When it comes to being found online or off, local businesses face a challenge. That is why it is important to be found in your local Google search. Using Local SEO is a great way to help potential customers discover you. It provides the information they want when they want it. Thus, putting your business on Google Maps is a key step. It gives you a greater customer reach and can increase traffic to your local business. Additionally, business owners have an opportunity to market their goods and services in real-time to anyone with a mobile device. Also, Moreover, Google Maps is used by over 1 billion people every month! If that doesn’t convince you it’s worth it, nothing will. One listing can lead to numerous leads!
Aside from gaining foot traffic, getting on Google Maps can also lead to an increase in web traffic because it links back to your site. So, the more frequently and easily your company’s name comes up on Google Maps, the more business you’ll get. It also gives you the opportunity to build trust with your customer base and makes you more accessible to searchers. Any way to connect with your audience is a great way to gain consumer confidence, so do it!
Getting on Google Maps
Check for Duplicate Listings
First and foremost, before creating a listing you should check to see if your business already has one. Google doesn’t like duplicates! It is also important to note that if someone else has already added your local business, you will not be able to add it again.
You can easily check for any existing listings by using the Google Maps app or on a mobile device or desktop at google.com/maps. Simply enter in your local business name in the search box. As you type you’ll see all the listings with that name. If your business isn’t listed, you will have no found results. You are in the clear!
Create Your Listing
Next, you’ll want to add your business listing. There are two ways you can do this. The first option is to click on “Add a place” and fill out the form about your business. The second option is to create a Google My Business listing. However, the first method is generally the easiest. On the other hand, a Google My Business listing offers more control and customization of your listing. For now, we’ll discuss how to add and optimize your listing directly through Google Maps.
To add your listing on Google Maps:
- Add your business as a place, follow the prompt
- Enter your name, address, and category. Be sure to choose the best category for your business. It allows your business to show up in searches other than just your business name i.e “health and beauty”.
- Fill out your business hours and days and any special hours as well.
- Be sure to put your website URL.
- List your specific offers and try to naturally add in relevant keywords
- Add in high-quality photos of your products, your store, and any other photos you find appropriate.
- Last but not least, always double-check your information and make sure it is consistent throughout the internet!
After you have filled out your information and category Google will send you a postcard out to your physical address for verification. This postcard will contain a private PIN. Enter this information online to complete your verification.
Rank Higher on Google Maps
There are a few ways you can help your listing rank higher. They are simple and easy to do and help your customers keep up to date with your business.
Use a local number for your listing. Google does not particularly like toll-free numbers. Generally, numbers such as those are often used for spam. Using a local number also helps searchers verify that your business is a brick and mortar location in their area.
Optimize Your Description
You only get so many characters to describe your business. Therefore, you want to include relevant local SEO keywords. For instance, if your company is a nail salon instead of saying “lovely nail salon with various services” try to word it as “New Orleans nail salon with (your specific services)”. You would be surprised at the difference between two words and their effect on SEO.
Making sure your business is properly categorized on Google Maps is a very important part. Just because Google does most of the research to understand what your site and business do not mean you should not add your input. Manually adding as many relevant categories to your listing is key. To do this, all you need to do is type in your keywords and Google will show you a list to choose from.
Update Your Hours
Your Google Maps listing tells your potential and recurring customers when your business is open or closed. Incorrect hours or not updating any special store hours can lead to annoyed and confused customers. No one wants to show up to a store that is not open when it says it is.
Photos, Photos, Photos
A simple image or few on your listing can easily help you stand out. If you have claimed your Google My Business listing you can add them there. Always choose high-quality photos that display what your business looks like during operating hours. Customers enjoy having an idea of what they’re walking into.
As we know, reviews are integral to helping your business. They are a badge of trust from your customers. The more good reviews you receive the higher you rank on Google Maps. Ask your loyal customers to leave a review! You can also link your review page to your social media and encourage your patrons to check it out.
Also, as previously mentioned you can create a Google My Business account to further edit and optimize your maps listing. For specifics on how to do this, check out the Google My Business page.
Overall, being listed on Google Maps is nothing but beneficial to your business. If you have not already done so, get listed today! If you require some guidance or do not want to handle the setup process, 2nd Line Marketing is here to help.