What Are Maps?
Map: A diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads, etc.
Maps are a geographical representation of a particular area or property. They display either a fixed point or a certain area.
Google maps are important for local and Map Pack rankings because they help with proximity signals besides offering an URL that is indexed by Google.
GMB listings have company maps that can be accessed and embedded on a website or 3rd party sites. For a map embed, the code is embedded into the website and can be viewed directly on the website. With a map link, there is just a link to the map as opposed to a visual depiction. The user has to click on the link to go to the map.
Sometimes, there will be an image/screenshot of the map that is linked to the actual map.
For Google maps of a particular location, there is a red pin dropped at the main address on the map. They also offer a general overview of the neighborhood plus allow for directions to and from the location. Some examples of companies with a physical address include dental clinics, law offices, hospitals, and computer centers.
Service area businesses (SABs) with hidden addresses will have a map that displays the service area they cover. Users cannot ask for directions or visit their office. Instead, the company employees travel to the person’s location to perform the service. Some examples of service area businesses are cleaning companies, HVACs, garage door repairmen, and pest exterminators.
For a business listing, the full address is displayed along with other contact information. The Google reviews for the place also pop up. Plus, users can find out driving directions for how to reach the office.
A physical address establishes trust from both Google and the users. This is also why businesses with physical addresses visible on the map sometimes have an advantage when it comes to rankings than SABs with hidden addresses. For example, a locksmith with a shop vs. a purely mobile locksmith. However hidden addresses have their ranking advantages too!
There are also driving direction maps. These maps have directions and show how to reach the business address by walking, driving, using public transport, etc. Driving direction maps can also be added on the site to increase proximity signals and show users how to reach the business location.
Maps can also be created by users in Google through the Google My Maps tool. These maps are also known as custom maps. Custom maps allow the designer to use map markers and symbols and design the map the way they want. They can add places and points of interest, related locations, landmarks, etc.
Be sure to add or embed your GMB map on the GMB page of your site. You can also create custom maps showing the areas you cover or how people can reach your workplace from different neighborhoods or suburbs
DigitalBull GO Tip: Use the Google custom map creatively to offer value to the site visitor. Instead of the usual radius markers, look at options like places of interest, areas serviced with testimonials, client locations, etc.
Maps Audit Parameters in DigitalBull GO
Here are the subfactors/parameters for Maps that are analyzed in the DigitalBull GO Local SEO Audit Tool:
Map – Page on Wikipedia
How to Add Google Map to Website – Blog post by Mobirise
How to Add Google Maps in WordPress – Support article by WordPress
How to Embed a Map Anywhere – Blog post by Batch Geo
Hyper-Local, Directions-Based Ranking of Places – White paper by Google
How to Use Driving Directions in Local Search SEO – Blog post by Coconut Headphones
How to Create Custom Maps in Google Maps – Blog post by Better Cloud
Maps in DigitalBull GO
22nd June 2020 Upgrade – Maps is currently #21 on the Ranking Factors standings.
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