Small Business Guide to Google Maps
Heyyyyoo! Michael here... I went live on the Squeeze Facebook yesterday and the point was to give small business owners the answer to the test on marketing. Specifically, this time around we are talking about Google Maps. Google Maps is the largest platform that allows consumers to search for and find local businesses, addresses, and attractions.
Don't worry, we already know the questions running through your head.
1. So is the time and effort on Google Maps worth it?
2. How much business can it really bring?
3. How the heck do I do this and not have it ruin my day?
4. Do these guys really know what they are talking about?
The answers are yes, lots, easily with our help, and oh yeah (we spend way too much time on google maps haha!)
So lets get into it... what do you need to look for and what should you do?
The first thing to do is get access to or set up your listing on google maps. Follow along my screenshots and instructions and we will get you all set up and off to the races.
To start, go to google.com and search for "google my business" then click the top result.
This will take you to the google my business home page where you need to either click "Start Now" or "Sign In" depending on whether you have access to your listing yet. I'm assuming that you are this far along in my article because you do not have access, so we will click the "Start Now" button.
From there, you will be asked to fill out data fields. We will use an awesome Waffle Food Truck business idea to run through the setup. This is not a fully operational business yet (don't get too excited), but will serve as a great example.
Enter your business name.
Enter your address and then check the "I deliver goods and services to my customers." if that is applicable to you. A landscaper, house painter, or pizza delivery would check this to give few examples. We have it checked for our food truck. You also have the option to hide your address. We have this checked so that Google will show a service area for our food truck and not a dot on the map. This is particularly useful for home based businesses that go to their clients to perform a service. Those businesses don't want people showing up at their house when their business doesn't have a brick and mortar location. (I've blocked the street address because I had to pick a random address that actually belongs to someone.)
If you chose to check one or both of these boxes under your address, you'll be asked to choose a service area via either radius around your address, or by listing a service area.
Choose your business category. There are limits to this and you need to pick the closest thing from Google's list that applies.
Add a phone number or website or both. You have to add one to move on to the next screen.
Verify your listing. To do this, Google will send you a postcard with a code in it to the address you listed for the business. If your business is well established and you are just getting around to optimizing or claiming it, you may have other verification options that are faster than a postcard (sometimes they will just call you).
Now we get to the good stuff!
From here you will go to your "back office" in Google Maps. This is where the optimization really begins.
FILL OUT EVERYTHING!!
Start in the areas I've circled below.
Shoot for 50 photos total and make sure you have photos in every category offered.
Google's search ranking algorithm will always take into account all of the features on their platforms. If you are leaving data fields or whole platforms blank, you are getting a score of ZERO for that in the algorithm and it hurts your ranking. Fill out the forms completely.
So that's it! This is the basic setup process and will get you moving up the rankings on Google Maps in no time!
If you have questions or need help with this, hit us up on facebook and check out the video I posted about this subject yesterday.
Co-Owner in charge of digital domination