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People who are aware of internet know as to how important it is to be seen on the top of search engine result pages. Most site and blog owners strive for search engine optimization (SEO) for driving quality traffic to their websites or blogs. However, for all those with small businesses, Google map optimization has become all the more important.

You’ll have to take many steps to ensure that your business is up and running properly on Google map pages. When somebody searches for the product or services, your business page can come on the top of search engine result pages. This kind of optimization is quite similar to SEO.

A big plus point with Google Maps is that your business gets wide exposure to the entire world. You will get good response from people seeking out your service or business online.

Getting listed on Google Maps is very easy stuff but it would not be sufficient if you have plans to reign supreme in your city or some competitive industry. For example, if you are a consultancy based in Texas, your business listing will show up as “more results near…” a few pages back.

However, the task is not impossible and for some small cities your business can easily rank on the first page itself. So, how to achieve that you may ask? Here we are discussing few steps for Google Maps optimization to achieve the higher ranking.

Verification
Firstly, you’ll have to get your business address verified. After getting to Google places you need to submit your address. Google will rank you geographically based on this address. Then Google may mail, call or text you for address verification. Selecting the call option is best as they’d call you up immediately. On retrieving the code you just need to enter it to get verified. You’re done!

Business listings in other directories

Google regularly scraps information from various business directories for verifying address, phone numbers, etc and also to place all such listings in your profile on Google places. You should ensure that all these business listings which you are creating are consistent.

Reviews
The more customer reviews you have on your business listing, the better it will eventually perform for you. Apart from providing a social proof to your prospective and current customers, it will help you in keeping your listing on the top.

You can do this in a nice way by sending out a mail to your customers requesting them to post a review. You can do this using autoresponder or complete autopilot mode.

You can include a page link in your email signature file inviting present customers for their comments, asking people on your Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook page, or when people visit your store or office.

You should however desist from posting fake reviews as this technique can catch up with you and somebody may even call you out on it.

Impact on your business
When counting on Google map optimization, you can surely dominate your competitors without actually paying for it. For this reason, many businesses have started taking interest in this technique.

As per the recent survey by StatOwl.com, Google share in search engine market is around 80.12 % as compared to Bing (7.98 %), AOL (1.48 %) and Yahoo (6.44 %) which is quite impressive figure. It has been estimated that about 34 % of all searches on internet happen to be local and about 60 % of local searches get converted. So, you have a big opportunity waiting!

Fred Meek is a professional Austin SEO consultant in Austin Texas. For more information go to Austin Search Engine Optimization.

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