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Google Maps Proximity as a Search Ranking Factor

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

How big of a deal is Google Maps’ proximity as a search ranking factor?

From 2020 to 2021, local searches with ‘near me’ as a keyword went up by as much as 500%.

This phenomenal boost in internet users searching for items and businesses that are near them means that local intent is becoming the dominant way for Google to help connect people with what they need.

What is Google Maps Proximity?

Google is constantly tweaking and adjusting its search engine algorithms to provide the most relevant results for its users. But what does this mean for business owners? And how can you make sure your business appears as high up on the list as possible?

Your business website needs to take advantage of Google’s Local 3-Pack. Google uses three ranking factors to measure a Google Maps business listing:

  1. Relevance – is your company information, list of products/services, operating hours, etc. accurate?
  2. Proximity (also known as distance) – how far is your business from a person who searched for something online?
  3. Prominence – Is your business making use of Google reviews, enjoys a good user reputation online, and is generally well-known?

For the purposes of this article, we will discuss why your business needs to optimize its business listing for proximity.

Let us first explain what is Google Maps proximity and how important it is to local SEO.

As a local business, you must ensure that your Google Maps listing accurately reports its location relative to a user’s location. The nearer it is, the higher the chance it appears in your searcher’s Google search results.

But what you really want to accomplish here? To increase the chances of appearing in the top 3 search results on Google Maps. That way, customers won’t have to scroll and drag their screens before they see your business name in the list. 

To get to the top of the map, you will need to:

  • Optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing.
  • Incorporate some local keyword search terms that boost your ranking.
  • Make it easy for customers to leave Google reviews for your business.

Why is proximity ranking essential for business growth?

You need to create new opportunities for people to find you online. Because your competition is already doing the same.

Local business owners need to rely on digital marketing to create a successful online business that sits at the top of Google’s search engine results. The big question is – how to make your location clear to Google to ensure you appear in relevant search results?

Keeping this in mind, you need to rely on proximity ranking factors and local SEO to stay ahead of the curve.

Here’s how to stand to benefit from them:

  • Local intent is massive for search volumes. Did you know that more than 46% of users rely on local intent to connect with your business on Google Maps? Tap into a large segment of potential customers once your local company is optimized and starts ranking on Google Maps.
  • Get more traffic to your business and website. The gains don’t just extend to online customers. Because more people are discovering you online, word gets around and your business will see more potential customers flocking to your location.
  • Create more avenues for business growth and traffic conversion. Get featured on Google Maps, and you potentially boost your business’ chances of appearing on the first page of Google. To do that, make sure you claim your business listing on GMB after verifying it. A verified listing gets relevant traffic, increases chances of conversion, and more business growth.
  • Build a business that customers can trust. A business listing that is verified and is full of helpful feedback by customers Google Reviews is trusted and reliable in a customer’s eyes.

Local SEO and Proximity Optimization also benefit mobile users

How easy it is to take out your phone and search for a product or service in your geographical area? Since most smartphones use location data and GPS to pinpoint their location, Google favors a person’s true location and distance from a nearby business to serve relevant results.

Almost more than half of potential customers will be able to find you through their smartphone, provided your business relies on proximity ranking factor and makes use of local SEO.

Almost all smartphones have Google Maps installed by default, making it a no-brainer to get more business exposure with an optimized GMB listing. Invest in your Google Maps marketing to get the best results today.

Turbocharge your business with Local SEO today

There should be no two ways: Google Maps marketing is essential to boost your business visibility. It puts your content front and center to prospective customers, thus allowing your business to unlock its true potential. Create, update, and optimize your Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) to capture invaluable market share from the competition.


What factors affect the ranking of a Google Business Listing?

There are three main factors that the Google algorithm uses to rank a Google Business profile listing. They are proximity, relevance, and prominence.

What is local intent?

Local intent means a user’s intent to see the most geographically near search results whenever they search for a product or service online.

How important are Google Reviews for a local business?

Google prefers user feedback to rank your business on Google Maps. A business that regularly relies on customers to post their Google Reviews gets ranked higher because the search engine giant prefers authentic feedback from people who use your service/ products.

How important is proximity for a searcher on Google Maps?

To make search engine results relevant and helpful for the customer and business, Google lists the nearest places in the neighborhood for users looking for a particular product or service.

Can your ranking on Google Maps help mobile users?

Yes, it does. Local intent is favored heavily by mobile users. More than half of smartphone users visit a business if they stumble upon it online while searching for something they need.

Joe Troyer

Joe Troyer is the Founder of Review Grower. He is leading expert in all things Internet Marketing: Pay Per Click Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Google Business, Reputation Management, Landing Page Conversion, and Call Tracking.

More from Joe Troyer

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