How To Add Your Business To Google Maps
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Google has the highest market share for any search engine in the world so it makes sense for businesses to embrace all the features they have to offer. And to help you reach the coveted number 1 spot in any relevant search, one of Google’s free-to-use tools can help you do just that – Google Maps.
What Is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile (GBP) is the tech giant’s free-to-use online platform that lets you create and list your business profile to show up in local search results and manage how it appears in Google Maps. By creating your profile, you’re able to add your key business information, including:
- Business address
- Contact details
- Opening hours
- Business categories
- Service location areas
- Business updates and posts
Previously named Google MyBusiness, GBP has and continues to see plenty of change. But, as part of your GBP profile, Google Maps and Google Search are powerful tools that will work in your favour to boost your business.
What Are The Benefits Of Google Business Profile?
With GBP, one thing is a constant, and that’s its ability to become an essential part of any business marketing toolkit. But, while no rules are suggesting you must have a GBP account, or even a website, to add your business to Google Maps, there are plenty of proven benefits to setting one up, including:
And by ‘cost-effective’, we mean completely free. Most other online listings and directories would charge you for an inferior service.
A GBP account will use your local SEO to greatly increase the visibility of your business in any relevant local and national search results.
With time and an optimised GBP, your business should appear above other organic search results as part of Google’s ‘3-pack’ of top local listings.
By gathering positive Google reviews on your GBP, customers can see social proof that your business is trustworthy and credible.
GBP gives you the metrics and analytics you need to see how customers find your business and how they engage and interact with your profile.
A bonus for any GBP profile is how easy it is to set up, use, and maintain, helping you to beat your competitors whether your business is completely new or well-established.
How To Set Up Your Google Business Profile
We’ve just mentioned that GBP is easy to set up and, in this section, we tell you exactly how to do it. Google is regularly adding new features to Google Business Profile, so the steps may change slightly, but you’ll typically be asked to complete the following:
Whether you already have a Google account or not, go to the Google Account sign-in page to sign in or create your username and password.
Firstly, we advise checking that there are no existing or duplicate listings for your business. Someone may have set up a listing for your company previously, especially if you have invested in local SEO before, or Google may have automatically created a listing for your business based on data it finds on the web.
Start by searching for your brand name on Google and see if a profile comes up in the Knowledge Graph. If it does, then you can claim ownership of the listing by clicking the link in the profile that says ‘Own this business’:
Then, follow the on-screen instructions to allow you to take full ownership of the profile.
If nothing comes up, then you can easily add a new listing from the main Google Business Profile dashboard by clicking on the ‘Add business’ button:
You’ll then have two options – ‘add a single business’ (if you’re just adding one business) or ‘import businesses’ (if you want to add a batch of businesses). For this example, choose ‘add a single business’.
Carry out a search for your business by typing the name in the search box. If your business already has a profile, its name will come up when you start your search (so this step acts as another chance to claim any existing listings). If no existing business comes up, you can proceed to set up a new business profile.
At this stage, you can check your business name to make sure it’s correct for spelling, typos, and consistency with your business name wherever else it appears online. Then, choose the category that matches your business. While the list is extensive, it doesn’t cover everything if your business is niche, so you might have to choose the closest match.
Click ‘Yes’ to add the physical address of your business to help it show up on Google Maps. If you don’t have an address (your business may be online only) or don’t want your address to be displayed (for privacy), you can select ‘No’ before specifying the areas your business serves (you can also do this bit even if you do add a location).
Add your primary phone number (landline or mobile) and your website URL so your customers have the right details to contact you.
Let customers know when they can contact you by adding your opening hours.
Let customers learn more about your business by adding a description. It’s advisable to make this description as detailed as possible to help it rank higher in local search results.
Adding photos of your business can also help it perform better in Google Search as it allows the profile to come up for Google image searches as well.
10. Verify Your Google Business Profile Listing
Once the steps above have been completed, you’ll need to verify the account to confirm yourself and your business address before it goes live (though you can still log in and edit your profile if you need to).
You’ll be asked to choose a verification method which is usually a postcard sent to your business address. This will contain a unique code which needs to be entered into your GBP profile. You can click ‘other options’ but they may not be available to you, so the postcard method is the most common option.
Your Google Business Profile Dashboard
When your GBP is complete and verified, each time you log in, you’ll be able to use your Google Business Profile dashboard. This is where you can see an overview of everything you’ve added so far and make any updates or changes to any of your details to optimise your profile.
You can add or edit everything from your opening hours (including adding ‘special hours’ if you’ll be open or closed for any reason) to your social media handle, business description, business sub-categories, photos and logos, and posts (like mini-blogs which can be business updates, offers, or events).
We also suggest adding in your products and services – Google will prompt you with a few suggestions, which may or may not fit, but you can also add your own custom services. Remember – the more complete your business profile is, the better chance it will have of ranking highly in Google Search and Google Maps.
Creating your Google Business Profile and adding your business to Google Maps is a quick, easy, and SEO-friendly way to get ahead of your competitors. It’s definitely a process we recommend to any business looking to strengthen its local marketing strategy and boost its online visibility.
If you want to get started on creating your GBP or need advice on optimising it for maximum effectiveness, contact us today for more information.