“Why doesn’t my business appear on Google Maps? And how do I get it to appear?”
It may not look like it, but for many businesses, Google Maps is a crucial part of your digital marketing, and if you’re not on it, you’re missing out!
This is especially important for sectors and industries that are highly reliant on people knowing where you are, such as retail or hospitality. If you’re not on Google Maps, you may as well not exist to many people.
Just one problem: you’re not appearing on it.
Why is that? And what can you do to change things? How do you even get onto Google Maps, anyway?
Today, we’ll be taking a break from providing SEO services in Melbourne to answer all of these questions and more, so read on!
How can I get my business to show up on Google Maps? Introducing your Google Business Profile
You know when you search up a business on Google and a little box pops up to the side listing a bunch of details about the business.
That’s their Google Business Profile, which serves as a summary of important information about a business without having to click into their website. Think of it as a snapshot of all the important details that a Google user might want to know, including:
- Business description
- Contact details and addresses
- Google reviews
- Opening hours
And most importantly (for today’s subject, at least) it also includes your location on Google Maps!
Why do some businesses show up on Google maps automatically?
If you’ve looked up your business on Google Maps, you may notice that you already have a barebones listing attached to your physical location.
“Hang on,” you think to yourself, “I don’t remember setting this up…”
If you’re struggling to remember when you set this up, that’s probably because you didn’t – in many cases, these Google Business Profiles are automatically generated by Google, and populated using information pulled from your website.
Depending on how fleshed-out your website is, your auto-generated profile might include everything you need already, or it could be extremely barebones.
In other cases, it could be a local that’s set it up for you – if you’ve ever used Google Maps, you may have noticed an option to “add a missing place”.
What does this have to do with Google Maps? Simple: if you’ve listed an address on your website, Google might take that information and use it to create a Google Maps listing for you as part of your Google Business Profile.
Why is my business not showing up on iPhone maps?
Simple: since 2012, Apple Maps has replaced Google Maps on all Apple devices. While there are ways to get Google Maps on an Apple device, most users don’t, instead relying on the default system.
So if you’ve ever wondered why you can’t seem to find your business when using your iPhone, now you know!
If you want to appear on Apple Maps as well, you’ll need to go through a separate process.
Verifying your Google Business Profile: why you need to set up a Google My Business account
While the auto-generated profile and map listing can do the trick, the problem with these listings is that unless you claim them, you can’t do anything with these listings – you won’t be able to:
- Display your opening hours
- Add your contact details
- Upload photos
- Add additional sites/locations
If you want to do all of these things (and more), the next thing you should be doing is setting up a Google My Business (GMB) account.
Think of this as a way of engaging and interacting with your customers and clients through Google, as well as manage how your business appears on Google search.
That last point is especially important – essentially, it allows you to dictate what sorts of information appear on your Google Business Profile, giving you the ability to:
- Change your opening hours
- Answer FAQs
- Respond to reviews
- Link your website or social media
- Upload your own photos
Not only is all of this information important for the customer experience, but they’re also a key part of SEO, as all of these are pretty important ranking factors (which is why our SEO agency in Melbourne is covering this today!)
If you want to enjoy these benefits, then you’ll need to set up a GMB profile and claim your auto-generated Google Business Profile.
How do I know if my business is verified on Google?
In order to claim your auto-generated profile, you’ll need to verify that you’re the business owner first so that Google can hand the reins over to you.
Basically, Google needs to confirm whether or not you’re the real business owner and that this is not a prank or worse, a deliberate attempt by someone else to steal web traffic and calls that should be rightfully yours!
Here’s what the verification process normally looks like
- Create a GMB account
- Verify your business information, including address
- Google will send a unique verification code via snail mail
- Enter this code into GMB to confirm your business address
- Et voila – you’re in business!
To check your verification status, simply follow this handy link that Google offers.
How do I verify my business on Google without an address?
Not all businesses will have a physical location. Perhaps you’re a plumber or tradie and you specialise in performing house calls – other times, you might be working out home, and simply not want people turning up at their home address.
Whatever the reason, you either don’t want to enter a business address as part of the verification process, or you simply don’t have an address to verify!
Unfortunately, you will need an address in order to verify your listing – however, that doesn’t mean that said address needs to be public.
When going through the verification process, there should be an option to hide your address, allowing you to nominate your home address or a PO box – this ensures that whichever address you nominate for your verification letter to be sent won’t turn up on your listing.
Instead, you’ll be prompted to nominate a service area, which will help Google decide when to present your business in searches.
How long does it take for my business to show up on Google Maps?
If your business has an auto-generated Google Business Profile with an address, then you’ll already be on Google Maps.
However, not all businesses have one of these.
Like we mentioned before, some businesses simply don’t work out of an address, which reduces the need for a Maps listing (though the ability to nominate a service area can help!)
In other cases however, it’s because you’re setting up a new business with a completely new GMB and Google Business Profile.
Once you finish filling out your GMB listing, the gears start turning behind-the-scenes, including your location on Google Maps – a lot of the steps are automated, with Google’s systems talking to each other to verify information.
While the process is automated, it isn’t automatic. While creating your listing is fast, it can take a little while for some of this information to turn up, and all thanks to the verification process that Google employs.
Since we’re dealing with snail mail here, it can take a little bit of time for your verification letter to arrive – most of the time, it takes between 1-2 weeks to turn up at your nominated address.
Once you’ve received it and gone through the verification process however, your new address should be updated pretty quickly, allowing people to find you almost immediately!
“How do I rank higher on Google Maps?”
Having your business appear on Google Maps when somebody’s looking for businesses in your area can help drive a lot of customers and clients to you, especially if you operate in an industry where people choose places based on convenience and location.
Of course, your address isn’t the only location that matters.
You may have noticed when you search for businesses on Google Maps that a list of businesses in the search area pops up on the left side.
Just as with Google Search, your position in this list plays an important role!
While not quite as critical compared to search, you’re going to want your business to be at or near the top of that list. Just one question: how?
Improving your listing to appear higher in maps
Step one is to optimise your listing, complete with a:
- Local phone number instead of a 1300 number
- Adding photos and comprehensive business descriptions
- Choose the right business categories when setting your listing up
- Encouraging Google reviews
And finally, keeping up-to-date, being responsive and answering questions are all signs that you’re reliable and trustworthy – something that Google is keen to promote, resulting in a higher placement in maps results.
How to get your business to come up first on Google
In addition to optimising your listing, optimising your business website in general can be a big help in getting your Maps listing to rank higher – think of it as a sort of trust-by-association deal!
SEO results can translate directly into results with your Maps listing, with a particular emphasis on responsiveness and mobile speed, as well as an SEO strategy that focuses on ranking for local search in particular.
Rank well for local search, and you’ll also rank well for Maps – simple as that!
Take your digital marketing to the next level with iformat
Whether you’re starting a brand-new business and want to hit the ground running or you’re looking for ways to increase business, then you’re going to want to step up your digital marketing game.
Just having a website isn’t enough anymore – nowadays, the best digital marketing strategies involve sites and strategies that actively draw people towards your website.
Moreover, they require the involvement of a digital marketing agency that specialises in generating leads and conversions, and not just traffic.
That starts by understanding your needs – our team looks at:
- Your competition (both online and off)
- Your geographic area
- The services and products you offer
- Your customer base
All of this ensures that we’re able to get you the results you want. We provide effective, results-driven PPC advertising and search engine optimisation in Melbourne – and that includes a heavy focus on local SEO if that’s what your business requires.
Start ranking for your local area today. Call iformat’s digital marketing specialists in Melbourne on (03) 8842 1250, or touch base with our Brisbane office on (07) 3732 6522 – alternatively, get in touch online!