If you’re wondering how to get your business on Google Maps, you’re in the right place. Google Maps is part of the Google My Business dashboard – a dashboard for tracking and managing your web presence across multiple Google platforms including Google Maps, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and Google+.
Claiming or Adding Your Google My Business Account
If you own an established business, then you are likely already in the Google My Business directory and you just need to claim it. If you’re a new business or have a new location, then you’ll need to add it.
- Go to Google My Business and click on Manage Now
- Enter your business name and physical location in the search box
- Add or select your business
Select your business listing if it appears. If not, select Add Your Business, and fill in the necessary information. Be specific and accurate with your information. The more consistent you are, the better Google can classify your business.
Google needs to verify that your business location is where you say it is. Typically this means receiving a postcard with a verification PIN. However, you might have the option to receive a PIN by automated phone call or text message.
How to Rank Higher in Google Maps
Getting listed is simple but outranking your competitors at the top of Google Maps requires know-how. The rest of this article will walk you through each step to give you the edge you need in local search results.
Google Maps formerly based rank on factors like industry categories and proximity to the user. However, Google Maps now includes other factors into its calculation. If you’re a small to medium-sized business than this is good news for you. In the past, smaller business listings were bullied by larger companies, but the tables have turned. Now, you have the ability to increase your rank in Google Maps with confidence and clarity.
1. Confirm your Google My Business information
The more Google knows about your business the better. To correctly display your business listing online, make sure to provide all requested information when creating your Google My Business account. Confirm that your listing is accurate and completed to the best of your ability.
Verify that your contact information and website URL are accurate. Include your physical address, website, telephone number, and hours of operation. Google Maps can tell users whether or not a business is open. So make sure your business hours are as accurate as possible.
Don’t give Google duplicate pieces of information. The Google Maps team is known to discredit businesses with multiple listed locations or phone numbers.
2. Collect good Google Reviews
Reviews left by real customers add a new level of trust to a business. Google favors businesses with a high volume of good reviews. But before you start collecting reviews, make sure you’re ready to address prospective bad reviews. Create an action plan for bad reviews and maintain an approachable customer service desk. Keep in mind that you can’t control what people say, but you can reinforce the notion that if your customers are not satisfied for any reason, you’ll make it right.
It’s not all bad so don’t be intimidated. Unless you provide low-quality products or services, bad reviews are rarer than anything else. If you need good reviews now, go to your Google map listing, click More Information and copy the link you see. Then, share that link over your social channels and encourage supportive reviews.
To get the review portfolio started, ask a few of your angel clients (those who will likely leave a good review) to leave a review for you. It only takes a few positive reviews to gain momentum and start ranking higher.
3. Properly categorize your business
When you first create your Google Maps listing, you are given the option to categorize your business by industry. Furthermore, you can add up to five additional categories. The primary category should act as the main classification (e.g. restaurant) and your additional categories should contain local keywords (e.g. Phoenix restaurant).
4. Embed a Google Map on your website
Embedding a Google map on your website positively affects your Google Maps listing. Many businesses will place a Google map on their contact page, along with other contact information. This is a way of telling Google that your business is in fact located where you say it is. Make sure to use the same address that you used for your Google My Business listing. Consistency is essential.
Steps to embedding a Google Map:
- Search for your business in Google Maps
- Click the Share button
- Copy and paste the link on your website
5. Optimize your listing description
Google Maps listings have a character limit, so choose your words wisely. Make sure to include some SEO keywords that help describe your business.
6. Use a local telephone number
Google doesn’t treat all phone numbers the same. Toll-free telephone numbers that start with (800) or something similar, are frequently used by spammers. Instead, use a local telephone number. This helps verify with Google that your business is a brick and mortar location.
Use a local telephone number with an area code matching your business location. Toll-free telephone numbers are fine, but for the sake of gaining an edge in Google Maps, use a local number.
7. Add photos to the listing
Adding a photo to your Google My Business listing is an easy way to stand out from your competitors. Try to use a photo from your website that represents your business. You can have multiple photos so select images that highlight different aspects of your business.
Google will display a generic map of your business location if you don’t set a photo. To learn how to set a photo in your Google Maps listing, check out Google My Business Help.
If you follow these seven tips then you’re on the way to ranking higher in Google Maps. Keep in mind that ranking in Google Maps is a competition, so you need to keep your listing optimized to retain results. Revisit this article every month or two, and continue improving your Google Maps rank as you continue to grow.