For almost any business you’ll want to be on Google maps. For the simple reason that people are searching for businesses using this app. Google maps results not only show up on the Google Maps application, but also in Google search results on computers, phones and tablets.
How do I get on Google Maps?
First you should search for your business on Google maps (phone or computer is fine). If it’s there and you’ve not ‘claimed’ your business then Google has a convenient link to help you do so. Don’t worry, they have a process in place to make sure it’s you claiming it and that you have the rights to do so.
This whole process can take some time, so you’ll need to be patient. Often changes won’t take effect until your account has been verified. So don’t expect to sign-up today and have it all completed by this afternoon. The verification process usually requires a code to be mailed to you (by traditional snail mail not email). This takes several days at best, but proves to Google that you actually live at the address. It doesn’t have to be your business address either.
I’m on Google Maps but there’s not much to see.
Be active, upload more than you think is necessary. Having accurate details is hugely important to prospective and existing customers. Plus if you give them the wrong information it’s very easy for them to post a bad review (more on reviews later).
- Upload photos. Not just of your products. Put your team and staff on there. Put a photo of the front door. Show the car park. Is there a play area for kids? Something unique (wood fired pizza oven) that sets you a part from your competition.
- Get your details right. Make sure you’re accurate with what information you post. Use the correct categories. Show your service areas. List your products and services.
- Update your opening hours. People will search for ‘open now’ and see that your business is open according to Google. You can set special times for holidays too.
- Double check your address and where the pin lands on the map. Sometimes the automatic address can be on the wrong street, wrong side of the block, wrong entrance, or any number of quirks that can alter the facts.
- Reviews. Get them! Ask people to review you. Hand them a business card that says “Please review us on Google”. You can even make a QR code that takes them straight to the site. Put a sign on the exit that says “Your reviews are important to us, please review us on Google”.
- Monitor the site. Keep an eye on your reviews, and respond if it’s applicable. Say thanks or address a negative review. Bad reviews are really bad when there’s no response from you – the business. Bad reviews where you’ve addressed the issue show other prospective customers that you care and you’re trying to be great.
There are many benefits to being on Google maps and almost all businesses will yield some gains from putting in the effort of setting this up. It will take time, but will be worth it.