There are customers taking their phones out of their pockets right now and searching Google Maps for exactly what you do. The question is: are you showing up when they’re searching? In this article, we’re going to cover why your business probably isn’t showing up in Google Maps, and then walk you through some exact steps to make sure it does.
Show Up When it Matters Most
Some business owners don’t understand the importance of showing up in Google Maps. It’s because they don’t understand that timing is everything when it comes to winning over customers. When someone pulls out their phone and types in “mechanic” it’s typically because they need a mechanic now. In the digital marketing world, this is called “high intent.” People who are performing a local search on a map for a specific service or business are much more likely to buy from you if they can find you, and in the very near future. If you appear in Google Maps you’re now only one click away from a customer calling you or even clicking on your listing and getting directions to your doorstep. Don’t underestimate the importance of showing up in Google Maps, because if you don’t take it seriously, there is a 100% chance that you’ll lose business to your competitors who do have Google Map listings.
What Shows Up on Google Maps?
To show up on Google Maps, you need to register your business with Google, and prove to them that you are a legitimate, functional, well-meaning business. Once you finish the registration process, you will get an official Business Profile. Your Business Profile is what officially shows up on Google Maps. You can go through the steps of creating a Business Profile here. But be super careful… just because you create a Business Profile doesn’t mean you own it yet, and it doesn’t mean it will show up on Google Maps automatically. Read on to find out why your business still might not show up on Google Maps even after you’ve registered, and how to claim ownership of your Business Listing.
“Why Does My Business Not Appear in Google Maps?”
Even if you’re following this guide to the letter and have registered there are still some reasons that your business might not show up on Google Maps. Here are some of the most common reasons, starting with the most important.
You’re Not Verified
Remember above we mentioned that showing up on Google Maps is a two-step process: step one was to register, but now step two is to verify your business. This is an easy way to think of it: when it’s unverified, it’s called a Business Listing, but once a business owner claims it, it becomes known as a Google My Business Listing (often abbreviated as a gmb listing). This step in the process is to add an extra layer of protection against fraud. By including the need to verify listings it makes Google Map’s search results more accurate for its users. There are a few things you need to keep in mind as you complete the verification process:
Timeframe: This process can take a few weeks. You’re going to enter some information to begin the registration process.
Physical Address: The most common way that Google verifies a business may seem old-fashioned, but it forces businesses to prove they have a physical business location. Once you fill out the proper forms, Google will actually mail you a postcard that has a verification code on it (don’t worry, it has perforated, sealed edges similar to a bank document so no one can steal your code). Remember: what Google is trying to accomplish with this method is ensuring that all of your business information (such as type of business, phone number, and address) is all correct and true. Once you have your code, you can follow this guide to get your business verified on Google.
There are other ways to verify, but they’re much more advanced/technical, and require that you have a website that is properly set up with Google in a specific way. We don’t recommend this unless you have a dedicated webmaster for your website. Once you’ve claimed your business, there could be other reasons that your business is not showing on Google Maps, read on to troubleshoot those problems.
You’re Not Relevant
This one can hurt, but there’s a way to fix it… it just takes time. Google’s entire universe centers on one word: trust. Everyone who uses Google to search for something is a Google customer, and Google wants to ensure an incredible customer experience. They provide this by showing accurate, relevant, trustworthy Google search results. It can take time for a local business to earn Google’s trust before they start showing your Google My Business listing willy nilly to anyone who searches, even if it matches their searches. So what are some things you can do to help earn Google’s Trust?
1. Reviews: Try to get customers to leave you a Google review. This is not only one of the first things that potential customers look at when deciding if they want to give your business a try, it also looks fantastic to Google for building trust. If your customers trust you with good reviews, Google will start to trust you as well.
2. Activity: Google is a search engine that loves it when businesses are active and current. A great way to do this is to post weekly on your Google My Business listing. This is a fairly simple process that’s a lot like posting on Facebook or other social media.
Other Reasons Your Listing Isn’t Showing
There are other reasons that your Google My Business listing isn’t showing on Google Maps. Though these are less common, if your listing isn’t showing, consider some of the following:
- Sudden or multiple changes to your listing’s information
- You’re not relevant to the search according to Google
- You’re too far away from the location someone is searching from according to Google
- You are in violation of Google’s guidelines
Let Us Help
Want us to take a look at why your Google My Business listing isn’t showing up? Contact us now and we’ll be happy to help with a free consultation!