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How to add your business to Google Maps

Key take-aways

More and more people are using Google Maps to discover new places to visit. This makes it a great tool for businesses looking to increase footfall to their physical location or to raise their brand awareness in the local area. Start taking advantage by adding your business to Google Maps with these three easy steps.

1. Claim or create your Business Profile on Google

2. Verify your local business on Google

3. Make your profile shine

4. Optimise your profile for Google Maps

Now that your business is visible on Google Maps, you should make sure it's optimised so that potential customers can easily understand what you offer at a glance.

1. Claim or create your Business Profile on Google

Start the process of adding your business to Google Maps by signing up for or logging into Google My Business, then follow the simple instructions to claim or create your free Business Profile on Google. Your Business Profile on Google is a free business listing from Google My Business, that allows you to show up in local search and on Google Maps.

You'll be asked to fill in some basic information about your business, such as:

  • location/address
  • category
  • website
  • phone number
  • opening hours

You can also choose and claim a short name and URL for your listing. The information that appears in your Business Profile on Google will be shown on Google Maps and in results from Google Search, either when users make a search using relevant keywords or are looking for specific information about your business.

A business listing for your business may already exist on Google Maps if past customers have left you a review or uploaded a photo. If this is the case, you'll need to claim the listing (rather than creating it from scratch) and verify that you own the business before you can make changes to the information displayed in your profile.

Attributes

Attributes tell customers more about your business (e.g. "Has Wi-Fi," "Offers outdoor seating," etc.). You can edit certain factual attributes (like outdoor seating), while subjective attributes (like whether your business is popular with locals) rely on the opinions of Google users who have visited your business.

2. Verify your local business on Google

Once you've claimed your Business Profile on Google, you'll be required to verify that you own the business. The verification process helps make sure your information is accurate and that only you, the business owner or manager, has access to edit and update the profile for your business.

The most common way to verify your profile is to receive a postcard to your business address with a verification code. The postcard can take up to two weeks to arrive and will feature a 5-digit verification code for you to input on the Google My Business website or through the app. Some businesses may be able to verify their profile over the phone, by email or through the Google Search Console. If one of these options is available for your business, the system will detect it automatically and let you know during the verification process.

Let's say a record shop in South Devon wants to claim and verify its Business Profile on Google. A past customer has already uploaded a photo and left a review for the record shop on Google Maps, so the business owner can already see its business name, address and website link displayed there in a business listing. To add more information to Google Maps, they'll need to claim the listing and then verify it using a postcard. After that, they'll be able to add more information and post updates to their profile.

Business Categories

Business categories are used to describe your business and connect you to customers searching for the services you offer. For example, if your primary category is "Pizza restaurant", Google may show your business in local search results to people who search for "Restaurants", "Italian restaurants" or "Pizza" in their area.

3. Make your profile shine

Once you've verified your business, it's important to fill in every section of your profile and provide as much information as possible. Research shows that almost 70% of users view businesses with complete listings as more reputable, approachable and well-established. The more complete your business listing is, the more effective it will be – giving you a better chance of attracting new customers to your store or website.

After successfully verifying your company, you should make sure all of the information included in your profile is accurate and up-to-date. The details you provide will be visible to users across Search, Maps and other Google services, whether they're browsing on mobile or desktop. Start by confirming your address, opening hours and contact information are correct. You can also claim your short name and URL, and add your business logo. It's also a good idea to add a cover photo and photos to the photo display in your profile, so that potential customers can easily find and get an impression of your store.

Business Profile on Google combines the details you provide with user contributions such as images and reviews, which help potential customers understand more about your business and other users' experience when visiting you.

Local Results

Local results appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location. They're shown in a number of places across Maps and Search. For example, you'll probably see local results if you search for "Italian restaurant" from your mobile device. Google will try to show you the kind of nearby restaurant that you'd like to visit.

4. Optimise your profile for Google Maps

Now that your business is visible on Google Maps, it's time to make sure it's optimised to show the information that users are looking for. Think about the elements of your profile – such as attributes and reviews – that will prove most important, help you stand out from the competition when users are searching on Google Maps, and might even encourage users to follow your business on Google Maps. The easier and faster it is for potential customers to understand what you have to offer, the more likely it is they will choose to visit you.

A specialty coffee shop in Bristol, for example, may want to highlight that they offer free WiFi and have a wheelchair-accessible entrance. From their Business Profile dashboard, the owner can mark these as attributes, as well as review any additional attributes that users have added to describe the coffee shop. If a past customer has left the coffee shop a review on Google Maps, the owner can respond to the review, perhaps thanking them for taking the time to provide feedback. If another nearby coffee shop hasn't taken the time to highlight their attributes or respond to reviews, a Google user might be more likely to visit the one that looks engaged rather than the inactive one.

Business Profile on Google is a free business listing service that's quick, easy and beneficial for your business. Once you've claimed your listing and completed the verification process, any edits and updates you make in your profile will appear on the Google Maps listing instantly. Make it as easy as a tap of a finger for potential customers to find accurate information about you online by setting up your Business Profile on Google today.

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