Like a lot of people, you likely use Apple or Google Maps whenever you need to look up a business’s location, hours, or phone number.
You find them embedded on websites, in searches, and sent to you via text. Maps is so commonplace—it seems—that few realize what a powerful and free marketing tool this is for small service businesses like yours. These Google Map Pack strategies for pet spas will help you get more out of Maps.
Understanding the Google Map Pack
Have you noticed that local service search results look different from regular searches? A map appears at the top, displaying 3 to 4 top-ranking businesses near the searcher. Compared to most search results, the map is big and colorful. It’s screaming to be clicked.
So, put yourself in a pet spa clients’ shoes for a moment. You’re a pet parent with a too-fuzzy pup needing a trim. When you search, which pet spa are you likely to choose? The one that comes up in the regular search results…or the one on the map? It’s not a hard choice.
You click on choice one or maybe choice two. Now, you can see their hours, exact addresses, contact numbers, website, reviews and more. If needed, click one more button, and it pulls up the Google Maps app to start turn-by-turn directions.
But, if you’re not sold on the number 1, you can click the map to see several options to consider.
Google delivers a map instead of regular search results when it recognizes a searcher’s query as looking for a physical locale like a business, park, historic site, or government building. You need to be seen here.
The Benefits of Appearing in the Map Pack
Google Maps Pack takes up a large section of search results. It catches the eye. So, you probably didn’t even know there were other search results under it. The #1 business in the Map Pack gets the highest percentage of clicks of any listing ever delivered up in searches. Even being in the top 3 can deliver a lot of traffic to your website.
If you have a website that’s fast, user-friendly, and lets them schedule their pet spa appointment online, most of this traffic should become new or returning customers. It’s also likely to increase phone calls because, you know, some of us just want to talk to a person. They instantly see your star rating and read reviews from happy customers, building instant trust with strangers.
This gives you a competitive advantage. And in the dog-eat-dog world of pet grooming, you need every advantage you can get.
So, how do you become the Leader of the Map Pack? These Google Map Pack strategies for pet spas show you how.
Google Map Pack Strategies for Pet Spas
Sometimes, it’s a mystery what will help you dominate your competitors in search results. And sometimes it isn’t. Getting the most out of Map Pack involves some straightforward Google Map Pack strategies for pet spas you can apply right now to start seeing results.
1. Claim Your Google Profile
You must optimize your Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business (GMB), first. Make it amazing.
Visit Google Business Manager to add your business if it doesn’t already exist. Then, build out your business profile. You’ll need to verify your ownership of this business before it can go live, so choose the one that makes sense for you.
2. Double and Triple Check information
On your profile, you can add lots of helpful information.
Both future pet grooming clients and Google will use this information to understand how your business operates. What do you do? Where are you located? How do they schedule? How much do you charge? Hours? Fill this information out completely.
Check your spelling. Look for extra spaces that don’t belong there. And make sure the information is correct.
3. Know When to NAP
Of these, your NAP is the most crucial. This is your Name, Address, and Phone and becomes the foundation for how Google presents your company on its platforms. It becomes the basis of Google’s understanding of whether you’re a local business, regional company, or huge corporate chain. Since Google shows a preference for local businesses in their local area, you must look local.
These need to be consistent across all directories where you’re listed. Many pet spas started out as much smaller home businesses before taking their passion to a storefront. So, you may have gone through name, address, or business name changes. Get all of this in order before adding it to Google.
Don’t forget little details like the area code and 9-digit zip code you include on your website.
4. Have a Local Number
Some pet spas get 800 numbers or hire a call center or personal assistant to schedule appointments. Or you may have kept your old number when you moved across state lines, and clients call you directly.
That’s okay. But make sure the phone number on your Google page is local. The same goes for pet spas with multiple locations in different area codes.
You can get a free local phone number through Google Voice and route calls to any number you like.
5. Add Some Keywords to Your Business Categories, Description
Keywords are simply things people search for when looking for a business like yours. So, consider what someone would put in the search bar if they wanted your various grooming services. But don’t overdo it.
6. Make It Visual
Google wants you to add a cover photo plus a profile photo and a video.
Do what Google wants.
They’re calling the shots. So, you want to be on their good side. Google would love if you’d add some photos of your:
- Pet products
- Grooming equipment
- Front desk
- Front door
- Pup clients getting special treatment (with permission)
You can include user-generated content too! So, ask your regulars to create their own fashion shoots.
7. Get More Reviews
If you must choose one place to ask people to leave reviews, make it Google. 40% of new product or service buy decisions start with a Google search. This is an important Map Pack strategy for pet spas because your reviews and star ratings appear in Maps.
When building your review profile, it’s essential to go for quality over quantity. To build a quality review profile, focus on trying to get more of this:
- Voluntary reviews
- Reviews from people who have a lot of reviews linked to their Google profile
- Images of your work are attached to the review
- Attributes added like “quality”, “value”, and “friendliness.”
- At least 12 4 and 5-star reviews for every 3-star and below review.
- Recent…People don’t care about reviews that are older than 1-3 months for the most part.
You should never pay for reviews, including offering perks in exchange for them. However, small business marketing tools can help you build out your profile with more high-quality review traits like these. Encourage customers to ask questions on your Google Business Profile, upload photos, and write reviews.
And remember to respond to negative reviews professionally as well as some positive reviews.
8. Get Citations in Directories
Claim or add your listing to quality directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Better Business Bureau, the local chamber of commerce, social media profiles, etc. Fill out the profiles as much as possible. These drive high-value traffic to your website.
Having a consistent NAP across platforms also helps verify your localness with Google, generates links to your website, and can improve your position in the Map Pack. It’s great for local SEO in general.
9. SEO Your Website
You won’t stand a chance in the Google Maps Pack if your website doesn’t meet basic SEO requirements. So, attend to the fundamentals like speed, navigation, mobile-friendliness, useful features like online scheduling, and helpful content.
Network with local non-competitors, such as vets, pet adoption centers, non-profits, and pet supplies companies, to earn website links and community engagement.
10. Community Engagement
Collaborate with other businesses in the community on mutually beneficial events your shared customer will love. Make them Instagramable.
Agree to share each other’s posts on social media. This increased engagement can help with SEO, your Map Pack visibility, and the love you get from your loyal customers.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
Take these steps now to optimize your brand’s presence in Google Search. Put your little pet spa on the map by optimizing for Maps Pack. Drive high-quality traffic directly to your website and spa.
Surefire Local helps you be seen when it matters most. Our business intelligence marketing software helps you get the desired results for a fraction of the cost of marketing agency services or expensive technology. That’s because we build every tool in our all-in-one small business marketing platform with a little pet spa like yours in mind. We’d love to show what our software can do. Attend our next demo.