As a Google Local Guide, I update local business listings with correct information and photos. You would be surprised how many businesses don’t have any photos of their business on Google Maps. I was in front of a donut shop last week that didn’t even exist on Google Maps until I added it! Oftentimes their information is incorrect. It is extremely important that you update this information because:
Google My Business is where Google Maps pulls its information
But what if Google users add incorrect images of your business or input your website URL incorrectly? This is why it’s vital to claim your business on G+ so you can edit this information if it’s incorrect. The results that Google returns after a branded or keyword search come directly from the Google My Business pages for each business. To prove ownership of the business, Google calls the business with a prompt to enter a code. However, if you’re one of the unlucky ones, Google will mail you a card with a validation code on it. This takes a few days, and the card is often mistaken for trash and thrown away. A tip to avoid this is speaking to someone at the business and letting them know the card is coming, then add a “care of” line to the card.
I claimed my business. Now what?
Now that you have access, it’s time to verify and update your information. A few suggestions to start off with:
- Ensuring all the user-submitted information is correct. Anyone can suggest a website, phone number, hours of operation, and even move your location pin on the map.
- Add a couple great photos of your business including exterior (so users know what your building looks like from the street), interior, and a few featuring your products.
- Add a profile photo for your business. Best practice is using a recognizable logo so you can be quickly identified.
- Reply to any negative reviews, and thank those who left great reviews. With a profile photo, your responses will be accompanied with your company image.
Although Google Plus never evolved into social networks as popular as Facebook and Twitter, don’t underestimate the importance of using its Google My Business to make sure your business can be found on Google Maps.