Google Maps is one of the best tools to use to find your way around an unfamiliar town or to an area of your hometown you might not be familiar with. All you need to do is simply type in an address, select your current location, and you will be provided with the best route. However, Google Maps is more than just a “smarter” Garmin or TomTom, it has powerful features that marketers can tap into. And Google Maps marketing is an effective method of reaching your audience on a personalised level. 

When you are creating a digital marketing strategy local marketing is important to consider. Local marketing is the process of targeting customers within a radius of a certain physical location by sending them targeted messages about your business location. It can be useful for new and smaller businesses who want to drive more foot traffic to their physical location. 

If this is all a little too technical, below we take a deeper look at some Google Maps marketing tips and tricks. 


But…What Is Google Maps Marketing?


Before we give you some top tips for making Google Maps marketing work for you, you are probably wondering what Google Maps marketing actually is. The Google Maps mobile application is an app that is used on the majority of Android phones. It gathers user data in order to show optimal results. 

It is a navigation app that helps people by providing directions to and from destinations as well as by showing what restaurants, retail stores, landmarks, and so forth are in the area the person is currently located in. And the chances are that you (and your consumers) make use of the Google Maps app on a regular basis. 

However, Google Maps is not only useful for providing directions to a location you already know, you can also use it to find new and undiscovered locations. Think about it like this: you are out and about on a weekend afternoon and want to stop for a coffee, but you are not sure if there are any coffee shops in your area. You enter “coffee shops” into Google Maps and are soon shown a selection of options closest to you. 

As an owner of a business, the benefit of this is that your establishment can be shown in the results, netting you some free advertising and another customer (or two). But, how can you optimise your Google Maps marketing efforts? We have some answers below. 


Use Correct Address Information


Now, it might sound simple to list your address correctly, but there are many businesses which do not, meaning that they are missing out on location-based search engine results rankings. If you have a Google Business Listing, you will need to be sure that all of your address information is correct, including the spelling and spacing of the street name(s). 

You should also check that your address is being shown in your Google Maps listing. You are able to select this option in your Google Business Listing settings, and this should always be checked if you would like to appear in Google Maps results. The more accurate information you provide to Google, the better your chances of appearing in Google Maps results. 


Specify Service Areas


You might have a physical storefront or location, but offer services to other areas, much like courier companies or food service delivery companies. If this is the case for your business, you will need to state which areas your business services in your Google Business Listing profile. This will help to ensure your business is shown for search results in these areas. 

You will also need to state whether or not you serve people at your main branch or location so that Google can provide the most accurate results possible. Specificity is vital when it comes to Google Maps marketing, as it can help to better target your ads for your audience list and improve your search visibility and results. 


Always Include Keywords


Including keywords in your Google Business Listing is vital, as these will help it to appear in search results. Your business description should always have keywords included for both your business and its location. For example, if you are a niche ice cream parlour in a small town, your description should include the phrase, “ice cream shop in Durbanville”. 

You should avoid using too many keywords in your description, however, as Google may feel the need to edit this in order to avoid keyword stuffing, a common outdated SEO tactic. A few important phrases and keywords should suffice, and be sure to use your location as one of them to ensure that you appear in these search results. 

If you would like to optimise your business for Google Maps marketing, feel free to speak to the NetMechanic team about what we can offer you.