Just in the past couple years there has been a ton of progress in getting business listings on Google maps. Whether it be from city resources, 3rd party input, Google street view cars or Google aggregating information from across the web.
More than likely your business has a listing on Google maps. But don’t take my word for it. Everyone should double check every now and then. Even if you already know you are. Google did do a sweep a few months back and remove what they believed to be bad data. We will get into ensuring our business info is correct in a future post.
Getting started for New Local Business Owners
We will start at the beginning for those businesses who are brand new or have never had a listing for their business. Just about a month ago this process has changed for the better and getting your pin on the map has never been easier.
1. Log into your Google account or create one
You can either go to Google and type in “Google My Business” or you can go directly to their official page.
When you arrive you will see the blue “Get on Google” button, click it!
You will be taken to the Google login screen. This is where you will type in the email and password of your account if you already have one.
If you do not already have one you will need to click on the “create an account” button as shown in the graphic below.
2. Search for or Create your Business
Once logged in, you will see the “Find your business” search bar.
Once you start to type into the search bar, Google will make an attempt to find your business, just in case it already exists. If it returns an accurate business listing, you should proceed in claiming that listing, and not make a new one. If it doesn’t you will click onto the arrow that says “Let me enter the full business details”
You will need to fill out the “Add your business” form with the real information for your business. This includes:
- Business Name
- Street Address (include Suite number)
- City, State, Zip
- Local Business Phone (not a tracking number or 800 number)
- Category (one that best fits your business)
- If you are mobile and help your clients away from a physical shop or office, then check the box that says “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location” this will allow you to include a service area for your business
3. Verify and Claim your business
After you have filled out your business information Google will take you through a series of steps to verify your listing. There are a couple of ways that Google will do this.
- Send you a postcard to the address of your business (most common)
- Call you at the phone number of your business (will happen if you call a support agent)
The postcard method is sent through snail mail and will arrive within 2 to 4 weeks. The fastest I’ve seen it arrive is within a week and I’ve also experienced a business never receiving it at all. In which case I would call the Google My Business support team if you feel like it’s been long enough.
Verifying your business allows you to have full control over your listing as well as the ability to do upload photos, and connect it to other Google properties such as G+ and YouTube. It will also prevent 3rd parties from trying to claim your listing.
Notices and other info to be aware of
Verification process may be delayed or revoked if any of the following are true:
- Not yet open for business; business hours are not posted
- No working phones at the business location
- A Google agent calls and does not receive accurate information from the business
I hope this helps you get started and sheds some light on some real experiences. If I left anything out or if you have had a different experience please comment on this post and we will keep this updated.