will optimize your results.

#4 Getting More Photos Posted to Your Maps Listing

To improve your ranking by Google Maps, it can help a lot if you include more photos in your maps listing. Google favors providing customers with this extra information and will increase your ranking. Whenever possible, try to include a number of different types of photos. Show the storefront, your staff, etc. Tag these photos with keywords to help with SEO.

If you don’t have a photo, Google Maps displays a generic image, which is doing your marketing campaign a disservice. There is an opportunity here, not just to increase your ranking, but also to build your brand.

From a customer’s point of view, getting to be able to see what your place of business looks like will compel them to visit. It legitimizes your business storefront and makes it appear more familiar to customers.

#5 Local Contact Info

Google is not a fan of multiple phone numbers or 1-800-000-000 because it is difficult to pinpoint where your business is exactly. You’re trying to prove that you are a bricks and mortar outfit right here in the neighborhood. That’s why a phone number with a local area code, as well as an address with a local zip code in your Google listing are so important.