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What showing up on Google Maps means for your business

Key take-aways

These days, more and more people are using Google Maps to decide where to go, which presents an important opportunity for your business to engage new potential customers. By taking advantage of Google My Business and setting up a Business Profile on Google – a free online listing that lets you share key information about your business, products or services – you can become easier to discover and more appealing to potential customers. Learn how a strong presence on Google Maps can benefit your business below.

1. Help users find and view your location

2. Start conversations with potential customers

3. Drive more traffic to your website

4. Showcase your business with images

5. Increase footfall by listing your open hours

6. Build your reputation with reviews

When Google Maps users are thinking about a destination, lots of them want a glimpse of what to expect when they arrive. That sneak peek can spark excitement in potential customers, and that enthusiasm is reflected in their search behaviour.

1. Help users find and view your location

The first step to helping potential customers find your physical location is to verify your profile on Google My Business. Once verified, business owners can submit the location of their store and it will appear on Google Maps. Google users will then be able to access directions to the store with the tap of a finger, and the business will appear prominently in mobile search results. These outcomes mean your business has the best chance of attracting new potential customers.

When Google users are on the move, they want to know where they're going. With no presence on Google Maps or if your profile is incomplete, you could be missing out on potential customers. Each month, Google delivers billions of local searches, and more than 30% of all mobile searches are related to location. Make sure potential customers know how to find you.

For businesses that travel to where a customer is rather than having a physical shopfront, it’s also possible to show a service area radius rather than highlighting the specific location of the business itself on Google Maps.

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.

2. Start conversations with potential customers

The internet has changed the way people interact with businesses, but many shoppers still like to pick up the phone to shops before they make a purchase. Google delivers hundreds of millions of calls every month, and on Google Maps, placing a call is as simple as tapping the phone icon.

Whether it's to reserve a table for dinner or enquire about a product, offering potential customers the chance to talk on the phone will help them make their decision. Offering a quick and easy way for potential customers to get in touch could give you an edge over your competitors.

3. Drive more traffic to your website

Having a complete Business Profile can help drive more traffic to your website as well as your physical store. When you include a link to your website, people who discover your business on Google Maps can access it with a single tap.

Google Maps users who are looking at local businesses are often deciding where they want to go. Including a link to your site gives them the opportunity to learn more about you when they're deciding whether to make a purchase.

4. Showcase your business with images

When Google Maps users are thinking about a destination, lots of them want a glimpse of what to expect when they arrive. That sneak peek can spark excitement in potential customers, and that enthusiasm is reflected in their search behaviour. Hungry people, for example, love to look at food when deciding where to eat. According to Think with Google, over the past two years, mobile searches for "menus" have increased by 55%, which shows how important images can be if you're hoping to attract people to your restaurant.

It's not just restaurants though – all businesses can benefit from uploading photos to their Business Profile. Google research shows that businesses with images get 42% more requests for directions. For business owners, adding and updating photos on Google Maps is easy; once you upload them to your profile, they'll automatically appear in the business listing when users make a relevant search.

5. Increase footfall by listing your open hours

There's nothing worse than being excited to visit a venue only to discover it's closed when you arrive. Business owners can help potential customers avoid disappointment by listing their opening hours on their Business Profile on Google. This means that Google Maps users will see a closed sign when you're not open and they can filter their searches based on which stores are open now. It will also display a "closing soon" tag if customers need to hurry to catch you.

6. Build your reputation with reviews

A complete profile gives your potential customers everything they need to visit your store and make a purchase. But that's true for the other businesses that appear on Google Maps too. If Google users are trying to choose between two options, there's nobody they trust more than each other: positive reviews can make them more comfortable with using a business.

Business owners can respond to reviews of their store through the dashboard. If you'd like to receive more reviews, try putting up a sign in your store reminding people to leave their thoughts on Google Maps. You could also have staff mention this to happy customers after they've made a purchase. Businesses who have claimed their short names can also request reviews directly from customers by sending their custom URL via email or message.

Responding to reviews is an opportunity to both build brand loyalty with existing customers and engage with potential new ones. Those who look at your reviews and replies on Google Maps will feel reassured that your business cares about the service it provides and takes feedback seriously.

Completing these steps is easy with Google My Business and could help attract new potential customers to your store. The more discoverable you are on Google Maps, the easier it is to appeal to potential customers and get them excited about what you offer. It also provides you with valuable feedback from past visitors — and gives you a way to entice them back for more.

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