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Why Your Local Business Doesn’t Rank on Google Maps

Search Optimization

As a small business owner, you know how crucial it is to have a successful business that attracts more consumers. One way to achieve this is by ranking high on Google Maps.

We’re pretty sure you’ve tried to look for a product or service near you and Google showed a map listing of all the relevant businesses in your area before it presented the organic search results.

This suggests that your Google Maps listing is just as important as your ranking in local search results. In fact, it plays a key role in your local SEO efforts.

Higher local rankings on maps also means ranking on the first page of Google search. It can help you get discovered by new customers, attract more leads, and generate more sales. In short, it's one of the local SEO ranking factors.

However, just because your local business is listed in Florida, doesn’t mean Google and other search engines will automatically rank you for relevant searches in the area. You still need to work on your Florida local SEO and optimize it to strengthen your visibility for local search.

Is your Google Maps listing ranking well?

We're assuming it isn't, which is probably why you’re here. But, don’t worry because we’ll discuss the most common reasons why local businesses struggle to rank on Google Maps. Not only that, but we’ll also share tips on how to fix them and ensure that local customers find you.

5 Reasons Why Your Local Business Is Struggling to Rank on Google Maps


Reason #1: Your Google My Business Isn’t Verified

First, claim your business on Google My Business, and then make sure to verify it. Unless your business listing in Google is verified, you won’t show up on the map results.

Here’s how to verify your local business:

In case you didn’t know, creating a Google My Business account does not automatically connect it to your Google Business Profile. You need to manually link them by confirming ownership of your business.

Once you’ve verified your local listing, follow these steps to optimize it:

  • Choose the right category to which your business belongs.  It’s possible that your listed GMB category is not an exact match with your business. If this is the case, it won't show up for relevant searches and you won’t be able to connect with local searchers. So, make sure that your category is a close match or in context with your main keywords.
  • Update your business hours. Always update your business or operating hours, especially during holidays, so customers and prospects can track your working hours. Also, see to it that you’re open before they drop by your store.
  • Update your contact number and website URL. Google is more likely to consider your business as credible or legit if you make constant edits to your listings to make it as accurate as possible. If you change your contact information or your website URL, don’t forget to update them in all your listings. This will allow Google to assist users by providing the correct information about your business on Google maps.
  • Get rid of any duplicate listings. Google is strict about having multiple listings, especially if your business is located in one area only. Get rid of any duplicate listings and make sure to keep your information up to date.
  • Incorporate your primary and secondary keywords into your listing. Just like traditional SEO, Google Maps also uses keywords and search phrases when it comes to providing the best results to searchers. So, make sure to optimize your listing by using your primary keyword in your business name and your secondary keywords in your description.
  • Post photos of your business and your products or services. Businesses that post photos get 35% more clicks and 42% driving direction requests compared to those with no pictures. The human eyes are naturally drawn to images, so attract a potential customer’s attention with a beautiful photo of your shop’s façade, your scrumptious meals, or whatever it is that you have to offer.

Take your time verifying your Business Profile and fill out every information you need accurately. Don’t leave any blanks and make sure to optimize it for Florida SEO.  

Reason #2: You Don’t Have Any Google Reviews

Another reason why your business is struggling to rank on Google Maps is either you don’t have any ratings or you only have negative reviews.

Positive reviews and ratings are trust signals that prompt search engine bots to rank your business accordingly. They also tell human users whether or not your local business is credible and if they should engage with you.

Here are a few stats explaining why you should definitely collect good feedback:

  • 89% of people read reviews or check out ratings before making a purchase. (Trustpilot)
  • Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with great reviews. (Invesp)
  • 94% of shoppers admit that an online review has convinced them to avoid a business. (ReviewTrackers)

The more positive reviews you have, the more likely a potential customer will end up contacting or visiting your local shop. On the other hand, if your small business doesn't offer the best service or doesn't encourage customers to write reviews, you'll end up driving prospects away and ruining your chances of appearing on Google Maps.


Also, make sure to take the time to respond to reviews. It doesn’t matter if they're positive or negative - always thank your reviewers for their feedback. Do it as politely and professionally as possible.

Act upon negative reviews. Apologize to your customers if they’re not satisfied with your product or service. If you’re really in the wrong, offer a refund or maybe a big discount the next time they come back. Resolve their complaints, whether it has something to do with your products, customer service, delivery time, or whatnot.

Reason #3: You Don’t Have a Google Map on Your Site

If you don’t have a Google map of your location on your site, then it’s time to insert one on your Contact Me page. This will help improve your ranking and allow prospects to conveniently pinpoint your location fast.

Adding Google Maps on your local business website serves as a confirmation that you’re in the area you claim to be located on Google My Business. Include the name of your business to the neighborhood so searchers with high local intent can easily find you.

Inserting Google maps on a website is simple. Here’s how:

  • Go to Google maps and type in your physical location on the search bar.
  • Decide on whether you want to embed a street view, map, or directions image of your location.
  • Click on the three-lined button right next to your business name.
  • Right-click on ‘share map’ and you’ll get a link you can use to embed a map of your business location on your site.

Reason #4: You Didn't Include Your Primary Keywords in Your GMB Business Name

It’s easier to figure out what a business is all about if it’s stated in its name.

For example, the business name Dale’s Waxing Salon tells you immediately what this establishment is all about. On the other hand, a business name like Ruthie’s Store is vague and suggests nothing about what it’s selling.

Including your primary keywords in your Google My Business listing is one of the most crucial factors that can influence your ranking on Google Maps. This will not only help you connect with the right audience, but also prompts search engine bots to rank you for relevant searches.

Reason #5: You Don’t Have Any Local Citations

A local citation is any online reference of your business name, address, or phone number. This can be on social media, local business directories, local news websites, local bloggers, etc.

If you want to rank well on Google Maps and be a part of the Local Pack, then you need to build your local relevance. You can do this through on-page and off-page optimizations.

For on-page, you can add your location into your content. Let’s say you own a bakeshop in Florida. You can establish your local relevance by adding the word Florida in your keywords, business name, and meta descriptions.

For off-page, you can get local citations by doing the following:

  • Submitting editorials to your local newspapers
  • Partnering with a local blogger
  • Sponsoring local events
  • Enlisting your business on trusted local business directories
  • Joining industry-specific platforms that are popular in your area. For example, if own a hotel, then enlisting your business on TripAdvisor.com will get you lots of customers.

Reason #6: You Lack Local SEO Strategy

Local SEO is essential for small businesses that want to rank on Google Maps. It involves optimizing your website and online presence for local search terms that potential customers are using to find businesses like yours.

Here's how you can develop a local SEO strategy:

  • Identify the local search terms relevant to your business based on the geographic location and local population.
  • Optimize your website for these search terms, including the title tags, meta descriptions, and content.
  • Ensure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information is consistent across your website, Google My Business profile, and other online directories.
  • Claim and optimize your Google My Business profile, including adding photos, reviews, and your business hours.

Reason #7: You Have an Unverified Business Bank Account

Google verifies the authenticity of your small business by checking your business bank account. So, in case you haven't verified your account, that might also be another reason why you're not showing up on Google Maps. It's essential to have a verified business bank account to establish your business's legitimacy and credibility.

To verify your account, follow these three simple steps:

  • Sign in to Google My Business.
  • Click "Verify Now."
  • Choose the verification method that works for you, such as email, phone, or mail.

Reason #8: You're Competing with Global Businesses

Local businesses competing with a global business usually find it challenging to rank on Google Maps. However, if you happen to be one of them, don't let this discourage you. You can still compete by focusing on local SEO and providing exceptional service to your customers.

Below are some strategies you can use to compete with global businesses:

  • Provide personalized services to create a loyal customer base.
  • Focus on building relationships with your local community to establish your business as a trusted and reliable source.
  • Offer unique products and/or services that can't be found elsewhere.
  • Prioritize customer service and respond promptly to any feedbacks or complaints.

Looking for an SEO Expert in Florida?

Your Google Maps listing is an important marketing tool that can put your local business ahead of your competitors, attract the right customers, and drive more foot traffic to your shop.


As a local business owner, you want to get your GMB verified, urge your customers to get more reviews, use your keywords in your listing, get local citations, and optimize your Florida SEO to boost your online visibility and ranking on local searches.

At Digital Resource, our team of SEO experts will not only put your local business on the map, but they'll also help you achieve your goals and growth through effective SEO.

Besides assisting you on local listings, you can also trust them to handle other local search optimization-related tasks - from local SEO keyword research and local link building to crafting a local SEO strategy that matches your needs. And, they're always learning how to use the latest local SEO tools to generate the best results.

Before you know it, you'll be dominating local search engines like never before!

Check out our client testimonials to see how we’ve helped hundreds of other businesses in California succeed online. If it happened to them, it’s possible for you, too!

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