Although setting up Google Maps for your business may seem an easy task, there are various things that can go wrong if you do not have proper instructions. Following the instructions mentioned below while filling out your Google Maps listing within the Google Local Business Center can make a significant difference in outranking your competitors.
Preliminary check list
Before creating your listing, there are two important things you must do. The first thing is to check the Business Listing Quality Guidelines and the second thing is to see if you already have a listing by visiting Get Listed. By checking the guidelines, you can prevent your listing from getting banned since there are various things that companies can do unknowingly do to get deactivated.
If you already have a listing then you can claim it. If you already have a listing then by claiming it, you do not have to follow the various steps to create a listing but you may want to optimize your current listing.
Advice for better map listings
Google prefers to display businesses that are close to the city center, hence if you have a mobile business then always get an address that is close to the center of the city. Getting a PO Box that has an address in the center of the city may be ideal for contractors and home businesses. Your contact address must be consistent throughout the web which means that you should list the same address everywhere.
Choose a category that is most relevant to your business since opting for the wrong category can cause your listing to not display for the GEO keyword terms that you prefer. As far as possible, do not add local modifiers to your category keyword terms. Always do research and find out which keyword category will trigger.
Title or Business Name
While creating a listing, only use your business name and avoid the urge to keyword stuff as this is against the Terms of Google Maps and can cause you to get banned. Google knows what’s going on, to get good rankings, use white hat techniques.
Your products and service keywords must be mentioned in the listing since this is the equivalent to meta descriptions for SEO purposes.
Always add content rich media to your local listing such as photos and videos. This will not only improve your rankings but also urge potential customers to see what films or images are attached to your listing. Why not film a 60 second pitch? Films are clicked on if they are interesting, related to the keywords and have a eye-catching cover image.
Everyone likes a deal. Add a Google Coupon to your listing. If your competitor offers this, it potentially can swing the new business in their favor. Using Google Coupons is a good way to track the sales generated from listings made on Google. Creating a XML feed for your coupons will ensure that a different coupon will be uploaded on days of your choice. Always ensure that you use unique coupons on Google especially if you are using coupons on other local listing services.
Refrain from creating double listings since this can get you banned if you are flagged and reported.
Google Map Verification
This is an important step that Google takes to ensure that you are the owner of the business and you are not posting spam. When you have set up your listing and before your listing goes live, you will have to verify it using methods such as a phone, text message SMS or regular mail.
Opting for regular mail with sealed post cards and a pin number is definitely slower but may be your only option in some cases. This is what Google Maps Verification Postcards look like and do not throw it in the bin by mistake. If you are given an option to verify via SMS text message or phone then your listing can go live almost immediately after you verify your identity.