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In today’s online search engine driven world, customers looking for your business address or phone number will likely search for it online, as opposed to the old fashioned way of digging deep in a phone book!
So that being said,
If your business isn’t listed with Google maps, there’s a high chance you could well be losing potential customers.
First things first,
A business listing with Google maps is FREE! 100% absolutely free!
There’s a few misconceptions and assumptions associated with Google maps. Many businesses believe they have no need to do anything as Google will map their business automatically.
That does happen, but how accurate is the listing?
Just because Google has been able to associate your business with your location through business listings and commercial mailing databases, doesn’t mean it’s complete or accurate.
The majority of searches for local businesses are first of all – conducted online.
When a customer searches in Google for a business and adds a location or specific area like a town or a city for example,
Google returns the customer with a list of results.
These localized search results show businesses within the local area the customer was searching.
Google in the first instance will get local business information from their own Google Places Business index.
Needless to say, if you don’t claim your Google Places Business listing, you’re cutting your exposure short within your local area.
Google have came a long way over the years streamlining so many online processes for customers, internet marketers, local businesses, small business and large businesses.
Taking advantage of the tools at hand provided free by Google to help list your business is an invaluable action, especially if you are a small, local business.
Some small businesses assume that because they show up in Google maps when searching their exact company name, that’s all that needs done as they’re already listed.
Not the case, and here’s why…
Google gains its information for local businesses and their locations from commercial mailing list databases and business listings already online.
Once your business is indexed with Google, either by Google or perhaps you’ve taken the initiative to set up a Google Plus profile and Google Business page and initiated the process yourself.
You can then request an activation code to claim your Google Places Business listing and begin adding your company logo, photos, opening hours, contact details and company details.
What happens next…
Google then associates the correct information with your business, and when searching your company name your Google map listing shows at the top right of the search results alongside reviews, photos, opening hours and contact details.
A word of advice…
If you choose to ignore your Google Places business listing you could be leaving yourself wide open to potential trouble from competitors and community edits!
Not to mention an incomplete or worse an inaccurate listing!
Google has improved their management of malicious edits to Google Places Business listings, so this situation is quite rare to be honest.
Nowadays, Google requires all businesses to be verified by mailing out a verification code to the registered business address or by calling you with a verification code. Once you have your code, you simply enter it into your Google Places business page to fully verify you’re the owner of the business and it’s located in the location you have detailed.
Until your business is fully verified it will still show within Google listings and Google maps, however the details that are shown are limited to your company address, contact number and reviews.
As soon as you verify your Google maps listing, your full details are shown and all information along with photos and opening hours.
You also gain a much higher ranking ability once you verify your Google maps business listing!
To get your small business or local business listed with Google maps here’s what you need to do;
1. First of all, do a check for your business within Google maps, by simply entering your business address into Google maps. You may find you’re already listed, if not, complete the listing information and select “Claim Business Listing”.
2. Your then presented with a form asking for your business details, contact information, website address, business operating hours and what category your business fits into along with the option to upload up to 10 photos. The more detailed information and content your provide the higher chance you have of ranking due to Google having more concise information about your business.
3. Once you submit the information Google will prompt you to either verify your new Google maps business listing by phone or via mail. If you choose verify via phone, you’ll receive an automated call with your 5 digit verification number -write it down and enter it straight away. If you choose via mail, within 1-2 weeks you’ll be sent your verification code – soon as youn do, login into your Google Places Business profile and enter the code to verify your listing.
4. That’s it! You’ve successfully claimed, curated and branded your Google Places Business listing and can now be accurately included in Google maps for business! Make sure you keep active on Google Plus and keep your Google Places business listing up to date and correct.
Looking to gain a more in depth understanding of how to manage, promote and understand the analytics of your Google Places Business Listing?
Take a look at the complete, small business guide to Google Maps below;
All in all, spending approximately 30 mins setting up your Google Places Business listing is well worth the time!
Claiming your Google Places listing and making sure it’s correct and most of all complete, widens your companies ranking ability with your local area and increases your companies online presence.
What local business wouldn’t want to be shown in the search results of customers searching for the products and services your provide?
Not many would say no, especially when it’s free!
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