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You’re searching for a lunch spot in an unfamiliar neighborhood, or you need a mechanic to assist with an unexpected flat tire.

Where do you look?

If you answered Google Maps, you’re not alone.

These days, many of us are turning to Google Maps to discover local businesses and make more informed buying decisions.

So how can local businesses rank higher in the place consumers are increasingly looking to purchase local products and services?

Here are ten steps to take in order to rank well, drive more traffic and secure more customers via Google Maps.

1. Claim And Complete A Google Business Profile

The first, crucial step in establishing visibility in Google Maps is claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP – formerly known as Google My Business or GMB).

You can do this by simply searching for your business name on Google or Google Maps and verifying your listing if you have not already done so.

Once you have a listing and are logged into your Google account, you can now edit it, even from directly within the search results.

Being a Google property, GBP provides a primary signal to Google of your business’ existence – and the information here is assumed to be accurate and up to date.

Google will cross-reference these details with those it finds on your website and in other local directories and resources; more on the importance of these in a moment.

2. Post Linked Content (Including Photos)

After you’ve claimed your GBP listing, your work is only partway done.

Google rewards active businesses with higher visibility in Google Maps, so it’s important to post regular updates to your GBP profile.

These updates may and should include special offers, hosted events, links to relevant blog posts, or general business updates.

You should also be including links in your posts, ideally to primary product or service pages on your website.

3. Optimize Your Web Presence For Local Organic Search

If you want to rank well on Google Maps, you should ensure your web presence, including your website and external content, is optimized for your local audience.

You can start by performing a local SEO audit to identify where you need to focus your attention from a keyword, content, and linking perspective – as these are the three primary components upon which a presence is built.

Your website needs to be properly structured to enable Google to easily crawl and index your content, and the content within your site needs to be rich with relevant, locally-oriented, intent-driven keywords and logical internal and external links to the answers your audience is searching for.

Websites must also load quickly and provide seamless navigation, regardless of device.

This is particularly important at a local level, as searchers increasingly begin their quests on their phones.

4. Use Local Business Schema

When it comes to structuring content, and especially business details, Google and other search engines prefer standardization – which has led to the development of schema.

Local Schema enables businesses to wrap code around their content to make it easier for Google to crawl and index.

Local business schema covers many of the same business details captured in a Google Business Profile, which Google will naturally cross-reference.

The easier it is for Google to validate your location, the more likely your business is to show up prominently in Google Maps.

5. Embed The Google Map On Your Contact Us Page

While it’s not explicitly stated that embedding a Google Map in your website will make a difference in terms of where you rank in Google Maps, it’s not far-fetched to assume this is Google’s preferred format.

Here again, Google is able to ensure a consistent user experience for its searchers, which should likewise be the aim of any business looking to please its customers.

6. Mine And Mind Your Reviews

Any business can create a GBP listing, ensure its basic business information is up to date, and post plenty of relevant, local content.

However, another critically important factor in determining if, and where, a local business shows up in Google Maps is customer reviews.

Google pays close attention to both how many reviews your business obtains, and how active it is in responding to those reviews, regardless of whether they’re positive or negative.

Any business naturally wants to limit the number of negative reviews it receives and all negative reviews should be dealt with swiftly.

This can actually become a valuable way of displaying your business’ commitment to customer service.

While there are many places customers can leave reviews online, including Facebook, Yelp, and other industry-specific review sites, reviews on GBP profiles will carry more weight when it comes to Google Map rankings.

Consider proactively asking your customers for reviews soon after you’ve successfully delivered a product or service when a presumably positive experience is top of mind for their customers.

There are services available to help automate review requests (via email or text) once certain on or offline customer actions have been completed (e.g. appointment completed, invoice paid, etc.) and review management across multiple sources through a central dashboard.

Automation can save busy local businesses a lot of time, and ensure positive reviews flow in on a regular basis.

7. Update Your Local Listings/Citations With Your NAP

The three most important pieces of directional information on your GBP, website, and across the web are your Name, Address and Phone Number or NAP.

It’s critical for both Google and your audience to have your NAP consistent and accurate across all of these sources.

These references to your business from third-party sites are also called citations.

To find and ensure your NAP is up to date, you can start by simply searching your business name and noting all of the places your business details can be found.

Check each instance and reach out to each directory or website owner to update this important contact information, as needed.

There are also free and paid automated local listings services, which will enable you to identify and update your NAP, along with other important business information like your website URL, services, or even relevant images, from one central location.

8. Build Local Backlinks

Backlinks or inbound links are effectively an extension of our NAP strategy, whereby you look to have relevant, local third-party websites link to your primary website pages.

Backlinks can validate your business from both local and product/service perspectives.

If you maintain listings with links in local directories, you will want to ensure those listings are in the proper categories, if category options are offered.

Ideally, these links to your website are “follow” links, which means Google will follow and recognize the source of the link to your content.

Most directories realize the value of “follow” links and therefore charge for inclusion, but you should also look for opportunities to secure links from other non-paid sources such as relevant partner, industry or service organization sites.

9. Engage With Your Community

Just as Google rewards GBP activity, it also pays attention to how active a business is within its community as a means to establish its local presence and authority.

Businesses noted to be engaging with local service organizations (e.g. Chambers of Commerce, charities, or sports groups), sponsoring local events, or partnering with other prominent local businesses are naturally deemed to be a thriving part of the community.

Engagement can include publishing and/or promoting linked content e.g. event announcements, partner pages tied to these partner organizations, and, of course, physically engaging and perhaps getting mentioned/linked in local news stories or other publications.

10. Pay Attention To The SERPs And The Long Tail

If you are going to optimize any aspect of your local web presence, you will want to monitor your progress in terms of whether or not and where you rank within Google Maps and the regular search engine results pages (SERPs) based on the keywords you are hoping to be found for.

You can perform your own manual Google searches (preferably in Incognito Mode and while not logged into a Google account), or you can choose from a number of rank monitoring tools, many of which enable you to specifically filter out Map rankings.

When considering which keywords to follow, be sure to consider and include local identifiers and qualifying keywords such as “near me,” “best,” and “affordable” – e.g “auto body shops near me,” “best auto body shop in Barrie,” or “affordable auto body work.”

In time, if you’ve truly established your business’ local authority, the short tail top rankings will follow.

Put Your Business On The Google Map

So now, with your laundry list in hand, go ahead and put your local business on the map.

Establishing your authority and expertise online is not really all that different from how it’s always been in the real world, but it can take time, as any real relationship should.

Google rewards those businesses that provide the best answers to their customers’ questions, deliver solid products and services, take an active role in their local community, have their customers say nice things about them, and provide a high level of customer service at all times.

If this describes your business, get out there and do it.

More resources:

Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock

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How To Add Google Maps Location To Google Docs.

If you are using Google Docs as your main word processing tool, you’ll be aware of most of the powerful tools and options you have at your disposal. While most of the features are standard across traditional word processing software, Google has recently added an option that allows you to add Google Maps location information directed into Google Docs.

Related: How to solve save formats missing in Photoshop.

Google Docs is a powerful,l free word processing tool that is available for anyone to use. It has all of the basics anyone will ever need to create simple text documents as well as a range of more complex tools that tie into some of Google’s other products like Sheets, Slides, and more recently Google Maps.

How do you add Google Maps to Google Docs? Add Google Maps info to Google Docs.

Although not everything that Google does is simple and straightforward, this feature is about as simple as it gets. But most people won’t have a clue where to look to find it which is where we come in! You’re welcome!

To begin, the first thing you are going to need to do is to sign in to Google Docs and open an existing document or create a new one.

Now simply type the name of the place you’d like to add to your document, then select it from the list of options.

When it has been added it will look like this: Kalgoorlie – Boulder

It is essentially an active Google Maps link that will take you directly to the location on Google Maps. If you are on a mobile device and you see one of these links you can choose to open it in Google Maps.

That’s all there is to it. It’s quick easy and a really handy way to add location data to documents and other projects you may be creating in Google Docs.

Using Google Chrome?

If you’re also using Google Chrome, you may fish to disable the new Google Trends feature on Google Search. This potentially annoying feature uses user data and current popular search trends to suggest you content when you are searching using chúng tôi or Google from Chrome.

How to disable Google Trends on PC and Mobile devices.

New Uk Google Ranking Factor Insights

New Research Shows Key Ranking Factors for the UK

Value/Importance: [rating=4]

Recommended link: Search Metrics 2012 Ranking Factor Report

The volume of data and number crunching to form this guide is remarkable. It’s based  on analysis of 10,000 selected top-keywords, 300,000 websites and millions of links, shares and tweets from within the Searchmetrics database.

It has been condensed well for a quick summary on SEO in the UK. The guide looks at the 6 trends / changes the research highlighted which are summarised in the diagram below.

Marketing implications

While the report probably won’t show anything that most people will not have heard already it may hopefully spur you into action or debunk some of the SEO myths.  I have summarised the 3  I believe are most important below, but you can see the full guide here.

1. Time to be social

The research conducted by Searchmetrics suggests that activity in key social networks does influence search rankings. The research actually showed that Google+ was the most significant when it comes to influencing search rankings but it does not unfortunately have the volume yet to be at the core of your strategy. Facebook shares came a close second, in fact Facebook dominated the top 4 spots when it came to influence in SEO. Twitter behind all that. Ensure you have Facebook well integrated into your sites content as well as activity on your brand page is now more important than ever for SEO in the UK. You can find Facebook tools for your website here.

2. Backlinks rule

This is definitely not new but the data suggests that nofollow links still influence ranking I think is fascinating. Volume of links and utilising keywords in anchor text are still overwhelmingly important. This new data coupled with the social data above I think should help us refocus our efforts on effective content & marketing should be our priority, we shouldn’t do things because it is “nofollowed” which I have heard so many times in the past. You can use these link analysis tools to analyse your backlink profile.

3. Stop obsessing about on-page

In my line of work, I get asked a lot of questions about SEO and it seems on-page factors seem to stress a lot of marketers and copywriters out. Hopefully this research will put some peoples mind at rest. On-page factors have been superseded by backlinks for years, but this latest research goes as far as saying some on-page optimisation tips are just not worth the time and effort. Having keywords at the start of titles instead of middle or the end will have no impact whatsoever, length of content is irrelevant and pictures are no bad thing.

I think this is a little misleading though since this chart and the previous suggest the title isn’t important which is not the case. We still find that pages that include a title (particularly in a relevant phrase) will outrank those that don’t “all other factors being equal”.

I hope you find this interesting. It is worth noting that correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, so what you find in your own experience is most important.

Google Ranking & Results Update Underway

Google set blogs and webmasters ablaze in coverage last week with their changes in Toolbar PageRank, which was cast aside by some and taken quite seriously by others. It looks like this week, there may be an update of much more importance going on at Google, in their search result rankings.

Google has just cranked up the dial for domain name relevance, it seems.

I have a fairly new website (about a year old) in a very competitive area with millions of search results. The site has only about 100 pages. PR2. Hardly any backlinks. No link campaigns. No optimization. But it’s a single-word dn in .net, e.g., chúng tôi (I bought it in the aftermarket hoping search engines would dig it.)

Once again there has been an update and as usual I lost another 30% of my traffic from Google. Soon it’ll be down to nothing and that is without me doing anything except adding more pages, fixing some typo’s and a few layout fixes.

Yes, there definitely has been an update or algo movement yesterday. My first guess is that there has been some movement on dup content filtering measures.

Strong domains and duplicate content filtering being tweaked in the Google algorithm? Possibly.

One fear last week would be that since Google lowered the PageRank of some sites that it suspected as passing paid link juice, the target sites which were linked to from those sites would lose some kind of ranking.

Hopefully this will not be the case, but if it does happen the full effect of a PageRank (yeah, I know it’s only the toolbar) ‘penalty’ would be heard from the top on down to the bottom. Google does have a knack for keeping things exciting, don’t they?

Fix Google Maps Not Updating Location

Google Maps is an excellent GPS and navigation app that can help you to quickly get your bearings when you’re in a new city or you want to find a place you’ve never been before.

All you need to do is enter the location or the name of the place you want to visit, enable your location services and Google Maps will find the best route for you.

If the app is unable to update your location in real time while you’re navigating your way through the city, that can be quite annoying and sometimes downright stressful.

Why is Google Maps not updating my location?

If Google Maps is unable to update your location, this can be due to poor or unstable cellular data connection, GPS issues, low battery or running an outdated app version.

Fix Google Maps Won’t Update my Location 1. Update the Google Maps app

If you’re running an outdated app version, certain features may not be available or you may experience various performance issues.

That’s why you need to make sure Google Maps is up-to-date, especially if you started experiencing minor glitches or the location fails to update.

If you’re using an Android phone, open the Google Play Store App. If you’re on iOS, go to the App Store. Then, search for Google Maps.

If there’s an Update button next to the app, tap it to install the latest Google Maps version on your device.

2. Check your connection

Ensure your Wi-Fi or cellular data connection is stable. If you’re experiencing connection issues, Google Maps won’t load properly.

Turn off your Internet connection, restart your phone and then go back online. Check if you notice any improvements regarding the accuracy of the location services.

By the way, if you know you might go out of range, download Google Maps offline ahead of time. In this manner, you’ll still be able to navigate your way to your destination even if you lose the network coverage.

3. Calibrate Google Maps settings

Go to your phone settings and make sure the privacy settings allow Google Maps to use your current location and update it as you move.

Go to Settings → Privacy

Select Permission Manager

Tap Location to review which apps can use your location

Allow Google Maps to use your location all the time and check if this solves the problem.

Don’t forget to set location on high accuracy mode (if your phone model and OS version include this option).

On your Android device, go to Settings

Tap Location and re-enable your location services

Select Mode High accuracy

On some phone models, this option can be found under the Advanced Settings option.

Select Advanced Settings and enable your device to improve positioning accuracy by allowing apps to scan for Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices at any time, even if Wi-Fi or Bluetooth is disabled.

4. Delete the cache

Many Google Maps location problems are caused by your cache. Clearing it should fix the issue.

Go to Settings → Apps

Select Maps and tap Storage

Tap the Clear cache button and check if is the issue is gone

If it persists, tap the Clear data button as well.

5. Reinstall the app

If you’re still experiencing location related issues on Google Maps, try uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

Open the Play Store app, search for Google Maps and tap the Uninstall button.

On iPhone, simply tap and hold the Google Maps app icon, and then select the Remove App option.

Then, go back to the Play Store or App Store and reinstall the app.

If reinstalling the app did not solve your problem, you can use an alternative GPS and navigation app such as Waze (if you’re driving), chúng tôi HereWeGo, or other similar apps.

When Google Maps Struggles, Citymapper Comes To My Rescue

Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

Most of us have probably found ourselves in a busy, bustling city at some point in our lives. The last time I did, I was on vacation in Hong Kong, completely unfamiliar with the city’s maze of transportation options that ranged from trams to ferries. While I intended to rely on Google Maps for the trip, a friend also recommended I mix it up with Citymapper. Looking back now, that recommendation was worth its weight in gold — I think Citymapper is the best Google Maps alternative for getting around a big city, especially if you’re on a holiday.

Despite what my praise for the app would have you believe, I’d never even heard of Citymapper prior to that Hong Kong trip. It’s not hard to see why, though. The app doesn’t do anything unless you’re in a supported city, and those are especially hard to come by in Asia. Coverage is largely absent outside of large metropolitan areas like Singapore and Tokyo. That said, the app does work across most of the US and Europe. Still, if you’re coming from an unsupported city, you wouldn’t know to use it unless you get a helpful tip like I did.

Limiting coverage to big cities is intentional, though. Citymapper doesn’t offer driving directions at all, so it’s practically useless if you’re using a car to get around. Instead, it focuses on just one aspect of transport: mass transit. Think of it as the opposite of Waze, but just as effective.

Open the Maps app on your phone and you’re presented with a fairly familiar interface. You get a search bar at the top, a full-screen map view of the area you’re currently in, and a few buttons to find nearby restaurants or parking spots. Citymapper, on the other hand, offers transit buttons and absolutely nothing else. You can’t tap on a business for more information, peruse restaurant menus, or get any form of personalized recommendations like you would in other mapping apps.

That alone highlights a key distinction between the two apps. While Google prods you to discover new places and see what’s around you, Citymapper doesn’t care about any of that. In fact, the only thing it can do is get you from point A to point B.

Why Citymapper is the best Google Maps alternative

Citymapper also manages to be far more informative than the competition. As a tourist in a new city, I often don’t know what to expect. How much change do I need to keep ready for my next bus ride? Will it be faster to rent a nearby bicycle or moped? Do any ride-sharing services operate in this city? Citymapper shows you all of this information on a single screen. Just look at the staggering number of options in London, most of which are absent in Google Maps.

Citymapper vs. Google Maps: Key differences

In summary, here’s how Citymapper holds up against Google Maps and differs in terms of featureset.

Praise aside, I’ll admit that Citymapper isn’t a full-fledged replacement for your current mapping app of choice. It’s also worth acknowledging the possibility that someone may have had the opposite experience as mine. Google Maps or a different app could very well serve more accurate transit information; I just haven’t seen it happen yet.

Have you used Citymapper for public transport directions?

325 votes

You also can’t use Citymapper to decide where you should spend your evening. Google will happily point you to dozens or even hundreds of bars in your vicinity. And more importantly, it can offer reliable turn-by-turn navigation for when you have your own vehicle. Having said that, if you’re committed to public transport and have never tried Citymapper on your travels, I highly recommend giving it a go on your next trip. It may very well save you a lot of confused wandering and frustration.

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