For a local business, like a lawyer, dentist, plumber, etc. getting to the top of the search results for city + niche (for example: Denver lawyer) can have a tremendously positive effect on a business, due to the visibility they get from folks searching Google.
It is also important if a business can get into Google Maps. When someone does a local search like Denver lawyer, Google will usually display three businesses Google Maps listings. These three listings are often referred to as the Snack Pak and they get a ton of traffic.
Getting in the Google Snack Pak for a local plumber can have a dramatic increase in the amount of business that plumber can get from having a map listing that gets so much visibility and attention.
So, how does a local business get into the Google Snack Pak? How do you win at Local SEO?
The easiest way to get into the Google Maps listings is to be consistent with your business NAP. What is NAP? NAP is short for name, address, and phone number.
If your business has the exact same name, address, and phone number, everywhere your business appears online, then you have a great chance at showing up in the top 3 Google Maps listings for a local search result.
The problem is, it is hard to be consistent.
Your Brand Name is Important
It starts with your business name. Is your business Bob & Sons Plumbing LLC? Or is it some version of Bob & Sons Plumbing, Bob & Sons LLC, Bob’s Plumbing & Sons, etc.
Do you see the problem? There are many different ways you can “name” this business. This is a super common problem that most business owners don’t even realize. But this is extremely important if you want to win and get in the Snack Pak.
A very common mistake is to add the LLC or INC or whatever way your business is classified legally. Unless you are required by law to have the acronym on the end of your business name, possibly some professions in the law or medical niche might require this, then you want to leave that part off.
It doesn’t matter to customers how your business is legally structured. Plus it is one more thing to be inconsistent with. So if you are not legally required to state the way your business is structured, leave it off.
But, even without the legal part, there is still a lot of ways to be inconsistent with this name.
The best way to handle this situation is to pick the shortest version of your brand name possible. In this example, it is best to go with Bob’s Plumbing.
Can you see how it is significantly easier to be consistent with a brand name like Bob’s Plumbing compared to Bob & Sons Plumbing LLC? The shorter, the better.
This version, Bob’s Plumbing, is also good for winning at local search engine optimization because it has a keyword, plumbing, in the brand name. So everywhere that your business, or brand, is mentioned online, your keyword is also mentioned. Search engines will definitely notice this.
Keep Your Business Address Consistent
Next up is your business address. This is another area that folks get wrong all the time. Is your business located at 456 North First Street Suite 213, 456 N First Street Ste. 213, 456 N First St. Ste. 213, or maybe 456 N 1st St.?
Can you see all the ways that this can get messed up? Can you see how easy it is to not be consistent with your address? This is why it is so hard to get this right.
This part can be tricky. So places that you have to list your business with letting you enter it exactly as you want it, then others will automatically abbreviate thing like street to st. and your suite to Ste.
Your best bet in this example would be to go with the shortest version like 456 N. First St. Ste 213.
You will have the most difficulty staying consistent with the exact version of your business address. Just be as consistent as you can and make sure not to make any major areas like using Drive or Dr. where you need to use Street or St.
As with your business name and address, you need to be consistent with your business phone number. This is the easiest one to get right.
Where businesses go wrong is when they have multiple phone numbers for one location. If this is the case, pick one number, that is the most important, and ideally is the same area code of the location you are trying to rank in, and stick with that number.
This is the number where you want all the sales and customer service calls to go to. You want to use the same number with your other business location info, everywhere that you put your info on the internet.
How To Use Your Business Info Consistently
Now that you have picked the best version of your business name, address, and phone number, create a spreadsheet that is easily accessible and enter the info there.
If you have a Gmail account, then Google Sheets comes free with the account. This is an excellent area to keep your information. This way, when you are creating important business listings (also known as citations), you can just go to your Google Sheet and copy and paste the info directly. This eliminates data entry errors.
Next, you’ll want to go and create high-quality business listings with this exact data. The citations are your Google My Business (this is what shows in Google Maps Snack Pak), Bing Places, Yelp, BBB, and many more.
If you stick to this formula of figuring out the best and shortest version of your brand name, the best version of your address, and being consistent with your phone number, then add this data to the highest quality citation sites, then you’ve got the best chance of getting in the first three listings of Google Maps for a local search.
You can do this yourself, just make sure you follow the instructions in this article, or you can hire someone like Determined Solutions SEO company that has repeatedly used this exact process to get their local business clients into the Google Maps Snack Pak.
Remember: get your information optimized, store it in an easily accessible place like a Google Sheet, and then copy and paste your info on the most important citations, and you got your best chance of getting more traffic and phone calls to your business from Google Maps.
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