With a million things on our to-do lists, I see small business owners consistently missing one crucial element that can make or break a business- getting their businesses to show up on Google Maps. Think about it- when you're searching on Google for a local spot, a list of local spots comes up in your results. And how did those listings get there? Let me tell you, it isn't by magic! The businesses that come up in the Google Maps search results are there because those business owners added them. I’m surprised at how many active companies out there are completely missing from Google search results.
This isn't just for new businesses either! Whether you’ve been running a company for 10 years, or just starting one, getting your business on Google Maps is critical. Not only will an active Google My Business account help with SEO (If you haven't already, don't forget to check out the Dapper Fox SEO Mini Series right here on the blog), it will also help people to find you by listing you in the results as people are searching for your products or services.
So if you are guilty of missing out on this completely FREE exposure from Google, keep reading to find out how you can get your company listed on Google Maps and start capturing more clients.
WHY BOTHER ADDING MY BUSINESS TO GOOGLE MAPS?
While your business might do well on just word-of-mouth to generate traffic, it’s important to realize that you may be missing out on loads of traffic coming from Google Maps results.
Think about it from a potential customer's point of view. Let’s say you’re on a vacation in Park City. You decide you want a relaxing massage and know you don’t want to drive more than 5 minutes to get there. You’re not familiar with the local massage locations, so you whip out your phone and do a quick Google search. Voila, several business appear in your search results. You look at the ratings and locations on the map, decide on a location, and book for later that day… all within a matter of minutes.
Now, if we look at this scenario from the business owner’s perspective, things are quite a bit different. If that customer is searching on Google for a great massage, and you haven’t added your business to Google’s My Business page, your business is completely missing out on the exposure, which could mean hundreds of potential clients. Many businesses think that if they are the best at what they do, they’ll be the talk of the town, and naturally everyone will have heard of them. Don't get me wrong, this does work for a lot of businesses, to some degree. But with the evolution of the internet being available 100% of the time in our back pockets, things have changed. Most people use the internet in their searches instead of relying solely on referrals or recommendations. So for these reasons, it is critical to have your business listed on Google maps if you have a physical location.
5 EASY STEPS TO GET YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING
1. CREATE A GOOGLE ACCOUNT
First, you’ll need to create a Google account. Preferably, this account should be your business Gmail account. If you already have an email address at Google (gmail.com) simply log into your account.
2. GO TO GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Click here to visit the Google My Business page, and then select the button that says 'Start Now'. It is a good idea to search for your business first to make sure it isn't already existing. Chances are if you're reading this article, no one has added your business yet. In that case, you're going to want to add your business in. Simply go to the top left where you'll see the three little lines (collapsable menu) and click the 'Add a Location' tab.
3. ENTER YOUR BUSINESS
After you've selected 'Add a Location', you'll see a search bar on the left hand side where you can enter in an address. When the results come up, you have two options. If your business name and address is listed there, go ahead and CLAIM it. this will allow you to add hours, contact information your website, and more. If your business isn’t showing up, you’ll need to click ‘None of these match- Add your business’. After that, type in your business’s address and other details and click continue.
4. VERIFY YOUR LOCATION
Now comes the fun part. Google needs to verify that YOU are actually the owner of this business location. The best way to do this is to have Google mail you a verification postcard. Once you receive it in the mail 2-4 weeks later, simply log back in, and enter the code found on that postcard.
5. STYLE YOUR LISTING
Don't forget to style your Google My Business listing. Make sure you add in your logo and a few photos of your business. If you have interior shots of your storefront, there's even a specific spot to put those in. You can also upload a banner image that helps reflect your visual branding.
That’s it! You’re done. It really is that easy. Now, go hop on Google My Business and get your business added ASAP.
Feel free to post in the comments below if you have any questions about the process, and I'll do my best to answer them!