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How to add a business to google maps

Written by Bob Jones. Updated 13th September 2016

Filed under SEO

If you’re looking to add your business on  Google Maps then our great tutorial will help you get up and running.

Adding your business to Google Maps is one of the smartest moves a small business owner can make. Ranking for local terms can be hard but is a less aggressive market than ranking a site  for service keywords.

For example:

Ranking for Plumbers in Liverpool is a less hard task than ranking for Plumber.

You’ll also notice that many of these terms show up in what is termed a ‘Map Pack’ or ‘Snack Pack’ where the top 3 results are included with a large map taking up a lot of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Using Google My Business

To register your business on Maps you must add a Google My Business account. It is simple to do and is a very astute move to make. Many small businesses neglect this aspect of business and so, while unlikely,  it can be possible to get ranking in the Map Packs with little extra effort.

To get started go to http://www.google.com/business and sign in to your Google account in the top bar. If you don’t already have a google account click on the large blue “Get on Google” button directly next to the sign in option.

For the rest of this tutorial we’ll assume you have already registered a Google account.

You’ll need to sign in so just enter your login details and click sign in.

Once logged in you will be given the opportunity to watch a short Google My Business video. It’s a good idea to view this as it will give you a great overview of what Google My Business is. Once done click “get your page” to continue.

Now, you’ll need to tell Google what type of business you operate. If you want to be listed on Google Maps, you’ll need to choose either “Storefront” or “Service Area.” The “Brand” selection will allow you to create a Google+ page for your brand, but will not include a listing on Google Maps.

If the majority of your customers come to your place of business, choose “Storefront.” If you typically go to them, choose “Service Area.”

Next, you need to search to see if Google already knows about your business. Enter your business name and address and click the blue search button to see if you’re already on the map.

If your business appears in the list of results, select it. You’ll then be able to claim your business listing and can skip several of the next steps. If your business does not appear in the list, select “None of these match” to add your business. For the purpose of this example, we’ll assume that your business doesn’t already exist on Google Maps.

Now, you’ll need to add information about your business. Google needs to know your:

  • Business name
  • Country / Region
  • Street address
  • City
  • State
  • ZIP code
  • Main business phone
  • Category

They also would like to know if you serve customers at their location.

If you serve them at their location, Google needs to know what your service area is. You can either add a list of cities or Zip codes that you service, or you can simply indicate a distance from your business that is eligible to receive your services. Google also needs to know if you serve customers at your business address in addition to serving them at their location.

Next, Google wants you to confirm your information so they can create a Google+ page for you. The Google+ page will allow you to manage your business on Google. Confirm the information and, if you’re authorized to manage the business and you agree to the terms of service, check the box and click “Continue.”

Hang tight, they’re setting everything up for you. Some crazy magic is probably happening on the back end while that colored circle flips around.

Now that they’re done setting things up, they need to verify that you are who you say you are, so they want to mail you a postcard with a verification code on it. BUT, do not have them mail you the code at this point.

In my experience, verifying right now can get you in trouble, because the next steps I’m going to show you will allow you to edit some of the information you’ve entered. Certain edits require you to “verify” again, so if you’ve already requested the post card, you’ll just have to start the verification process over again later.

I like to be just a little more thorough now, as you’ll see in the next steps. THEN, you can request the post card and verify your listing. I’ll show you what I mean. Click “Continue and verify later.”

Now, Google wants to give you a quick tour of Google My Business. If you’ve never been through the process before, I recommend that you take the tour. It will help you learn your way around the interface.

The first stop on the tour is to point out that your profile is currently only partially complete. Filling your profile out all the way is a great way to increase your online visibility because it give Google more information that they can use when someone is searching for products or services related to your offering. Don’t skimp on filling out your profile. A little time spent filling things out now can pay off handsomely, later. Click “Next.”

After you’ve filled out your profile, you’ll use the section below to engage with your customers. Information you share here will appear on your Google+ page and can help promote your company, its products, and services.

There are a number of other business apps you can access once you’ve completed this process. Come back here and click the little grid near your username to see what else is available.

If you have a personal Google+ profile, you can easily switch between it and your business profile by clicking your profile picture and changing users.

Alright, now that the tour is over, let’s wrap out your business information so we can get you verified and on the map. Click “Edit” to continue.

The first step here will be to complete your contact information. Up to now, Google has only really gotten your phone number, but if you have a website or email address, they’d love to be able to share that information with your prospective customers and clients. Click the pencil icon to update your info.

You probably want to add your website URL and email address, if you have them. You can also click “Add more contact info” to add other items, like your fax number or instant message handles. After you complete the contact information, click “Save” to continue.

If your business could possibly appear in more than one category, click the pencil icon to go in and identify additional categories.

Click the “Add another category” button and identify additional appropriate categories for your business, but don’t go too crazy. If you choose items that are only partially relevant for your business, it will make Google think that you aren’t really very specialized, but if you only pick a handful of closely related categories, you’ll seem like a better choice to Google when prospects search for terms related to those narrow categories.

Add additional categories, if you need, and click “Save.”

Now it’s time to tell Google when your business is open. Click the pencil icon to fill in your hours of operation.

You have a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to entering your hours of operations. If your business is simple, like ours, you might be able to get by with a single “weekdays” entry. Otherwise, click “Add another set of hours” if you need to get a little more complicated. Click “Save” when you’re all through.

It’s finally time to show the world what you look like, or rather, what your business looks like. Click the pencil icon to get started uploading pictures. I strongly recommend adding at least one image, like your logo, or a picture of your storefront. Users respond better to customized listings than they do to those with default content.

Next, you’ll need to upload your relevant images so Google can share them with the world. Either drag them into the Maps & Search photos window, or click “Select photos from your computer” and then navigate to where they are found on your hard drive. You may need to repeat this step several times to upload all of your images.

Once you’ve uploaded images, click “Save” to continue to the next step.

Consider crafting an introduction to your business and uploading it here. The more information you provide Google about what you do, the better they’ll be able to match you up with interested prospects.

Enter your business introduction in the box provided. The box will support simple formatting, like bolding, italics, bullets, indents, and more. Click save when you’re all done.

If you’re all done editing your business information, click the blue “Done editing” button.

Next, Google recommends that you upload a profile photo. This can be the same as one of the photos you uploaded before, or it can be something different. This will appear in several places across Google and will represent your company, so choose wisely, then click “Add profile photo.”

Here, you’ll be able to either drag and drop a photo, or select a photo from your computer.

Once you’ve uploaded your profile photo, you can rotate it left or right or change how it’s cropped for the world to see.

Once you’ve finished all the steps listed above, it’s finally safe to verify your listing and request your code by mail. Click “Verify now.”

If you need to go back and change anything, now is your last chance. But, if you got everything filled out correctly, select “Mail me my code” to move on to the next step.

Take extra precaution with this next step. Look very carefully at the image of the postcard you’ll receive. Examine the mailing label with your company name and business address. If anything is incorrect here, you need to click “Cancel” and go back to fix it.

Add an optional contact name, if necessary, and click “Send postcard.”

Google will now mail a postcard with a verification code to your business address. It should take around 1 – 2 weeks for you to receive it. Click “Continue” to wrap up for now. It’s waiting time.

Once you receive your post card, log back in to your Google My Business account and click “Enter code.”

On the following screen, you’ll enter the code from the postcard and click “Submit.”

Assuming that you entered the code correctly, your business is now verified with Google. You should appear on the map within a couple of days.

I hope this guide has been helpful for you. If you have any questions about how to get your business on Google Maps, enter them in the comments box below.

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