Maximise your online exposure with Google Maps

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Using Google Places is a great way for businesses to get their company listed at the top of Google and provide details on their products and services, for free.  And because it’s free, you’d be crazy not to register – it just takes a bit of time to complete the relevant information which you can either do yourself, or ask someone like me to do it for you at minimal cost.

Below is a summary of the information provided on the Google Places website.  It lists the steps involved in setting up your business on Google Places to help customers find you on Google Maps.  You can include information such as your business name, contact details, opening hours, payment methods, photos and more.  It’s a bit like having a mini website and it’s all free!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your business on Google Maps:-

  • go to the Google Places website and sign in to your Google Account.  If you don’t have a Google Account, you can set one up free of charge
  • once you’ve signed in on the Google Places homepage click add new business
  • fill out the basic information on your business including company name, address, phone number and your website URL
  • provide details on what your company does.  You can select several categories that best describe your business, however, one of these categories must be a Google selected category (the one at the top) and the remainder you can either select from the list, or use your own.  I recommend you choose your own as this is your chance to select valuable keywords related to your business, eg “Graphic Design Melbourne” that users will enter on Google to find you
  • select hours of operation
  • select the payment options that your business accepts
  • add photos (you can have up to 10 max)
  • add video, which must be on YouTube and then copy and paste the URL to your Google Places listing
  • add any additional information that is relevant to your business, for example parking facilities or whether your business allows pets. 
  • preview your listing as it will appear in Google Maps on the right side of the screen which will update as you add more new information.  When it looks how you want it to, click submit at the bottom of the page
  • choose how you would like to verify your listing and click Finish.

Once you’ve submitted your business information, you’ll be asked to verify it before it goes live. Google Places offers three ways for you to verify a new business listing, or to verify a phone number or address change in an existing listing.  You can do this by phone, SMS or postcard.

By Phone:  You’ll receive an automated phone call to the number listed in your Google Places account, which will be immediately after you click submit.  During the call, you’ll be prompted to enter a unique PIN into your Google Places account.

By SMS:  You’ll receive a unique PIN at the mobile phone number you’ve entered into Google Places.  Once you’ve entered your PIN, your business will be verified and incorporated into Google Maps within 6 weeks.

By post:  The PIN is sent by postcard to the business address submitted to Google Maps which can take 2-3 weeks to arrive.

Once you’ve verified your account, it shouldn’t take more than 12 days for your listing to appear in Google Maps. 

When your listing appears, you’ll be able to track stats that show the number of impressions (how many times users saw your business listing as a local search result) and actions (number of times users click for more info on maps and the number of clicks to your website).  It also shows the top search queries for which your business listing appeared, along with the number of times users saw your business listing in the search results for those queries.

Google Places is a great tool to get your business listed on Google Maps and it’s 100% free.  It’s perfect for a small business or brand new business starting out and gives you increased visibility on Google for people looking for your type of business in your area.  If you need help setting your business up on Google Places, email me your details and for a minimal fee, I can take care of it for you, saving you time to get on with running your business.

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