Every local business needs a complete and well optimised Google My Business listing. It’s quite simple to setup and gives your business a verified local business presence in Google Maps and in the organic search results. Claiming your business on Google Maps is only the beginning of the process if you want to actually get in front of your customers when they’re searching for the services that you offer.
The process of increasing your business’ organic rankings in Google Maps or what is actually known as the Google Map Pack, is quite involved and because there are only 3 listings in that area of the search results, the competition is very tight. Most local businesses don’t know how to achieve these results for themselves and they’ll normally get help from a Digital Marketing Agency here on the Sunshine Coast.
Here’s where the problem begins. There’s quite a few strategies that can be used for local SEO to increase your rankings in the search results. One of these is to add the targeted keywords into your business name. Sounds easy right? It was easy and it does work, but there’s a problem coming down the pipe and I’m sure it won’t take too long.
Google is on a rampage at the moment suspending Google My Business listings that violate their policies. There’s even been articles in the Wall Street Journal about the spam listings on Google Maps so you have to know this is on Google’s radar. Adding keywords to the business name is a clear violation and even your competitors can report the violation. You might be asking, what’s the problem? I’m ranking at the top. The problem is when the manipulation is so easy to discover for both Google and your competitors, the chance of your business being penalised is very high. Once your business has been penalised, it takes a significant amount of effort to recover.
So the question becomes… is your Digital Marketing Agency doing the right thing for your business long term?