You’ve been there….we’ve all been there. Maybe it’s because you drove over a nail or because the summer heat was too much for your radiator. Maybe its because the driver behind you was too into their Spotify playlist to notice the light had changed. And now you’re staring at your phone looking for a reputable repair shop to tow your broken car.
Let’s think about this for a second…the motorist is using a mobile browser to conduct a business search using a mapping app like Waze, Google, or Apple Maps. Enter “Map Marketing.”
Map marketing is exactly what it sounds like…it involves using the functionality of map-based apps to feature your business on Waze, Google, Apple Maps and others for potential customers to access your business on search engines.
Map Marketing is a Must for Automotive Businesses
If you run an automotive service or repair business, you’ll want to get on top of how your shop is perceived by users using map apps. With a little optimization, these mapping tools provide a huge opportunity to bring new customers in the door. Here are some statistics:
According to a recent study of 500 smartphone users conducted by TheManifest.com, as much as 77% of mobile phone users reported that they regularly used mapping apps. Of those users, Google was preferred by 67%, Waze-12%. Apple Maps-11%, MapQuest-8%.
Google Maps Marketing
Map sites and apps have become a staple in the local SEO industry. Now, business websites can elect to deploy specific schematic code aimed to influence how their business appears on these apps. The benefit is clear – the apps have more information on their business for which to display making it easier on the end user.
Google integrates map listings into its mobile search result pages and will rank local businesses based on proximity to the user (among other factors). For instance, if a motorist searches for “auto repair Washington DC,” then Google displays relevant-geographical results based on his/her local map.
Google Maps SEO Ranking Factors
Google doesn’t say what the determining factors are to any of its search listings, but they do say the algorithm changes all the time. As a result, SEO experts have been reverse engineering the results for years. Though not everyone agrees on what all the right factors are, the following is a pretty good list:
- Verification of your auto repair service in Google My Business Page
- The accuracy and volume of mentions of your auto repair service name, phone number, and address web listings like LinkedIn, Facebook, Yelp, Yellowpages, etc.
- Number of ratings on Google My Business Local Page
- The proximity of your auto repair shop to your city or geo-target
- Optimization of your auto repair shop in Google My Business Page
- Domain Authority of your site
- The number of referral sites linking traffic back to your website
How to Optimize Your Google Maps Listing
For years, businesses struggled to change how their business appeared in a Google search result. In turn, Google has struggled for years to create a system in which businesses could optimize their search result.
After unsuccessful attempts with Google Places and Google+, Google has stepped back with GoogleMyBusiness – a repository businesses can log into to update business information such as address, hours, service offerings and phone number.
At SITESTR, one of the first recommendations we make to business owners is to get on top of their Google My Business listing. We expect Google to evolve the platform in the coming months and years, but believe it to be a safe investment now and into the future.
Even though Waze is owned by Google, businesses can log into the Waze desktop app to enter their business information. Similarly, Apple Maps has an interface that enables you to do the same. All three apps require physical verification.
Google Maps Vs. Apple Maps Vs. Waze
From a functionality standpoint, each of the maps apps are a bit different, but they all attempt to get travelers to their destination quickly and efficiently.
Google maps present fewer icons on the user’s screen but has several options to change their map, i.e., driving, explore, terrain, satellite, biking, and traffic. It also has 3D models of several buildings.
Apple maps, on the other hand, have flatter surfaces displaying several default locations and has custom icons representing landmarks. Its interface is easy-to-use, clean, and straightforward for customers within your geographical location to trace your auto repair shop with ease (just by using the search button displayed at the bottom of the screen).
Additionally, both Apple and Google apps have a current location button on the screen — a bulls-eye on Google map and an arrow on Apple maps.
Waze is owned by Google and has several Google data like Streetview. It maintains minimalist elements and motorist in need of auto repair services can create accounts using Facebook accounts or phone numbers.
Its main screen has a map notifying motorists the number of “Wazers” in their proximity. And in addition to scheduling trips, Waze will guide your customers to your auto repair shop.
Advertising on Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze
Now that you have taken ownership of your business listings, it may be time to consider advertising. Small businesses can advertise their profile on Google Maps and Waze. Apple has yet to role out an advertising feature, but we expect it to soon.
Both Google and Waze enable users to buy ads that push their profile to or near the top of the results page. This can be a terrific source of mobile site traffic and phone calls to the business.
Waze has a feature that enables advertisers to buy ads that create a travel route to the business from their current mobile destination. This is particularly effective for roadside businesses that offer products or services often purchased on the way to a destination.
In both cases, these ads can be directed to users based on their search intent (keywords) and location. As a result, if you own a repair shop interested in marketing to people looking for emergency tire repair, advertising on these platforms might be something you want to consider.
In order to be successful, we advise the marketing plan that is right for you must be one that focuses on your customer’s wants and needs. For many businesses in the automotive service industry, Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze are a terrific opportunity to engage with motorists actively looking for a repair shop.
If you are interested in putting your business on these apps and want to talk about it with an expert, contact us here at SITESTR.
Give us a call us at (888) 909-5424 or click here to use our contact form today.