There are so many SEO factors out there to consider, such as domain authority, content optimization, and web accessibility and security. But what about Google Maps? Can your Google Maps rankings actually help with your SEO rankings? Well, the answer is both yes and no.
The answer is yes and no
It will depend on how you use Google Maps. Google created the platform to help businesses provide a map for those who are looking for them. It’s all about the user experience. After all, the user experience is a ranking factor in search engines. If you are using Google Maps this way, your Google Maps rankings can eventually help with your organic rankings.
But if you try to game the system with keyword abuse, multiple listings, and other borderline black hat and gray hat practices, Google Maps will not help with your organic rankings. You can even argue that these practices can actually hurt your rankings.
Google engineers are not stupid. The moment they notice that their system is being abused, they can punish the players who want to play that game. Play fairly. Post some stuff in your GMB profile. Optimize your business information. Whatever. Just use the system for what it is for.
How NOT to use Google Maps for organic rankings
It all starts with GEO targeting. Google gives you search results based on your location. If you are looking for pizza, it will provide pizza parlors in your vicinity, not those from hundreds of miles away. Location is such a huge factor that it can be the secret ingredient you need to rank for the Google Maps Pack.
This can be a dilemma for many business owners and digital marketers because it means they will find it harder to rank for different cities. Sure, they can optimize for their city, but what if they want to rank for other locations as well?
Business owners and digital marketers found a solution – creating GEO landing pages. This works, but the problem is that it has been abused by many. You can now see websites with multiple GEO landing pages for tens and even hundreds of cities.
Embedding Google Maps on your website is a great way to confirm to Google that your business is indeed located where you say it is. But if you are going to abuse this feature, you are going to have a bad time.
How to use Google Maps for organic rankings
It’s all about the user experience. Even if you just embed Google Maps on your website, especially in your About or Contact Us pages, it can already help with organic rankings. You are not just confirming to Google where your business is located. You are also giving a visual of where you truly are to your potential customers and searchers. This is better than just providing your address in text format. The enhanced user experience alone can indirectly help with your organic rankings.
This will not bring your SEO rankings to the moon, but it can still be a factor for Google to consider giving you better rankings, especially in your vicinity. And at least it won’t directly hurt you, unlike the borderline black hat and gray hat practices that some people do with Google Maps.
This can get complicated when you combine SEO, GMB, and Google Maps. Even agencies encounter problems sometimes. Some are even white labeling their GMB services to help with the problems.
Yes, Google Maps rankings can help with your organic rankings, but only minimally and only if you use Google Maps for its intended purpose. If you try to game the system, your rankings can actually suffer, as Google is already punishing those who abuse some Google Maps features.
If you really want to take your Google Maps rankings to the next level, consider hiring Google Maps ranking companies. But make sure to hire only the most competent ones, so you are sure that they are using the system too for what it’s for only.