Working as an optometrist means knowing all about your local area. You need to know how to appeal to patients in your area and be one of the top solutions when people are in need of eye care and eyewear in your neighborhood. However, with all of the other tasks you need to get done in the day, this might seem impossible. Thankfully, there are ways to improve your online rankings and find new business.
Appearing high in search results is a proven way of gathering new leads and guiding people to your business. But how can you accomplish this? By optimizing your business for the Google Map Pack, you can change how your business is discovered online and find new patients to help grow your business and take it to the next level.
Understanding the Google Map Pack
To begin, let’s figure out what the Google Map Pack is all about. The Google Map Pack refers to the set of three results that is automatically generated at the top of a search results page when someone is conducting a local search. For example, if someone were to search “eye doctor near me”, the Google Map Pack will generate three of the closest local optometry practices to that person’s specific location.
This bit of digital real estate is incredibly valuable. People don’t like searching around for answers, so if they can find what they are looking for in those first three results, they are much more likely to choose one of those options. If your optometry business is able to appear in the Google Map Pack, you can virtually change the course of your business overnight.
The Map Pack will have important information about your business that is displayed prominently for patients to read. It will include:
- Visual map: an actual map that highlights exactly where your business is located on a Google map.
- Your information: The pack will also include your business name, physical address, and your phone number for patients who want to call you.
- Your ratings: Your reviews and your star rating will also be displayed in the Map Pack. It will showcase a snippet of a review and your overall star rating.
- Your industry: The map will let patients know how your business defines itself and what your industry is.
- Your hours: the map will tell readers how long you are open or if you are open or closed for the day.
- Your prices: Finally, the map pack will display your average price with a dollar sign rating, along with other details like images or pricing expectations.
How Do You Improve Your Ranking in Google’s Map Pack
Now that you know how valuable the Google Map Pack is and how it can transform your business, let’s dive into some strategies and best practices that can help you improve your rankings on Google and get into the Map Pack.
Optimized Google Business Profile
The first, and one of the most important tips, is to optimize your Google Business Profile. Most of the information that is displayed in the Map Pack comes from your Google directory listing, which you have total control over. By having an optimized Google Business Profile, you ensure that all of the information listed above that would appear in the map pack is fully filled out. You can also help improve the way Google views your business by offering details about your business and making it more appealing to display.
Some quick tips to improve your Business Profile include:
- Keeping all of your information up to date
- Using consistent information across all of your directories
- Adding images that are appealing
- Using a local phone number
- Writing great, original copy for your business description
- Being very detailed in your information
- Monitoring and fixing any issues that might arise
- Adding new information regularly to your profile
The next step to having a better ranking on the Google Map Pack is improving your reviews. Reviews are one of the most important areas on the Map Pack display, so you want to have plenty of positive, high-quality reviews. These reviews can make the difference between your business and another option in the Map Pack being clicked on, so they are incredibly important. You want your star rating to be at least a four or higher and for the snippet of your review to be positive, not negative.
Here are a few factors to keep in mind that play an important role in reviews:
- Star rating: the average star review of your business.
- Date posted: how recent the review is, the more recent, the more relevant.
- Description of review: what the customer is saying in the review should be clear and descriptive.
- Attributes added: any links, supporting information, or other attributes added to the review.
- Photos uploaded: photos uploaded that help add context to the review or make it more appealing to the reader.
- Quality of reviewer: reviewers who have a reputable history of many reviews on their Google profile are more important for the algorithm.
The next tip is to have as many business directories as possible filled out entirely. While the Google Map Pack obviously prioritizes your Google Business Profile, your overall ranking depends on having information in more places than just one directory. Other directories like Facebook, Yahoo, or Bing will help you improve your online presence and create a better brand name for yourself. You can also add your information to local business pages or local directories as well. As long as the information is accurate and up to date, your online ranking and visibility will improve.
Directories come in many different shapes and sizes, so not all will require the same information. But when something changes, such as holiday hours or a new phone extension, you need to make sure that the information is the same across all directories. That way, Google knows your business is legitimate and that you are active online, which also plays into your overall ranking and placement in the Map Pack.
Your website is another important part of your online presence. It helps provide a place to guide leads and provide valuable information and content about your business, industry, and areas of service. By keeping your website updated and optimized, as well as focusing on local SEO signals, you can also work to improve your placement in the Google Map Pack.
A few quick tips to keep your website’s SEO in check include:
- Optimizing your content with relevant keywords
- Structuring your content to pull for snippets
- Creating new content on local keywords
- Getting backlinks from other sites in your area
- Optimizing your images and adding alt-text
- Making your site mobile friendly
- Improving your page speed and load times
- Making local SEO factors a priority
- Using an internal linking structure that guides patients
- Using Google Analytics metrics to discover data patterns
The final tip to keep in mind when looking to improve your Map Pack ranking is the level of community engagement you have online. Social media, your website, and even your Google Business Profile can help you establish a community presence and engagement with your brand. You can ask patients to post questions on your page, upload photos after their visits, and write reviews after they have had positive experiences with your optometry office. These community moments help build authority and trust in your brand, which can then be reflected in the rankings in the Google Map Pack.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
By taking the initiative and considering all of these steps to optimize your brand presence for the Google Maps Pack, you can attract new patients in your local area. In fact, it’s one of the most effective ways to find nearby patients who are looking for your services. That helps you get ahead of the competition, find new lead generation opportunities, and grow your business.
Surefire Local is a marketing platform that provides business intelligence software at a fraction of the price of other agencies or software solutions. We have the tools to help you discover what actions you can take to improve your Map Pack ranking and give you the tools to complete your most important business and marketing activities within one single platform. To learn more about Surefire Local and how we can help your optometry business grow, schedule a demo of the platform now and see how we can help you move ahead in the Map Pack and in your business.