While every business aims to rank high in Google search results, those with a physical location have more opportunities to drive lots of clicks. How? They can use Google Maps. It has become a major source of data that makes your company more accessible and provides new opportunities to engage with consumers.
In this article, you will get acquainted with Google My Business that helps you list your company on Google properties like Google Search and Google Maps. Besides this, it's efficient in managing your business information on the web. We've created a step-by-step guide that specifies the process of listing your company on Google Maps, as well as a procedure for claiming your business on Google My Business. Google My Business: What Is It?
Google My Business is a free tool introduced by Google. It allows companies of all types to easily manage their online presence in Google Maps and Search. In order to reap the benefits, a company should set up a Google My Business account. Below, we present the example of how the Starbucks account in action:
As can be seen, prospects see not only the Starbucks locations around New York but also additional data like phone number, provided services, and working hours. Basically, Google My Business is a tool that is designed to optimise a Business Profile, which is a referral to a Google business listing.
Before the free Google My Business service was in place, the profiles were filled from the data gathered across the web, except for the name, location, and category. Now the tool allows businesses (from small companies to large organizations) to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.
The free tool is what allows an owner to customise the data. Companies can significantly enhance their Business Profile by adding relevant, up-to-date information. By using the service, businesses can fulfil the following marketing needs: Enhance the Level of Engagement
The Business Profile allows consumers to communicate and interact with businesses. They can ask questions, leave reviews, share photos, provided products, and rate the location. Companies, with the help of a free tool, can respond and foster communication. It can go even further: the service offers direct messages, as well as a publication feature, which is very similar to a social media account. Post Relevant Business-Related Information
By using Google My Business, companies don't just mark their location but also share relevant store-related data that even covers the scope of the provided services. Consumers can get to know the working hours, the list of products and services, and their pricing just with one click. The data can be updated when needed. Collect Insights
The platform boasts advanced functions, including the analytics tab. There, a company can learn:
Enhance SEO Optimisation
- Which queries are used to find the business
- The channel via which customers find the business: Google search or Google Maps
- Which actions customers take on the listing
- The comparative analysis of the company's photos and other businesses of the same category
Through the dashboard, a business owner has a chance to improve their ranking in local results. This can be achieved by adding the most popular keywords. An organisation can use the analytics tool to learn the most widely-used queries, segment the keywords, and incorporate them in the profile. What to Begin With: Finding Your Business on Google Maps
The first step is to learn whether your business has already a posted listing or not. For this, you need to search for your business. There are three ways to do this:
- Google Search
- Google My Business dashboard
- Get Your Business Online (GYBO), available only for US-based small companies.
While the first two options are more popular, the third one is most likely a new name for many of you. GYBO or Get Your Business Online aims to help small businesses improve the local online presence. The service features easy-to-use marketing tools that used to be more user-friendly in times when Google My Business struggled. However, today, Google My Business is more convenient for small businesses.
Speaking about the listing, in the guide, we will feature the Google My Business tool. Here is how to use it to look for your company: Go to Google My Business
This step is simple. You need to merely log in to your Google account or create one. Please note that it's advisable to use a business email domain rather than a personal. Select the Category
After you log in, you will see two options to choose from. They are:
- Service area businesses – This category applies to organisations that serve customers directly or, in other words, go directly to them. Typical examples are a delivery service or home health care. Apart from that, companies usually adhere themselves to the category if they want to mark a particular area of service.
- Storefronts – This option is for organisations that have a physical location. In other words, customers visit the office/store to receive a service or product. For instance: a medical office or a cafe.
You need to select the category where your business model falls. Fill in the Name or Address
After you finish with the category point, enter the business name or address. Provided your company is listed, you will be able to proceed to the next stage.
If your company is not listed (or if you can't find it), Google will offer you to add business-related data: an address, contact information. Submit it once you check that it's correct. Verification Procedure on Google Maps
This process is rather straightforward. Once a company has claimed or created a business listing, it must be verified. When this is completed, you will find your data and business appeared in Google Search, Google Maps, as well as other properties.
Completing the verification stage is easy: enter a verification code. The majority of local organisations prefer to receive the code by mail. Another referral for this method is by postcard.
In case this is your choice, you should confirm the address and, after, click "Send a postcard". It's advisable to utilise the option of adding one more contact name. This will facilitate the delivery in case you are not available.
Typically, the delivery takes from seven to fourteen days. Once it arrives, enter the code and your business info, together with your site, will appear on the web. To fill in the code:
- Open your account and log in.
- Choose the exact location to verify.
- Type in the 5-digit code in the appropriate field.
You can complete the procedure both on your laptop and on your mobile device. In case the postcard didn't arrive within two weeks or it got lost, it's possible to request a new one. There are four other verification options:
- Email – The option isn't available for all organisations. If you have a chance to use it, remember that your email address should be working, and you should have access to it.
- Phone call – Verify your business listing by phone if you have "Verify by phone" option once you click "Verify now". You will get an automated call. Please, make sure you can answer it.
- Instant verification – Only organisations, which verified the website with Google Search Console, can utilise the method. A crucial note: to utilise the option, you need to use the same email that was used for verification in Search Console when logging in to the Google My Business account.
- Bulk verification – This alternative is available for organisations, which have more than ten locations of the same business under their management.
You don't always have to complete these steps on your own. You can turn to Google qualified partners. RocketData
is among such vendors. It can not only make up a listing and manage the information but also verify it promptly. How to Add a New Company to Google Maps
Google offers two ways to add a new company to Google Maps, Google Search, and other properties. Through Google My Business
The process is rather straightforward. Google itself breaks it up into seven steps. They are:
Through Google Maps
- Sign in to your account.
- Type in your business name.
- Type in the address. You may need to place a marker on the exact location on the map. Organisations that don't have a physical location can set up the area.
- Choose the way you want your organisation to be presented. This means that an organisation specifies whether clients come to the site to receive a service or purchase products or if it makes a delivery. It's vital to note that those vendors who offer on-site service can also specify the area of operations. This is offered in the next step, which can also be skipped.
- Select a category. You can start to type your activity, and then you can select the offered options from the drop-down menu.
- Enter the contact details, including a phone number and website URL.
If you don't have the latter, it's possible to create a free website.
- Verify the organisation.
Google Maps provide three ways to add your business:
- Click "Add your business" in the profile as soon as the address is entered in the search bar.
- Right-click on the map. Select "Add your business."
- In the menu in the top left corner, choose the same action.
Regardless of the chosen method, you will find further instructions on finishing the sign up for GMB.
These guides explain the procedure if you fulfil it from the PC. You can also do this via a smartphone. You will need to use either the Google My Business or Google Maps app. All in all, the process is similar to the described above. How to Add a Multilocation Chain to Google Maps
Businesses that have multiple locations to manage can create a location group or a business account. This allows you to work with all the sites from one account, as well as to share management over locations with other users. It's vital to note that a location manager can only optimise and manage data of his site.
In order to create a location group, you need to:
- Sign in to the account
- In the right corner on the top of the page, click "Create location group."
- Enter the business name.
Once the account is set up, you can add locations. For that, you need to:
- Select "Manage location" in your profile;
- Select a location group;
- Click "Add location";
- Enter the business address, name, and further details;
- Go on by following the prompts.
The procedure is similar to adding a single location. You will have to indicate the same details. Later, you will be able to fill in additional data to finalise your listing.
Although Google My Business allows management over multiple locations, it's not sufficient to efficiently update, control, and add several locations. Businesses have to create a separate listing for each site in order to optimise it according to the marketing needs.
It's reasonable to turn to third-party tools like RocketData
that allow you to manage numerous locations quickly and easily. The service automatically submits the data of all the locations and optimises the listings according to the local search ranking factors. If a listing or listings already exist in the source, the automated system validates them and updates if the data is outdated.
Google Maps is a powerful source that can drive dozens of clicks and customers if set up correctly. Businesses can use Google tools like Google My Business to manage their business profiles or turn for help to qualified third-party systems. Thanks to advanced tools and their analytics features, any business will be able to improve the ranking in local search.