Local Search & Search Intent In Google Maps
Regarding local search, there’s no denying that Google Maps is king.
With over 2 billion users worldwide, Google Maps is the go-to destination for millions looking for directions, information about their surroundings, and more.
Not only that, but the platform is also one of the most important tools in SEO (search engine optimization) campaigns. If you want your business to be found online and drive traffic to your website through organic search results on Google Maps or other platforms like Yelp!, then it’s important to understand what makes up your local search presence.
The local search market is growing by leaps and bounds. The number of people looking for local businesses, products, and services has increased exponentially in recent years. Several factors are driving this trend: the growth of e-commerce and mobile devices, the increasing use of mobile search engines, and the increase in social media users.
Explaining Search Intent
Search intent is a critical part of the user’s search experience. It’s based on their desire to reach a particular destination and helps them find what they want faster. The search engine’s job is to deliver the most relevant results based on that intent.
In addition, it’s a specific type of search that relies on more specific keywords that can help users find what they want. Therefore, it is important to understand how users interact with search engines and the content they want.
Google Maps is one of the top sources for local search queries, so optimizing your business listing for it is important when possible.
Read more about “local search” and strategies to optimize local search here.
Explaining Local Search In Google Map
Local search is important for local businesses because it helps them to rank higher in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
From a user point of view, local searches are also useful for users looking for something specific in a specific location. For example, the user is looking for an Italian restaurant nearby. If the user searches for the word “restaurant,” he will get a list of nearby restaurants; however, if he identifies a more specific term like “Italian food near me,” he will get a list of all the Italian restaurants listed in Google Maps, nearby.
Possible Search Intent = searching for an Italian restaurant locally for a meal, reservation, event, etc.
Local Search = “Italian restaurant near me”
Local businesses can benefit from local intent searches because they allow users ready to buy or book an appointment immediately without having to wade through irrelevant results before getting what they want.
Google Maps is one of the top sources for local search queries, so optimizing your business listing for it is important. Here’s how to do it
1. Google Business Profile (the business listing) and get it verified: You’ll need to add the following
- Phone number
- Opening and closing time
- Website link
- Reservation link
- Photos or images of the restaurant
- Other information to help people find your business online (keywords, products, services, etc.)
Get it verified based on the methods indicated (email, phone, snail mail)
2. Google Maps pin: Make sure your Google Maps location is correct. Most users who found your business on Google Maps will use this pin location as the GPS reference for driving directions. Therefore, the user will arrive in the wrong place if the pin is wrong.
3. Encourage happy customers to write reviews on Google Maps: Reviews will help your business location to be ranked higher than a similar business
Killing 2 Birds With 1 Stone
The 2 birds are your business website and Google Business Profile (linked to Google Maps). Some might wonder, “Why do we need a website if we can list our business in Google Business Profile and Google Maps?”. These 2 assets have different roles. You can tell a full story of your business on your website, while the information in Google Business Profile is limited and focused on local search intent. Simple tips to optimize both assets are listed below:
- To improve the performance of your website, show relevant content (e.g., reviews from Google Maps). Your website will rank higher after your Google Business Profile is verified.
- To improve the performance of your business listing in Google Maps, use data from your website (like Google Analytics and Google Search Console) to identify some relevant keywords and use these keywords in your business listing that appears in Google Maps.
Local search is important for businesses because it can drive more traffic to your website or brick-and-mortar store. More traffic means more customers, which increases revenue for your business.
Local intent search is a great way to reach customers looking for something specific in your area. It can also help with SEO, so optimizing your business listing on Google Maps is important if you still need to get one. The more keywords and categories you include in your listing will make it more likely that users will find what they want when searching for local businesses like yours!