How to get Listed on Google Maps for FREE
How can you get more calls from local customers, in real time, looking for your service at no cost to you or your business? The answer is simple. Google Local Listings.
In this post, I’ll teach you exactly how to use Google’s local listings and map’s pack to generate more local phone calls increase profit and move your business in the right direction.
But first, let’s get the ball rolling with an inside look at the facts behind generating traffic in your local area.
Benefits to Local Lead Generation.
Imagine starting a business in your area. You have an awesome service and a competitive rate to offer people looking for your services. If you’re going to market locally, you have a few options to kick start your business.
Option one, You get social.
Facebook is one heck of a marketing platform. With some time spent networking in the right groups, you can reach a local customer base and start building relationships trust and sales.
When starting out this is great however it takes up a vast amount of time cutting into your day.
There is also the latest information about Facebook’s algorithm which makes it harder to reach other people on Facebook unless they are on your friend’s list, a page you liked or a group you have joined.
You can try Facebook advertising which is an affordable method to generate more traffic at higher rates but ill leave that for another post. We are going to learn how we can access a greater number of local customers for free.
Option 2, Pay a big company like Sensis or True Local for local traffic.
This option is something explored by far too many unsatisfied customers. A quick look around the forum’s, talking to business owners and genuinely helping people grow their business, and you start to see a pattern.
These large directories get lots of traffic there are no doubts there. With thousands of pages, they can get listed on the front page of Google for many long tail phrases that together bring in a portion of traffic. The issue appears when you look at how many business listings are actually on the yellow pages.
It’s great to get traffic from the front page of google but picture this. 33% of people click on the first listing on the front page of Google. We are lazy, and we tend to skip the ads pack at the top subconsciously meaning 1 in 3 of us will choose the first listing. So out of 100 potential customers, 33 have landed on the Yellow pages website with your listing.
Out of those 33, about 33% will click on the first listing on the page. About 18% will go for the second listing and the rest go between listings 3 and 10. Mix this with the fact there are hundreds and thousands of business listed in the yellow pages, and you’re likely to be one of 30+ listings in your area, you will start to see why the yellow pages and other large directories just don’t provide a reliable return on investment.
Option 3, Create a Free Google My Listings Page.
Option 3 is by far the best choice reaching all the right people at the right time.
With a Google Local business listing, you have access to a vast majority of the local customers. There is no better way to reach more people than getting in the first few spots on Google.
If you own a start-up business, local business, if you’re an owner operator or even have a couple of full-time staff working for you, local lead generation works, and the Google local listing is the perfect place to start.
When you market in your local area, you have the benefit’s of less travel and time wasted in traffic as well as giving better prices and securing a higher percentage of jobs. These two points alone should give you reason enough to start a local marketing campaign in your spear time.
From here there is no fluff, no crap, just an actionable guide to help you gain local customers with Google’s free service.
How to Create a Gmail Account.
The first thing we need to do is create a Gmail account.
If you have one already you may use that but take into consideration Google will associate the Gmail account with your business listing. Google is a smart cookie!
You can use this to your advantage by creating a Gmail account with your name (the business owner), your business phone number, and your business address. Doing so is beneficial because it reinforces your brand and identity online while creating more trust with Google.
To get to Gmail, you can follow this link, or type “Gmail” into another browser.
If you already have a Gmail account associated with your computer, you will automatically be signed back into that account. If you need a new account simply sign out in the top right corner and when you get to the refreshed page click on the button that says “Add Account” as seen below.
If you’re not signed into an account right away then just click on the create account button below the sign in form.
Creating you’re Gmail is quick and easy once you have done it once. If your unsure, use the guide below.
Go through and fill out all the information in the sign-up form.
Doing this will give you a Google account you can use as a base for all future online marketing taught here on the blog. If you want to take control of your marketing and follow through with future training this Gmail account is a major step in the process.
Pick a username and password for your account, set your age, sex a current email you use and a phone number that you have access to right now (I use my business number).
Once you are happy with all the information you’ve provided fill out the captcha, pick your country and move onto the next page for verification.
If you got lucky and landed in your Gmail account inbox Congratulations, you now have a Gmail persona to integrate with your business persona. If however you landed on a page like the photo illustrated below, you have another step to take before moving on.
This part is simple. All you need to do is enter a phone number, (preferably the one you entered previously) and set it to either txt or Voice call. I like to use the voice verification as the call comes through right away, and I can continue to the next part of the process.
Get On Google
Now we have a Google account we& can create a listing for our business by registering your local business on Google.
While still signed into your new Gmail account open a new window and type “Get On Google” into your browser. If you signed up in this browser window, then click here. You should land on a page that looks like the image below.
Click on the big blue Get On Google Button.
Your browser will redirect to a page with a map and a search bar like below. Click on the search bar and start typing your business name. Hit enter and wait for the results to appear.
Google will ask you if similar businesses are yours. If your business has been around for a while chances are it will pop up here, and you can just click on it and follow the process along by claiming it as yours.
If you website doesn’t show, (most likely), click on the button that says “Add your Business” as illustrated below.
Using the Right Information from the start.
Up next we add our business information.
Don’t take this step lightly.
Having a consistent N.A.P (Name, Address, Phone Number) is one of the most important things you need to adhere to when marketing locally with Google. Every time your business appears somewhere on the internet you want to make sure the business name, business address, and business phone number are all the same.
If you mix these up, it can have a significant effect on your efforts making future marketing more difficult. The more synchronized your business is online, the more money you are going to make.
Another hugely important piece of information is the location of the address you use for your business. If your company’s located in the western suburbs of Melbourne and you want clients in the eastern suburbs, you will need to list your business address in the eastern suburbs.
The way it works is simple. When you register your business on Google, they send a postcard to the address you provide. This is their means to verify your business is actually in that location, providing the right services, and thus, a good choice for Google to show its users.
If you don’t want your exact location to show up on Google Maps, you can select the “I serve customers at their location” button at the bottom of the page. Doing so hides your address like two of the three listings below.
One last section is to choose your category. Pick the one that best suite’s your business. You can add additional categories in a couple more steps.
Once you’re happy, all information has been added, and you’re confident the business information you entered is correct and in your target location hit the continue button at the bottom.
Next up you get to choose the area you serve. This will help you show up in different place’s within the vicinity you choose as your operational area. Pick the service area that suits you and your business.
If you serve customers at your location and want to show your address, make sure to select the “I also serve customers at my location” check box before continuing.
The next step will be Google’s a last ditch effort to make sure there are no duplicate listings. Click “None Of these Match, Keep the Information I entered” to skip this step and continue to the next page.
TIP: Copy the name, address and phone number on this page, so you have a copy of the exact format Google uses. This will come in handy when creating other business citations across the internet.
Next select “I am authorised to manage this business and i agree to the terms of service” and hit continue.
Verification By Email
You should have landed on a page that looks similar to the image below.
Before Google trust that you own a legitimate business, they want to verify your address. To do this, they will send out a postcard to the address you just listed.
This card will have a five digit number on it that will need to be entered into your Google my business listing page before it sees the public eye.
Select the blue “By Mail” button, add your name to the “attn” section and hit “Send Post Card”.
The postcard will generally turn up within 5 to 14 business days. As soon as it does log into your Google account, navigate to your My Business profile and enter the 5 Digit code and your business will start to appear in Google Maps and Google Business listings.
Optimising Your Google My Business Listing
Congratulations on creating your Google My Business listing. Your business is one step closer to more local customers through your own efforts.
Now you have a Google listing it’s time to start telling Google more about your business and providing reasons for your company to be placed above the rest.
To get this done, we need to have the best local listing page in our industry for the area your targeting. Going the extra mile is what will give you the edge over other competition in the area. We need to have the best local listing page in our industry for the area your targeting. Going the extra mile is what will give you the edge over other competition in the area.
After applying for the verification card, the page would have refreshed, and you should now be looking at something similar to the image below.
You can edit and make changes to your listing here but remember, changes to the name, address or phone number will mean re-verification by mail and more time away from the customers eyes.
As you can see, we are only 45% complete. We want to make that 100% Click on the Edit button next to home and photos in the navigation bar.
Completing Your Google Listing
- Add your Website. This is an important link that will help with your business website rankings. If you do not have a website for your business, I hope this listing can show you why a website is one of the most valuable assets in any business.
- Add your hours of operation. Remember what these are and try to keep them the same across platforms as well as your NAP.
- If you have special hours, you can add them here as well. Usually, I do not worry about this section.
- Adding a description about your business is important. There are lots of ways you can optimise this for better results. Add 300 – 600 words describing your business, what you offer and why you are the best choice.
- If you have any other categories to add to your listing now is the perfect chance to do so. The more you have, the more potential customer you will have access to. It is important to keep the main category as the primary.
Next up, we want to add photos to the listing.
In many cases this is overlooked and completing this section will help boost your rankings and increase your visibility. It will also help potential customers trust your business.
People often check out Facebook pages, websites, maps listings and more to justify giving money away for a service. Making the time to complete all profiles 100% shows the potential customers as well as Google your serious while adding a third party verification to the experience and giving your brand more authority, helping sales.
- Select the “Photos” tab in the navigation.
- Add your logo. This will give your profile more professionalism and helps increase the trust potential customers will have with your brand.
- Add a profile photo. Its up to you what you use but making this memorable and unique is always a good option.
- Change the cover photo to something that suits your brand. TIP: Make all profile cover photos a compelling call to action.
- Lastly is to add the rest of your photos. Make sure to use real photos about your business here. Take some pictures of work, staff, and completed jobs to help the searchers understand your services better. I aim to add 20 – 30 photos with about 10 in each category (Work, Teams, Additional).
5 Points I Apply To Every Google My Business Listing.
For some having a listing on Google will produce enough results. For most, however, its just a start to the strategies that will be implemented to reach your goals. Subscribe below and gain access to 5 optimization tips I use on every Google Listing giving me an edge over my competitors and winning more customers to my business. Check it out below!
Top 5 Tips to rank your Google listing higher in the search engines.
- Keywords in your description Use Keywords sparingly with a great number of Synonyms and LSI. Remember the description should make sense to the reader as they are the real value.
- Bold Your Business Name at the top of your description. This gives your business name more attention and helps Google understand your page better.
- Get some Reviews. It’s not unfair to ask for reviews. As soon as you receive your verification card, you can start to add reviews. This will help with click-through rate in the search engines. As soon as your business has 5 reviews you will have stars appear while your listing is in the top three.This is illustrated with the image below and increases the click through rate from traffic significantly.
- Exchange links with your website. You already have a link from your Google listing to your website using the naked URL (www.websitename.com etc). A trick I use is to create a link back to my website from the description area.Adding a link using your main keyword can help with both website rankings and Google+ listing positions. Likewise, adding a link from your website navigation to your local listing can give some extra power to your listing.If you don’t have a website, get in touch about some digital estate for your business.
- Number five is an ongoing but powerful technique. Adding content to your local page by creating posts and short, simple videos that rank in the search engines. These posts give you the ability to add more keywords, more relevance and more trust to your Google listing and your business. An active Google+ page will outrank inactive pages almost every time.Make sure to watch out for future emails and releases that will help you explode your business in the next few months.
Congratulations again. You stuck through the whole blog post and as promised you now have the ability to list your business in Google for free.
Throughout the post, I have given reasons why listing your business on Google is important but you won’t realise how important it really is unless you apply it.
Thanks for reading.