If you’ve done any sort of geo-related search in Google over the past few years, you’ve probably seen them. The red icons next to business names that appear right on Google Maps:
Any business that has a physical location and is listed in Google My Business has the chance to get one of these great listings. And they are great. Think about it. If someone is searching for any business in your area and you have one of these business listings, you have the chance of getting in front of that person whether or not they were searching for you. They could have been searching for a competitor or a business in a totally different industry. It doesn’t matter. As long as what they are searching for has brought them to a map page within a few blocks of your business, your business and its location will be in front of them.
Besides the red icons and business name, what else does a Google My Business listing offer? A heaping helping of great features including:
- A place to display general business information, like your website address, contact info, business hours, categories)
- The ability to display photos and videos (increasingly more important as the years pass)
- The ability to post updates for your business (events, specials, happenings, news, etc.)
- Real-time analytics of listing activity
And the best part about all of this – It’s all free! All you need to do is invest a little bit of time and energy.
Now that you realize how important getting directly on Google Maps is, the question is, “How do I get my business on Google My Business and Google Maps?” First you need to check if there is a listing for your business all ready that you can claim. Head to https://business.google.com/create and type in your business name. If there is a listing available to claim it will show you. If not, you can follow the steps to create one.
One thing to remember is that just because you have a listing, that does not mean that the listing will appear under local results or in Google Maps. Similar to their organic listings, Google uses an algorithm to decide which places they show. They look for businesses that they believe would be most interesting and helpful to people looking for information on a city. But remember – they can’t list what they don’t know about, so be sure to have your Google My Business Listing filled out as best you can.
What are your thoughts? Do you think this is fair? Do you think these types of listings are useless? Let us know what you think.