In our full SEO guide for roofers, we talked a lot about all of the on-page and off-page SEO factors as well as optimizing your Google My Business listing properly.
Doing all of this will help your case for ranking in the top 3 for any keyword in your local area within Google Maps. Yes, the coveted Google Maps spot in the "3 pack" as they call it.
In all reality, this is what the #1 focus should be with any local SEO campaign. More people than ever will click on Google Maps top ranked listings than anything beneath it.
In our research and testing over the years, ranking in Google Maps does not always directly correlate to your organic SEO strategy.
A lot of it goes hand in hand, but there are some things that you may not be aware of that you need to do both off your website and on your website that will without a doubt improve your chances for ranking in Google Maps.
We find tons and tons of roofing companies that are established big names in the roofing business in any given local area, yet cannot seem rank anywhere near the top in Google Maps. Obviously, this hurts their abilities to get new leads on demand.
So what are some primary Google Maps ranking signals?
We talked about this in detail our GMB Optimization article, but having your GMB listing optimized for local searches is a crucial first step. Fill it out 110% with as much information as possible.
We talked about how to claim and optimize your Google My Business listing; you want to go in and follow that process.
Now the second one is establishing a consistent NAP, or Name, Address, and Phone across the entire internet.
This is crucial because it establishes trust in Google’s eyes as a business. If you have different phone numbers and addresses spread out across directories across the internet, this all ties back to your Google Maps listing and could hurt its ranking potential.
There is a wide range of different places and data providers which Google looks at to determine who you are as a company.
We talked about directories and citations earlier. Getting listed in all of these places is crucial but their are some best practices to be aware of.
Use your actual company name
Don’t use 800 numbers, it makes you seem national, not local, and local is what gets you ranked in Google Maps
Use your actual physical business location. You cannot use a PO Box or Virtual Office as your listing address. This will likely get you banned on Google Maps
Upload related pictures and videos if possible on all directory sites
Keep your service categories and hours consistent
Use the correct version of your website URL - if you use the https:// protocol (WHICH YOU SHOULD!) make sure it uses https in your links, not http:.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the content that’s on your homepage and across your website is a huge factor in ranking within Google Maps.
It starts with your GMB landing page (the website URL you link to from your Google My Business listing). More often than not, this is going to be your homepage.
If your primary service is roofing and you’re located in Chicago, your homepage better revolve around Roofing in Chicago.
However, all of those other services like roof repair and types of roofs will come into play because if you have an entire page devoted to emergency roof repair in Chicago and your competitors do not, you better believe you’re going to rank ahead of them in Google Maps for that search keyword.
Make sure your Title tags and Headers on the page include your main keywords and synonyms on them.
You should embed a map of your business from Google Maps within the footer of your website. (Or at least have in image of it that hyperlinks to the Google Maps URL of your business) This creates strong local relevance ties.
Schema is code that is recognized by search engines. By implementing schema for your roofing business along with the address & phone again in the footer, this can again give a strong local signal to Google.
Local, local, local. That’s what maps is. Showing local businesses. When doing link building, you should get as many locally relevant links as possible.
We talked about this earlier in that if you belong to local associations or chamber of commerce, get a link! If you can get a post written up in the local newspaper about your company, get a link!
These are strong relevancy signals to Google to tell them that you deserve to be in Google Maps.
We mentioned above about creating more granular unique service pages targeting cities and neighborhoods that you serve that are outside of the main business location area.
Having content about these nearby cities on your website is another strong correlation to Google that you’re a great choice to list in Google Maps for searches within that area.
We have found that getting tons of positive Google reviews on your listing is definitely a ranking factor. If not directly related, it’s because there’s more clicks to your listing when your review stars stand out on the maps compared to your competitors.
Make an effort to get as many reviews as possible. This shows trust to Google and will help with building your maps reputation. Also, make sure you reply to each and every review within your Google My Business dashboard. This can make a huge difference to show that your listing is active.