Small Business Keywords On Google Maps

In a previous column, we saw that about 20% of Orlando businesses show up on Google Maps’ first search engine results page (SERP) for at least one local keyword, and that 61% showed up in one of the first 50 SERPs. These figures surprised many, as they imply that one in five local businesses is highly optimized for Google Maps, a fact that is not consistent with the common perception of the online marketing skills of SMBs.

The main criticism was that showing up for one keyword is far from being enough. In most categories, the critics claimed, local businesses have to rank high for multiple keywords in order to compete effectively and to reach many prospective customers.

For example, if you are a small law firm in San Francisco, you may want to rank high for: lawyer, attorney, advocate, legal adviser, solicitor, law firm etc., as well as for sub-categories (e.g. divorce lawyer, accident lawyer etc.), for popular modifiers (e.g. cheap lawyer, best lawyer), and for geographic modifiers (e.g. lawyer in San Francisco, Bay Area lawyer). Showing up on page one for “legal advisor in SF” is nice but it is far from being a great success, as you will still be missing out on many relevant searches.

To get a clearer picture, we analyzed those 79K Orlando businesses that showed up on one of Google Maps’ first 50 SERPs (according to AmIVisible) to see how many got there with 1 keyword, 2 keywords, 3 keywords etc. The results can be seen in the chart below.

Orlando Businesses on Google Maps' number of KW final 2

As you can see, of the businesses that managed to get into Google Maps’ top 50 SERPs, many businesses got there with more than one keyword, and over a quarter (27.6%) managed to get there with more than 10 keywords.

For a full analysis, we would have to look at the actual keywords for each business and assess their relevance, search volume etc. But as a whole, it looks like most SMBs can be found for multiple local keywords.

It would be interesting to see how many of these business owners actually spent time and money on SEO and whether the credit goes to them or to Google (I suspect the latter…).

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Small Is Beautiful


About The Author: is CEO at Palore, a provider of local businesses' advertising data and information on their online activity. He also blogs at The Palore Blog. This column is researched and written by the marketing department at Palore, which is led by Hanan.

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  • seodc

    Very interesting stats. I would not have thought that 10+ keywords can be successfully used in a local Google Business listing, for example. However, this gives me ideas to try out on my clients who depend upon local search.

    And I agree with you that it’s probably very accidental, and more due to Google than the business itself developing a customized local listing. I’m still surprised at the large number of prospects I talk to who have never heard of local business listings in Google.



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