UPDATED 2020 – This post was originally about helping folks understand the Google maze of Google Plus, Google Maps, Google Local, Google Places and I’m sure the list goes on. However, times have changed and we are left with, as of now – Google Maps & Google My Business. They are still valuable, and free, so let’s go over how they can help your business and why you need them.
Recap and Touch on the Past
Google Maps was established for a business to create a free business listing. It was previously called Google Local and then prior to that, Google Places. It’s no wonder more businesses don’t have this down because Google keeps changing things. Sure, change is good but when they make it harder and harder for business owners, or more confusing, it doesn’t always get done. I mean, after all, you have all this extra time to deal with your business, right? lol
The point is/was, when you manage your page on Google Maps, or rather your business address, it allows your business to show up with that little red tear drop location indicator on Google Maps. Google Maps primary goal is to show where businesses are located and provide the directions on how to get there.
Add Your Business to Google Maps
Quite honestly, these days, you may not even have to do anything to get your business listed but in order to ensure that the information is accurate, it is a good idea to verify your business information.
Head over to Google, type in your business name in the search box and hit enter. (Not your domain name/url) For example, I would type in “A Visual Business”. Your Google Map or Google My Business usually is located on the right hand side if you are still in search. In my case, I have both set up so my location is listed, my hours, my phone number, reviews and etc.
If you are in Google Maps then select your business and if there is an option to “Claim this business”, click on it and manage the business.
You will want to use the same gmail that you used to create another Google product, to keep it easier. You will then be asked to verify, usually by the business phone, get the code and enter it in. This way is faster. If there isn’t a phone number already there, you may have to verify by mail and wait for the postcard from Google in the mail. Either way, verify it so you can update the basic information.
In Walks Google My Business
Then, Google Plus and a conglomerate of other things, which is now Google My Business, which blends well with Google Maps in that it provides additional information that people may need in order to do business with you.
If you don’t have Google My Business, your business can still show up in Google Maps, as noted above, merely your location and directions to get there. But, why wouldn’t you want to make it easier for your consumers to shop/work with you?
What Google My Business Can Do
With a properly set up Google My Business, you provide your consumers with additional information such as contact information (phone, email or website link), business images, categories and labels, hours, reviews, and the like.
How to get started on Google My Business
Things have changed so much so I can’t explain how I got mine set up since it has gone through Places, Local, Plus and now Google My Business but you can get started here with Google My Business.
Once your business is verified, get your Google My Business and begin to update all of the information you can on it. The guide above should be helpful as well.
It should go without saying, reminder, this is a Google product, so why wouldn’t you want to have it. Folks are searching on Google, keep Google happy, and have better chances to show up on Google, for free. Sure, there is search engine optimization, but that takes a lot of work. Plus, Google returns map locations over the organic rankings anyways, so this is a free opportunity to show up on page 1, for doing, very little. Why aren’t you doing it now? lol
Google has a ton of resources should you need some more info on Google My Business like this one, Google Maps or the like. I may be able to help with getting you set up but it usually requires phone verification and that I can’t do for you, but can help with the direction you may need to take and we can go from there. So, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about this, search engine optimization or getting listed on page 1 with paid ads (PPC).