Getting your business to show up on Google maps is the best way to get local customers to pick up the phone and give you a call. The great thing is, they don’t even need to visit your website, as they can call directly from the Google search results.
With business during the quarantine period at an all-time low (for some industries), having a presence on Google Maps is essential, especially when everything starts to open back up.
What Is Google My Business?
It’s a free listing that shows up at the top of Google when potential customers search for service businesses in their local area. For example, if you type “electrician In New York” into Google, here are the results:
Now you know why local search optimization is essential, let’s talk about how to get on Google Maps.
Creating Your Google My Business Account
Before you can show up on Google Maps, you need to create your Google My Business account. To do this, go to Google My Business and create your free listing. Alternatively, if you already have a Gmail account, you can use it to sign up.
Once you’ve signed in, you’ll be prompted to add a new business. You need to click the “add your business to Google” option and then add your business name and category.
To ensure you choose the right category, look at what your competitors are doing. This is as simple as making a quick Google search. Type your business niche + area into the search bar. The category you select should be the same as your competitors. Using the example below, you’d select “roofing service.”
After choosing your category, it’s time to select whether customers can visit you at a physical address or you travel to them.
Next, you need to define the area your business operates in. If it serves multiple areas, you can select each location from the drop-down list. Once you’ve added your operation areas, it’s time to add a phone number and website URL. This step is super-important. If you don’t add your phone number, it defeats the whole purpose of having a Google Maps listing, as nobody will be able to get in contact with you.
On the flip side, adding your website on Google Maps allows potential customers to find more information about your business. You’ll also get a backlink from Google, which can help with SEO. The final step consists of adding your business address. If your business doesn’t have a physical location, you can use your home address and hide it from public view later.
Adding an address is essential, as this is what Google uses to verify your account. After this step has been completed, you’ll receive a postcard within 3-5 working days. This postcard will have a unique verification code printed on it. You’ll need to confirm the code in your Google Maps account before your listing becomes active.
How to Optimize Your Listing
Just because your account is set up and ready to go doesn’t mean it’s going to become a money-printing machine overnight. There’s still more work to do. You need to ensure everything is optimized. Otherwise, you won’t show up in the top three results. Here’s how it’s done:
Be sure to include photos in your Google maps listing. It’s recommended to add images of your office. If you don’t have an office, you can take pictures of the street outside your home address. Also, make sure to include photos of your staff. This shows your potential customers (and Google) that you’re trustworthy.
Remember earlier on when we added our main category? Once your profile has been set up, you can add more subcategories. The best way to find them is by typing keywords into the search box and looking at the suggestions. Here’s how to do it:
Head over to the “Info” tab on your Google My Business page. If you scroll down, you’ll see the ‘Services’ section. This is where you can add your subcategories.
Getting five-star reviews is the bread and butter of any Google My Business listing. Without reviews, it’s going to be difficult to rank at the top. To get reviews, reach out to your regular customers and ask them to provide their feedback about your product or service. Also, you could offer a discount on their next purchase.
Taking advantage of a Google My Business listing can help you make your business visible on Google search and maps and bring in more potential customers. What’s more, it’s completely free — for now at least. Who knows, Google might make people pay in the future, so get in while you can!
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