Make sure you appear in local business searches online with this step-by-step guide to claiming and improving your Google Maps listing
According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. With this in mind, it’s probably a good idea to make sure your profile on the world’s biggest search engine is up to scratch and that you’re providing all those potential customers with the information they need to decide whether to visit you or not.
That’s where this step-by-step guide comes in. Where you start depends on whether you’re already listed on Google Maps or not, so pay attention to the ‘before you start’ section below.
Google’s Places for Business tool allows you to claim your business listing and manage the information shown about you on Google Search and Google Maps. Once you’ve done what you need to do with Google, make sure you check out our video tutorial at the end, which shows you how to integrate Google Maps with your Moonfruit site using the HTML Snippet Widget.
Before you start:
– You’ll need a Gmail account – if you don’t already have one, create a new Google account
– Your business must be listed on Google Maps. To check if your business is already listed (Google may have listed it for you already) go to Google Maps and search for it
– If your business is already listed, follow our step-by-step instructions below to claim and improve your listing
– If your business doesn’t appear on the map, you’ll need to list it – go to Google Places, sign in using your Gmail account, and create your business listing following the instructions provided by Google – this process will incorporate the steps below (note: Google will then validate your listing by posting you a letter with a unique pin number and activation instructions, which will take up to two weeks, so be warned!).
Now let’s get started…
Claim and improve your listing:
Step 1: Search for your business on Google Maps and click on the relevant listing (in the panel on the left)
Step 2: A pop-up profile will appear over the listing’s pin on the map. Under the More button, click Edit details (if your listing is unclaimed, anyone can edit the details).
Step 3: To claim the listing, click the Manage your page button under Is this your business?
Step 4: You’ll be given the option to: edit your business information, suspend your listing (you can reactivate at a later time), or reject the listing (‘this isn’t my listing’) and create a new one. Note: Each option will require validation (you will be sent a unique PIN number by post or phone). Select ‘edit your business information’ if you want to move on and build your existing listing.
Edit your business information:
Step 5: This is where you get to show potential customers as much useful information about your business as possible. Go through the form and complete as many fields as you can including your business name, address, phone number, website address and so on.
Step 6: When it comes to adding categories, type in a category and Google will present a selection of pre-determined categories for you to choose from i.e. if you own a food business, type in ‘food’ and you’ll be presented with a number of options. You may find, as we did, that the selection available is a little limited i.e. for food, you’re presented with ‘catering food and drink supplier’ ‘health food shop’ and ‘pet food and animal feeds’. So just pick the one closest to what you do.
Step 7: After the first category, you can enter your own category names. Enter several categories if you can – this will make it easier for people to find you when they search Google.
Step 8: When you’re happy with your listing, click Submit at the bottom of the page.
And there you have it – your business details will now be available for all to see, pride of place on Google!
Here’s an example
To see how it’s done check out the listing below, created by personal trainer Anthony Mayatt, founder of Breathe Fitness. As well as adding plenty of information about the areas he covers and operating hours, he includes a profile picture and has some glowing customer reviews on show:
Now you’re listed, try integrating Google Maps with your Moonfruit website – Watch the ”Adding a Google Map” video tutorial.
What do you think about Google’s Places for Business tool? Has it benefited you and your business and improved your rank in search engine results? Let us know your thoughts below.
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