Google Maps – time to check your Listing

Web Goddess Blog

If you run a business and want local customers, the best place to get listed is on Google Maps.

It’s that simple.

You may have heard of Google My Business or Google Business Profile – both previous incarnations of the app used to manage your profile and now all housed and accessed directly from Google Maps.

“The information that appears in your Business Profile on Google will be shown on Google Maps and in results from Google Search, either when users make a search using relevant keywords or are looking for specific information about your business.” – Google

So, whether you run a small business or a bigger concern, getting your business listed is a great way to:

  • ensure you appear on Google Maps when someone searches locally for your business type
  • collect Google Reviews for your business
  • appear higher in Google Rankings than you would just on SERP results alone

You’ll need to verify your listing first and this is usually done the old-fashioned way – by Google sending a postcard to the address you list to ensure that you are actually where you say you are.

But what if you work from home?

Google gives you the option of pinpointing and showing your full address – great for if you have a studio or see clients from home – or setting a service area so that your address is not shown but you do still appear for searches within that area. This is best for businesses that may do administration from home but actually go out to service customers.

The choice is yours and you can also change your listing type from one to the other if you decide later on that you need to.

New Business Listings

You can still apply for a new listing in the UK via the Business Profile page and we recommend taking some time to accurately list your business so that you can be found.

Ensure all of your important details are filled in – like opening hours, contact details, products and services, photos, and a link to your website.

Update your Google Profile Listing

If you already have a listing, then make sure you check and update your listing often. Changing your opening hours for public holidays and other days you may be closed is a great way to keep customers informed of what you are up to and also let Google know that you are still active.

This also becomes important when someone tries to recommend a change to your listing, as you’ll see below.

Top Tip: regularly update your listing with photos, offers and posts so that searchers using Google can see what you are up to right from their search results.

Unauthorised Changes

Google can and will update your listing without your permission, so it is wise to keep an eye on your profile. Often this is because they have found conflicting data elsewhere on the internet (such as the opening hours you have published on your website) and simply update your listing to match. Sometimes you will receive notification of this, but unfortunately, this often does not happen.

And, did you know that other users can recommend changes and Google will update your listing without asking you first? This is the likely result if someone who regularly contributes to Google submits a change – even if that change is incorrect! However, if you regularly update your own profile, Google is less likely to simply believe some random recommended changes.

Top Tip: set a calendar reminder to check important details such as your address and opening hours to see if they have changed. You can always resubmit the correct information, but you won’t know if you don’t check often.

Collect Google Reviews

Having a Google listing means that customers can leave a Review for you. 

If you’re not proactive at asking for reviews from existing customers, make sure you put a process in place that makes it easy to remember to ask.

We include a link to our Review form when we complete a project so that customers don’t have to go searching for it. Whilst not everyone will leave a review, the easier you make it the more likely they will be to share their thoughts.

In summary

Think of your Google profile just as you would any other online listing or social media platform. Make sure you keep on top of changes, updates and announcements to help drive traffic through to your website.

What are you waiting for? 

Say hello to Holly Hinton aka the Web Goddess
About the Author

Holly Hinton, aka the Web Goddess, has over 20 years experience in the IT World. She loves helping small business owners make the most of Google tools to get found online.  Connect with Holly on LinkedIn.

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