If you’ve ever used Google Maps to help you navigate your way around an unfamiliar area, you’ll know how useful it can be. What you may not realise is that Google Maps is also an extremely powerful marketing tool for small and medium businesses. Not only will a listing here ensure customers have access to the correct information about your location, opening hours, contact details and available services, it will also allow customers to rate and review your business, as well as read any news update or posts that you issue.
Even if your business is entirely online and you don’t have a brick and mortar presence, a listing will boost awareness of your brand. Getting your business onto Google Maps is quick and easy and, best of all, completely free of charge.
Set up your account
If you haven’t done so already, set up a Gmail account for your business as all Google services require one. Once you are signed in to your Gmail account, simply type www.google.com/business into your browser. Once you start typing the name of your business into the appropriate field, you may find that your company is already listed. If this is the case, you can simply check the details are correct. If no details appear, simply fill out the requested details.
At the bottom, you will find a checkbox asking whether you deliver goods and services to your customers at their location. If this applies, click the box and then enter the details of the areas that you cover.
The more information you are able to supply for your business during the sign-up process, the easier it will be for people to find your Google Maps listing. Although most of what you provide will be unambiguous, it’s worth taking a little more time when it comes to choosing the category that describes your business. Choosing the wrong category could make it more difficult for customers looking for specific services to find you as you may not appear in the correct set of search results.
A number of pre-set categories are available so simply begin typing the keyword most strongly associated with your particular area of business, such as “retail” if you run a clothing store, and a list of the most appropriate categories will appear.
In order to prove that your business is located at the address you have listed, Google will need to carry out a verification check before your listing can appear online. After submitting your details, you can expect to receive a postcard through the mail which contains a unique PIN which you will need to input online to complete the process. You may be offered the option of completing the verification process by receiving a phone call from Google.
Set up a My Business Page
If you want to be able to make the most of your Google Maps listing, take up the option to set up a Google My Business page which runs through the Google Plus social media site. This page will allow you to share even more information with your customers and adds an additional boost to your online presence.