Pretend you want to train your cat.
You’re interested in doing it at home but aren’t against the idea of hiring help. So, where do you start?
You probably search for “how to train your cat”, right? The first three things you see are nearby businesses offering to help you. You’re interested so you head over to their website.
Now, flip the example upside down. You’re the business owner, cat-whisperer extraordinaire. You want people nearby (who want to train their cat) to see your business.
Adding a business to Google Maps is easier than it sounds. And, it’s the best way to make sure you appear for local searches. Keep reading to learn how to add and optimize your Google Maps listing, today.
Why Should You Care About Adding a Business to Google Maps?
46% of all Google searches have local intent. This means that they’re interested in finding information about businesses close to them.
Additionally, “near me” searches have increased by over 900% since 2017.
People want to find businesses close-by. And, they turn to Google to make it happen. The technology behind Google Maps is what allows users to search by proximity to their location.
The mark of smart marketing is meeting consumers where they are. It’s clear that they’re using search engines to find businesses like yours. So, if you’re not using Google Maps marketing, you’re missing out.
Step 1: Search for Your Business
First, head over to Google My Business. Then, click the blue text that says “sign-in”. This will take you through a series of questions that will help you get started.
The first question asks for your business name.
Start typing it in the box. If a listing already exists, it’ll pop up here. If not, click “create a business with this name”.
Step 2: Add Your Business to Google
Next, Google wants to know if you’d like to add a physical location. If you have a brick and mortar shop or operate out of a location customers can visit, this is a good idea.
But, if you are a small business running from home, keep this private. You can still set a general location (like a city or state) if it makes sense for your business.
Enter your address or general location.
Now, you need to choose a business category. Start typing and options will appear. You can always go back and edit this information later.
Your contact information is next. Enter your phone number and URL.
Step 3: Verify Business Ownership
If you didn’t provide a business address, you’ll need to enter your personal mailing address. It isn’t shared with the public, but they need it to verify your identity.
You may have the option to verify ownership using other methods. Choose which one you prefer and follow the prompts. Some business categories require sending you a postcard in the mail.
Follow the steps and Google will send you a postcard to verify you own your business. Once you’ve done that, hit continue and the dashboard will load automatically.
Step 4: Set Up Your Google+ Page
Inside your dashboard, you can:
- Add business hours
- Upload a logo
- Add products to your listing
- Write a strong business description
- Upload photos of your business
- Start an ad campaign
- Manage your locations (if you have more than one)
You won’t see your updates on Google until you’ve verified your business. But, setting it up now will save you time and effort later.
Tips for a Successful Google+ Page
Fill out the about section in its entirety. While it’s easy to ignore, properly filling in this information will help your business appear when it should.
Optimize your listing for SEO. Include relevant keywords throughout your business page to make sure potential customers can find you. Be sure to avoid keyword stuffing – Google hates that.
Create a personal Google+ profile and use it as an extension of your business. Personal connections are a great way to increase business visibility.
Upload high-quality photos that showcase what your business is about. The internet is full of visual creatures. Take advantage of it by adding clear, inviting photos of your business to your page.
Use links throughout your page. Help guide visitors to your website by using hyperlinks where it makes sense.
Respond to all reviews and comments.
Step 5: Post Updates and Engage with Your Customers
Google+ is like Facebook in that it allows you to create posts and updates. But, Google+ makes it easier than ever to share content with your circle. And, for others to share your content as well.
You also have the option of creating an event within your dashboard. Use this to your advantage by optimizing your events to attract more of the right people. Don’t forget to explore all the capabilities of your page.
Share videos, photos, stories, and business updates with your audience. Then, ask them to engage with you.
This is an opportunity to share exclusive information and showcase your personality. Google+ users appreciate humans for what they are.
And, they want to see the human side of your business.
You’ve Added Your Business – Now What?
Adding a business to Google Maps is one of many steps for optimizing your online presence. Now that you’ve listed your business, continue to update it and track audience engagement.
Test out different updates and post types to see what your audience loves. Listen to their feedback and implement what you learn as you go. As with most things in business, marketing isn’t a “set it and forget it” ordeal.
Keep browsing our blog for more optimization and marketing articles, today.