One thing that I see a lot of local businesses missing out on is the ability to control how and what Google shows about your business when people search Google Maps for you (or related businesses).
When you search Google Maps, in this case for the term “coffee shop”, Google shows you a list of all the coffee shops in the area.
Clicking on Broadway Roastery, a great coffee shop here in Saskatoon, brings you to a detailed page on that business – not to the business’ web page.
[box type="info"]An important distinction. Google still gets to have your customer’s eyeballs for another click.[/box]
Here you can see links to Directions, Reviews, Photos, and Related Places.
(As an aside, as a business owner I don’t want people to see the Related Places section – why send your customers to your competition? The solution is to add more content to this page so that Related Places is pushed further down the page. See further down for details.)
If you’d like to be able to add content and update this page, you just need to click on the Business Owner? link on the top right corner of the page.
From that link you’ll be given the option to a Add, Edit or Suspend a Listing. Typically you’ll want to Edit your listing.
After you choose to Edit a Listing you’ll see a page that allows you to edit all the information about your business (address, phone number, email, website, description, hours of operation, etc.)
Obviously filling in as much detail as you can will help Google know everything it needs to present the correct information to people searching for your business.
Towards the end of the business listing there’s a section for photos and videos.
This is where you can add more content to your listing so that Related Places gets pushed further down. Add links to videos about your business or upload photos of your business and people will see that. Much more interesting than those other pesky related businesses Google might want to show potential customers, right?
Once you’ve filled in all your details, Google will require you to verify that you’re the actual owner of the business. They do this by sending out a postcard with a special PIN code to the business address that you filled out in the business listing. In 2-3 weeks you’ll get a nice little Google postcard with a PIN code to come back and input to verify that you are the owner of the business. From then on, you’ll be able to update and make changes to your Places information on Google Maps.
[box type="info"]This is why I was able to look at and seemingly make changes to Broadway Roastery’s info – they aren’t verified yet as the business owner of their listing. A business that has a verified owner will show a checkmark with alongside the “owner-verified” text.[/box]
So that’s a quick look at how you can control what Google lists for your business. You can go directly to the Google Places page to start editing/add your business listing. Obviously get in touch with me if you’d like a hand setting this up.