We have all used Google Maps at some point in time. While some people may not be dependent on Google local maps and Google map directions, everybody knows what an immensely useful tool it is.
Google Maps is not only useful for people on the road or those who are planning a holiday – to get an idea of the roads, places and distances. Google Maps is an extremely good marketing tool for small to medium businesses. The reason why I suggest small to medium businesses is because large corporations usually have vast budgets to drive exposure and when there are well known brands at a certain corners of a town or the motorway, people generally know they are there!
So let’s get on to how Google Maps can help your business. Google Maps is a great weapon for small to medium businesses to let people know where they are located and to tell them that at a specific area, there is a business that can offer the required products or services.
Benefits Of Google Maps For Businesses
There are three main reasons why you should add your business to Google Maps.
First, by listing your business on Google Maps, you are getting an exclusive online presence showing where your business is based and this means people get to know you. When people (think; consumers/prospects/businesses) use Google Maps and hover over the streets or specific areas where your business is located, they learn about your presence. It’s just one of the many ways you can drive awareness of your company.
Second, to get listed on Google Maps you may wish to get listed on Google Places for Businesses. Like many other services from the search engine giant Google, Places for Businesses is an amazing resource for small to medium size businesses to get listed.
So what is Google Places for Business? It’s like a business directory, the only difference being that it plays a huge role in search engine optimisation. You’d want your business to show up on search results when people look for the products or services that you provide. Being listed on Google Maps or Google Places for Businesses will give you this, you can get a first page ranking on search results. And the best part…. this has nothing to do with your website or how well optimised your website and online content might be. Simply by the virtue of being on Google Maps or Google Places for Business, your company would get a first page presence on search results. Now that’s good for business!
Third, by having your business listed on Google Maps, you can actually offer Google map directions to people who wish to visit your office or store and do not know exactly how to reach you.
Get found on Google free of charge
97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Be there when they’re looking for you with Google Places for business – a free local platform from Google.
Help your business stand out
Add photos, update your address and hours, or promote your business with Ads. Places for Business lets you make the most of your listing and show customers why they’ll want to choose you.
Connect with your customers
Being on Google helps people find, share, rate, and recommend your business to their friends, and people across the web. Places for Business lets you see what people are saying, and respond to customer reviews.
Getting Started With Google Maps
If you do not already have a Google Account it is a good idea for every business to have one and you need this to setup your Google Map information it is a good idea to setup a name that matches your branding I.E for Elite6 I setup an account with the username Elite6NZ (Elite6 was already taken) this means we email address email@example.com and if we setup other Google Service they will all have the username Elite6NZ
To list your business on Google Maps, you need to go to http://www.google.co.nz/local/add and fill out the necessary details on the form. You would typically have to choose a country, company name, street address, city or town, postcode, main phone number, email address, website, business description and category.
Remember, the more information you provide the better. Instead of the website, you may want to provide a specific webpage URL that is intended for sales to trigger more sales. You should write an engaging description of your business and also include the keywords that best define your products or services. With such an initiative, you would get a listing on Google Maps and also optimise your listing for the search engine crawlers to pick up on your listing quickly. Additionally, you should also create an account for Google Places.
NOTE: When you confirm your PIN and validate your listing.
It may take up to a week for your listing to appear on Google Maps, even though it will show as “Active” in your dashboard right now. So just be patience.