Though few know it, ranking high on Google Maps is just as important as other facets of a local SEO push. Google Maps is not discussed at the same frequency as local SEO for financial advisors, yet it is equally important.
If you invest the little bit of time necessary to boost your ranking on Google Maps you should enjoy a steady uptick in new clients in the weeks, months and years ahead. Follow our advice described below and your elevated Google Maps ranking really will improve your financial advisor online profile, making it easier for locals to become aware of your business and consider the unique merits of your financial advisory practice.
Begin by Verifying Your Company’s Google My Business Page
If your financial advisory firm is not currently listed on Google My Business, add and verify it today. Click this link from your desktop computer and you will be on your way to adding your financial advisory form to Google Maps. Alternatively, if you are using a mobile device, click this link to get the ball rolling on Google Maps.
Establish Niche Citations
Citations are a record of your financial advisory firm name and contact information. Google relies on citations to validate your firm’s location. In other words, citations are similar to the backlinks used in organic SEO. The citation sources’ relevance and authority in relation to your financial advisory firm are important because they have the potential to enhance your firm's Google Maps rankings.
Ideally, your citations will be granular, meaning you will find sites and online directories specific to your local area or at least zeroed in on your unique business niche. A more authoritative directory will make the citation that much more powerful in the context of Google Maps. Furthermore, the higher your location authority within your business category, the better your financial advisory firm will rank in Google Maps.
Mind the Schema Language
Your firm's contact information should also be included on your website. However, the address should be wrapped in Schema language/markup. Schema is Google’s structural means of facilitating the determination of specific datasets within pages. Such direct data is particularly important in the context of SEO. Wrap your company’s contact information in Schema and you will effectively communicate to Google that your financial advisory firm’s location has respectable authority and relevance.
Consistency is Key
If your citations are not consistent, it will prove that much more challenging to rank higher in Google Maps. In other words, your financial advisory firm’s contact information ranging from its address to city name and other details should be uniform throughout the entirety of your online footprint. Perform a web search for your company’s address and see what comes up. Look at the search results and pinpoint discrepancies. Update the discrepancies on the respective websites for complete uniformity to eliminate variances and your Google Maps ranking will improve.
Optimize the Homepage
Fill out the website URL section of the Google Maps business listing. This is essentially the landing page of your financial advisory firm’s Google Maps listing so it plays quite an important role in your local SEO push. The bottom line is the website you tie to your Google Maps listing directly impacts the authority and ranking within local search results. Google relies on your site to make important associations with your firm’s listing on Google Maps. Everything from the domain authority to the relevance of your business category and keyword targeting impact your financial advisory firm’s SEO ranking.
Some parts of your homepage are more important than others in the context of SEO optimization. The H1/title tag in your website’s homepage must include:
- The name of your local metro area
- Your firm name
- The business category
Since your Google Maps listing will identify your website as the landing page, the search engine will pull in this important data and rely on it as a relevance factor to determine rankings.
The description tag is also a particularly important component of the homepage metadata. The description tag should reinforce the business category as well as the name of the local metro area. It is also in your interest to use the following in your homepage content:
- Your local metro area’s name
- Firm name
- Your business category
Finally, be sure to use localized keywords on the homepage to help elevate its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Add Local SEO Keywords to the Language
Mind the language of your listing’s description. There is a character limit in Google Maps. This description should contain localized SEO keywords specific to your financial advisory firm’s unique offerings and location. Use a couple of these keywords in a short description and your site really will rank higher in Google Maps. Examples of local keywords for financial advisory firms include:
- Financial advisor services
- Financial services
- Personal finance
- City/town name
Sweat the Small Stuff for a Higher Google Maps Ranking: Use Your Area Code
Something as seemingly minor as using the local area code as opposed to an 800 number for your contact information matters in the context of Google Maps rankings. A local phone number boosts this ranking while simultaneously verifying your financial advisory firm is an actual brick-and-mortar business in town.
Include and Update Your Firm’s Hours
Something as subtle as your daily hours also matters a great deal. Google Maps is complex to the point that it lists when the business is open, closed, closing soon and opening based on your listed hours. Provide your financial advisory firm’s hours and you really will enjoy an uptick in customers as they will know when they can reach you by phone or a drop-in to schedule an appointment.
If your daily hours change, update them as appropriate. Otherwise, locals interested in your financial advisory services will be greeted by your voicemail system or a closed-door at your brick-and-mortar location. The moral of this story is the subtleties of your Google Maps presence and online footprint really can make the difference between bringing innumerable new clients into the fold and missing out on their business.