Knowing how to get on Google Maps is absolutely essential for attracting new customers to your business. Having your business properly listed and appearing in search results can be the difference between making it big and being forgotten.
This can be even more true when you share a location with another small business, or maybe even several businesses. How can you let potential customers know exactly where you are and minimize confusion? Google Maps can be crucial for reaching new customers.
What is Google Maps?
Simply put, Google Maps is a free listing service that connects users with relevant goods and services in their area. Once a standalone application, Google Maps has evolved into a much more sophisticated tool called Google My Business (GMB). Business owners use GMB to help their business profiles show up in search results and update their listings online.
Google My Business is a one-stop-shop for businesses who want to take control of their online presence. With integrations to Google Analytics, AdWords and Google Maps, Google My Business is essential to search engine marketing.
If you have not already done so, set up a Google My Business account. Be sure to read our guide on How to Use and Optimize Google My Business for help setting up your account. Then, you’ll be ready for this article, which will focus specifically on Google Maps.
Step 1: Claim Your Business on Google Maps
The first step to getting your business on Google Maps is to make sure your business is not already listed. Many times, businesses have a spot already on the map but haven’t claimed their listing on Google.
To claim your business, go to your Google My Business dashboard and click “Manage locations” on the left-hand grey bar. Here, you’ll see a list of all your physical locations listed with Google, which will appear on Google Maps.
To add a new location, click on the blue “Add location” button, triggering a drop-down button. You’ll see options to add a single location and to import multiple locations at one time.
In this article, we’ll look at adding a single location. Clicking on this option will make a search field appear where you can find and manage your business. Type your business name to search for your business. If your business appears, claim it to manage your listing.
If you already have an existing listing, do not create a new one. Instead, verify that all of its information is correct, especially if you share a location with other businesses. Include ample, specific information about your business on your listing and keep it up to date.
If your building includes suite numbers, multiple entrances or other notable factors, include them in your address. This helps both Google and search users understand where to find you.
Step 2: Add Your Business to Google Maps
Google automatically creates unclaimed listings for businesses. Unfortunately, new businesses and locations may not exist in Google’s index when you go to claim your GMB listing. This is normal, simply click “Add Your Business” and create your listing up to 90 days before you open.
The first piece of information you’ll need to give Google is your business’s name. The name you enter must match the name used on your website, business cards, logo, and other marketing and branding materials.
Confirm that your business’s name appears correctly before moving on to the next steps.
Step 3: Add Your Business Category and Services
Next, you will need to choose a primary category for your business. This helps Google and users know what kind of business you operate, and the services you offer. This is extremely important for Google’s ability to display your listing when people search for relevant terms.
For this reason, Google offers preset categories for each industry for you to select from. If you aren’t fully satisfied with the category options provided, just select the best one for now. You will have the opportunity to add subcategories later in the process.
Google also suggests services you can offer. If you don’t see a service you offer in these options, you can add a customized service name.
Step 4: Verify your Address, Contact Information, and Service Area
Next, you need to confirm your address and phone number to complete your NAP, or Name, Address and Phone number. You’ll also need to tell Google your website URL and which locations you serve.
If your business relocates or changes phone numbers, make sure to stay on top of your listing and change it. Nothing erodes trust faster for a consumer than not being able to contact or locate your place of business.
As a result, verifying the accuracy of your address, contact information, and service area are critical.
Use Google’s mediation system if you are encountering an issue because you share a location with another active business. Another common issue is your business’s address being “controlled” by a business that no longer operates there.
You can report an error on Google Maps, such as incorrect street names, missing roads or erroneous marker locations. You can also request access to a listing that was previously verified by another business or individual in your organization.
And finally, you can report and remove duplicate locations. Do this to ensure search users find your business instead of unmanaged and inaccurate duplicate listings.
Step 5: Verify Your Business
Google will send you a postcard with a verification PIN to the location you provided in 1-2 weeks. You may also be given the option to receive your PIN via text, though this is not always applicable.
Once you receive the card, verify your business location right away by following the instructions on the card.
You would be surprised how many businesses throw away their verification PIN because an employee thought it was junk mail. Make sure to communicate with your staff that you are expecting a verification postcard from Google. You should also communicate this to any other parties you share an address with.
Step 6: Get Google Reviews
You’ve taken some important first steps, but having your business show up in local search results isn’t guaranteed. You’ll need to continue to optimize your Google my Business listing as well as get quality reviews from customers. Doing so will help you to move up in the rankings and have your business show up first in local listings.
Online reviews are a ranking factor for organic search results. They also factor into review rich snippets and the coveted “Local 3-Pack” that Google offers searchers.
Need Help with Your Reviews or Listing?
Binary Fountain offers businesses a simple way to manage their online business listings with our patented reputation management software. We know that by using our platform, we can help you reach your business goals.
To learn more about Google My Business and appearing in local search, browse these articles:
- [Blog] What are Apple Maps Ratings? New Maps Feature Includes Business Ratings, Photos
- [Webinar] Tips for 20201: Google, Listings and Local Search with Ben Fisher
- [Blog] 10 Stats That Show How Google Maps is Evolving For Local Businesses
- [Webinar] 5 Updates to Google My Business Impacting Digital Marketers
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