Every business owners wants to put his or her business on the map. While the metaphorical intent of that statement—the growth of one’s business—is a worthy goal, today, we’re going to be focusing on the literal interpretation: how to get a business on Google maps. While getting your business on the first page of Google can increase traffic to your website, getting your business on Google Maps can increase traffic to your store. When you put your business on Google Maps, you are paving the way for greater brand reach. Customers searching for, say, coffee, in their local area will open up Google Maps in search of that cup of joe and discover that your business (a café) is just a few minutes away from their location. With no work on your end, you’ve just scored a new customer!
The more easily and frequently your business’s name appears on Google Maps, a trusted source of information, the more people will start trickling in. Even if you don’t own a brick and mortar store, you can benefit from the exposure Google Maps provides. You may now be saying, “Alright, let’s do it. Tell me how to put my business on Google.” We’ve got you covered. We’ve outlined the process—which is FREE, by the way—in this easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide.
For this purpose, and throughout this guide, you’ll be using Google’s Places for Business, which is a tool that manages business listings on Google Maps.
If your business is already listed on Google Maps (Google may have listed it for you already), you will have to follow a few steps in order to claim the listing as your own. Simply navigate to the paragraph below and follow the instructions outlined there. If your business is not already listed on Google Maps, you’ll have to list it yourself. In order to do so, you’ll need a Gmail account.
Go to Google Places and sign in using your Gmail account. Select “Add your business” and fill in the required information. Keep in mind that you should be as forthcoming and accurate with your information as possible.
The more Google knows about your business, the better it will be able to correctly display your business listing online. Once you’ve filled in the necessary information, you will be asked to choose a Category that describes your business (this will appear near the bottom of the form). At this point, you should pause for a moment and carefully consider before making any final decisions.
Your category selection is extremely important, as it will dictate how Google ranks your business and where your business will appear in search results. You can select among a variety of preset Categories. Simply start typing in your industry keyword (so, for example, if you own a clothing store, you’d type “Retail) and the most closely matching categories will appear.
After you’ve filled in all your info and selected a business category, Google will have to verify your business’s address. That is, Google must check whether your business is actually where you say it is. Unfortunately, the process for this is not cumbersome, but it is lengthy. Google will physically mail a postcard to your business.
This postcard is inscribed with a verification PIN, which you will then input online to complete the verification.
Lastly, to get full use of your Google Maps ranking, you’ll be asked to set up a Google My Business page, which is hosted through Google Plus. Setting up this page grants you a free hub online, allows you to share even more information with your customers, and provides a place for search engine optimization keywords to be used. Read our guide on setting up a Google page for your business if you need more help.
For more tips on how to get a business on Google maps and get it ranking high, check out our previous guide on how to get your new business on the first page of Google.