Claim Your Google Map Spot
In these days of iPhones, smart phones, netbooks, GPS, etc., it is more important than ever for businesses to utilize every feature available to them in the world of online advertising. When it comes to online advertising, one giant stands light years above the rest. Google is the company that revolutionized advertising as we know it today and changed the way the world does business. A company that doesn’t master the art of Google advertising will never compete with competitors who do.
As the internet began to quickly expand in terms of both users and content, many traditional sources of advertising began to lose revenue. The Yellow Pages, newspapers and radio all saw tremendous declines in advertising sales. Businesses were finding it much more economical and effective to advertise online. These local sources began to catch on and started offering local search features on their websites. Instead of using a huge, global search engine like Google to find a pizza parlor in Thayer, MO, local sources offered a way to search only businesses in the local are. The dawn of local SEO was born.
As these sites grew, the giant web crawler apparatus of Google began to index these sites and the businesses they had listed. The businesses began to pop up on Google maps with information the Google crawlers found from the various sources, including the Yellow Pages and local search sites. Many businesses had a lot of information available online from a variety of sources, but Google wasn’t always so good at choosing the correct information and putting it all together. The result was often a less than stellar listing of a business on Google maps.
Google eventually came up with their own solution to the problem. Rather than have the computer try to determine what was correct for a given business, why not let the business itself verify the information. This information could be considered more reliable and more correct, and the businesses would certainly keep it updated. The solution they came up with was Google Local Business Center.
Business center lets businesses not only verify or add contact information, it allows them to add detailed descriptions, links, pictures, etc. When a search is conducted that turns up a result on Google Maps for the business, the information will be available.
But what happens if your business is already showing up on Google Maps with the old information and you want to use Business Center to add to it? You must claim your business’s listing through Google Business Center. Once the business claims the listing, the information it provides will replace the info already listed. Doing this requires the following simple steps.
- Once you find the listing for your business, click on its link at the left side of the Google Maps page. You should see an “edit” bubble appear under the map icon.
- Click the edit bubble to bring up the “Claim your business” option. After you click on this you should see options for edit information, suspend listing, and add new business. If you are sure the business referred to is yours, click edit information.
- At this point you will need to verify the business and that you are indeed the owner or representative. The business can either be verified by phone or by mail. To verify by phone, you select the “verify by phone” option and select when you would like to be called. Google with then call you at the number you listed for your business. During the call you will be given a PIN that must be entered in the Business Center dashboard. The business will then be verified.
- If you select the “verify by mail” option, Google will send a postcard containing your PIN to the business address you have listed. You then follow the same procedure as before.
That’s all there is to it. Your business is listed should show up on Google Maps almost immediately after verification. It’s now time to start learning the tweaks, twists and processes that will allow your business to rise in both the Global and Local search rankings.