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If you’re setting up your local listing for the first time, or even if you’ve been managing yours or multiple local listings for a while, you still may be unclear on where traffic is coming from when people visit your local listing, or where the information on your local listing is appearing on Google’s various properties. And in this video, I want to give you an idea of where your local listing is gonna show up, where Google displays that information.
This search for dentists is a search in Google’s regular web search, and this results in what I consider the classic local pack. The search has been done right on google.com, regular old web search, but the search is such that Google has thought the searcher’s probably looking for a local business. It has local intent. And so if I scroll down here, you see a classic maps pack. There’s a nice, big map here taking up a lot of real estate on the page. You’ve got three local listings that appear. This is your local pack.
They have the name of the business. They have stars and rating information, like, the number of reviewers and the number of stars, aggregate stars from those reviews. They have address and phone number, possibly the hours that they’re open. If they have a website, there will be a link to that, and there will be a link to directions. This is your classic local pack, and this is often where you’re trying to get to, when you are optimizing your website associated with your local listing, when you’re optimizing the information in your local listing itself because so many searches happen directly on google.com, even if the searcher is looking for a local business.
And so being able to appear in these top three has the potential to get you a lot of traffic. Now if the searcher is not really happy with these three results, or if they just want to see more options, then they may click on more places. This is Google’s local finder. And basically, it shows the top three listings that appeared in the local pack on the web search, and then below that, all the other listings that didn’t make it into the top three. So even if you’re not appearing in the top three, you still want to be optimizing to appear as high as you can in this list, in case a searcher wants to see more options or isn’t happy with the three results they see.
If they click to go to the local finder, you know, to see more options, this is what they’re gonna see. And this looks a lot like a map’s interface, but it’s not actually a map’s interface. If I click on one of these options, it highlights the business over here. It’s got a bunch of the local business information here you can see. But it’s a specific interface to itself. And if I click on this arrow to go back, it takes me right back to the web search.
This is the actual Google Maps interface. If a user goes to google.com/maps and does their search there this is what they’re going to see. And it’s gonna be a big map interface. It looks kinda small on my screen right now but the large map to the right, and then a list of businesses, possible businesses here. And if I click on one of these you get… This is a common Google Maps interface. So it’s a different interface from the local finder but it has all of your information there, your local information. So you may also be getting traffic from Google Maps itself.
This is a screenshot from my phone from the Google Maps app. This is another place where you could be getting a lot of traffic if you are ranking high for specific searches. And this is a search for coffee shops. And it showed me the coffee shops right near me, highly ranked coffee shops right near me. This is another place where you could be getting a lot of traffic if your listing is well optimized and showing up high for various searches. One interesting thing to mention about searches from the Google Maps app is that often Google has a much clearer idea of where the user is when they search from the Maps app. And so that’s going to affect what listings appear.
You can see this is literally exactly where I am, at my house and these are the closest coffee shops to me. So the authority of the listing itself, of the website associated with the listing, all the kinds of ranking factors that we talk about do come into account when being searched on the Google Maps app. But it’s also important to realize that because Google knows exactly where the person is, they’re also really gonna take that into account when they choose who to rank.
Another place where your local information will appear when you have set up your local listing and added all the information you can is in what I call a local knowledge panel. And that appears when someone does a search that I call a brand search. It’s a search specifically for the name of your business. And then, there will be regular web results that will appear there. But there will also be a local knowledge panel that has a little map, maybe a See outside, or maybe a photo from your business, and then all your local information here. It also has reviews from the web. And depending on your activity on social media, may have links to your social media accounts as well here.
So this is a great way also to get… If someone’s looking for your business specifically, you can take up a ton of real estate here on the right with a lot of information about your business that comes all from your local listing. The last thing I wanna talk about is that there are actually a few different types of local packs. And I’m gonna cover those as well because it’s worth understanding depending on the industry you’re in or depending on the type of search what kind of local pack might be showing up and what information is available to the searcher when that happens. This I already described as your classic local pack and I described the information that’s available there.
In a large brand search, you’re gonna see something slightly different. You can see this was a search directly for Starbucks. And the local pack that I get here contains only Starbucks businesses. And it’s what we call the ABC pack because the listings are listed A, B, and C rather than just being listed there. The other difference you’ll notice about this pack is that there is no…there are no star ratings. And there’s no information about the number of reviews that are left. So searches for large brands that are gonna show multiple businesses from that specific chain or brand are often gonna get an ABC pack.
This is what we call the snack pack. And searches for restaurants or dining related, and entertainment-related, and also hospitality-related businesses will often get a snack pack. And at first glance, it looks quite a bit like the regular pack. It has the star ratings information here. It has some address info. But what it’s lacking is any information to contact the business. Over here there’s no way to get to the website, there’s actually no directions, just a photo, and there’s no phone number.
So the way you can think about a snack pack is that it’s a little bit of information like a snack. And so, it’s not giving you information on how to contact the business or reach the website. You have to click in to see the actual listing in order to get to that information. So those are the places where your local information or your local listing is gonna be appearing on Google, and kinda the potential for traffic that you can get from those various places.