How to Optimize Your Google Maps Listing
Getting your Plumbing Business listed on the Google Map for “Plumber + Your City” & other important keywords comes down to 3 core criteria. 1. Having a claimed & optimized Google Places Listing. 2. Establishing a consistent NAP across the web via Citation Development. 3. Having real reviews from your real customers in your True Service Area. On this post I will explain how to property optimize your Google Maps / + Local listing.
If you have not already claimed your Google+ Local Listing, you can get instructions by clicking here.
There are a number of best practices that you want to be aware of to properly optimize your Map listing.
- Company Name – Always use your legal Company Name – don’t stuff additional fields into the Name Field. E.G. If you company name is “Joe’s Plumbing” don’t try to stuff additional keywords like “Joe’s Plumbing – Dallas”. This would be against the Google Places Guidelines and will reduce your probability of ranking.
- Address – On the “Address Field” use your EXACT legal address. Be intentional here. You want to ensure that you have the same address listed on your Google Places listing as it is on all the other online directory listings like YellowPages.com, CitySearch.com, Yelp.com, etc. The consistency of your N.A.P (Name, Address, Phone Number Profile) is very important for placement.
- Phone Number – Use a local (not 800#) and use your real office number rather than a tracking number. We find that 800#’s don’t rank well. If you use a tracking number it won’t be consistent with your other Online Directory Listings and ultimately won’t rank well.
- Categories – You can use upto five categories, so use ALL five. Be sure to use categories that describe what your business “is” rather than what it “does”. So you can use “Plumber” “Plumbing Contractor” and “Water Heater Repair Contractor” rather than “Plumbing Repair” or “Drain Cleaning” the latter would be considered a violation of Google’s regulations and would hurt rather than help you.
- Service Area & Location settings – Google offers 2 options here 1. No, All customers come to my location 2. Yes, I serve customers at their location. As a home services business (Plumbing, HVAC, Roofing, Etc) you need to select “Yes, I serve..” because clearly you and your technicians are visiting the customers at their location. Not doing so can result in a penalty on your listing.
- The next option once you click “Yes, I server customers at their location” is “Do not show my address”. If you work from a Home Office it is required that you select “Do not show my address” not doing so put’s you at risk of having your listing deleted.
- If you don’t have a Business Address or a Home Address to list the only other option is a Virtual Office. Unfortunately P.O. Box Addresses & Mail Boxes Etc. Addresses don’t tend to rank well.
- Picture & Video Settings – You can upload upto 10 pictures & 5 videos. Use this opportunity to upload authentic content about your company. It’s always best to use real photos of your team, office, equipment rather than Stock Photos.
- Pictures – You can get more juice from this section by saving the images to your hard drive with a naming convention like “your city + plumber – your company name” rather than the standard file name. You can also create geo context for the photos by uploading them to a video sharing site like Panoramio.com (a Google Property) that enables you to Geo Tag your photo’s to your company location.
- Vidoes – Upload VIDEOS. They don’t have to be professionally produced and can help to resonate with your customers. A best practice is to upload the video’s to YouTube and then Geo Tag them using advanced settings.
Once you have Optimized your listing using the best practices referenced above, you want to be sure that you don’t have any duplicate listings listed on Google Maps. We have found that even just one or two duplicate listings can prevent your listing from ranking on page one. In order to identify and merge duplicate listings run a search on Google for “Company Name, City”.
To clean up duplicate listings, click on the listing in question and then click “edit business details”
- Then click “This is a duplicate” and let Google Know that the listing should be merged with your primary listing.
If you follow these best practices you will have a well optimized Google Maps listing for your Plumbing Business. The next step is to Establish your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number Profile) Across the web.
If you would like more tips, ideas & strategies for marketing your Plumbing Business online then I would recommend you download our complete internet marketing & SEO guide for Plumbing Contractors you can download it by clicking here.