Google Maps plays an important role in online brand visibility and search engine strategy. Many visitors using Google Search rely on Google Maps results for search-based locations of businesses. If your business is not on Google Maps, you risk losing potential business opportunities from these online searches. In this article, we will share the importance of Google Maps for your business, and the steps required to get your business integrated into the Google Maps platform.
What is Google Maps?
Google Maps is a web-based map platform offered by Google. Google Maps offers satellite imagery, street views, and route planning. Visitors using the Google Search engine can also use Google Maps to locate businesses near them based on specific search results. For example, a user located in Northern Virginia could search for “grocery stores” and Google Maps will populate the closest grocery stores located near them.
Google Maps has also added some new features in 2020 such as the inclusion of the “Explore” tab which allows users to not just view business locations and contact details, but also business services, ratings, and reviews. This has allowed the platform to evolve into more than just a map, but rather as a way to discover new, local businesses a person may not have been familiar with before.
It is important to note, however, that a business will not automatically appear in the Google Maps location-based search results. This article will further explain the necessary steps to ensure your business appears in Google Maps search results.
Why is it important for businesses to appear on Google Maps?
- Google Maps helps improve brand visibility
- Google Maps directs relevant individuals to your business based on their location
- Google Maps helps people locate your business
- Google Maps helps new visitors easily find your website
- Google Maps allows people to quickly contact your business through inclusion of your phone number in the search results
- Google Maps includes images of your business to improve credibility and brand recognition through inclusion of ratings and reviews
- Google Maps is a great way to help provoke discovery of your brand
- Google Maps is viewed by the public as an up-to-date source for business information
How to Get Your Business On Google Maps
Since we now understand why Google Maps is important for getting traffic to your business by improving your visibility online, we will now go through the steps to get your business up and running on the Google Maps platform. Just follow the steps below.
- Sign up for Google My Business, which is a tool that helps your business appear on Google Maps and Google local search results. Use this link to get started https://support.google.com/business/answer/6300665?hl=en
- After entering your business name into Google My Business, you may see that it already appears in the results. If so click it, if not, just simply select “add my business”.
- Navigate to the Google My Business page after locating or entering your business information manually.
- If you have to add your business manually, you will need to wait to receive a PIN, which will allow you to properly verify your business location on the application. Your pin will be sent directly to you by selecting that you are authorized to manage the business.
- Once you receive your pin you can then confirm your business location.
- You now will be able to add your business to Google Maps. It is important to ensure all contact information is consistent for the most accurate results, so ensure your Google Maps location and contact information matches your website. If you have multiple locations for your business, make sure all of these are entered and match all existing locations on your business website.
- Google Maps populates results based on category. You then will select a category that most closely matches your business for the most accurate search results.
- Make sure to update any business information into your Google My Business account to keep all information up to date.
Ways to Optimize Your Google My Business Account
Once you have established your Google My Business Account, you can then optimize it to improve your search results. This can be done by uploading some business photos of your location, products, or branding.
You also may want to include some business reviews, which are a great way to improve your brand’s credibility and allow you to stand out from other similar businesses also using Google Maps. If you are in need of business reviews, you can incentivize customers to include a review on your Google Maps page after visiting your business. Maybe offer them a discount off their next purchase, or follow up with a quick email after their visit simply asking for a quick 30 seconds of their time to leave a review on your page.
Want to improve your presence in Google Maps ? Alliance Interactive has the tools you need to make sure your business is recognized in Google Maps and reaches your target audience.