Brands that enjoy high organic visibility on Google Search will not necessarily find the same result in Google Maps, according to L2’s latest report.
Forever 21 scores top organic visibility on Google Search for Women’s Apparel terms, but has virtually no visibility on Google Maps, according to the study. Conversely, brands with poor organic search visibility sometimes show up more frequently in Google Maps. For example, Cartier appears in nine of the 10 observed cities in the study, despite having the second-lowest organic search visibility of 12 Watches and Jewelry brands.
This appears to be a common phenomenon. A quarter of Specialty Retail brands have no first-page Google Maps visibility, and only 15% have stores that appear in all 10 markets. Brands can increase that visibility by opting for paid ads, which appear at the top of search results, or they can try to boost it organically.
The organic visibility of a given store on Google Maps is determined by several factors, including the distance between the searcher and store and the relevance of the store’s name to the keyword searched. While distance is clearly out of the brand’s control, brands can improve their relevance by taking advantage of common SEO strategies. They can also complete their Google Maps profiles, another factor that contributes to Maps visibility, by verifying their location and hours and adding photos. Only 62% of Specialty Retail brands post such photos – suggesting a missed opportunity.