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How to make your listing stand out on Google Maps

Key take-aways

Each day, people all over the world use Google Maps to search for businesses that provide the products and services they need. By claiming and verifying your Business Profile on Google, you can control the information that potential customers see when your business appears to them. Learn about the simple steps you can take to help your business stand out on Google Maps.

1. Verify your Business Profile on Google

2. Pay attention to user reviews

3. Enhance your profile with photos

4. Select the right business category

Business Profile on Google

A product from Google My Business that lets you create and manage your Business Profile on Google so that people can see your business when carrying out search and Google Maps. Business Profile on Google is a free business listing that appears in search results.

When someone reviews your business on Google Maps, you’ll receive a notification from Google My Business and the opportunity to leave a reply.

1. Verify your Business Profile on Google

For a business listing to appear on Google Maps, first you must verify your Business Profile. Verification is a straightforward process to confirm that you own the business and are authorised to edit the listing. Unverified business listings don't show up on Google Maps (but unclaimed listings that already exist will), so it’s worth completing the verification process to take advantage of the chance to connect with users who are searching for a business like yours.

Once your Business Profile on Google listing has been verified, you’ll be able to share and update key information about your business including:

  • business logo
  • business category
  • business address
  • phone number
  • website link
  • opening hours
  • photos

For the best results, make sure you provide as much information as possible in your Business Profile. Research shows that a complete profile is 38% more likely to succeed in attracting visits from potential customers. It also makes businesses twice as likely to be considered reputable.

2. Pay attention to user reviews

Google Maps offers the opportunity for users to leave written reviews and a star rating out of five for the businesses they visit. When a potential customer sees your business listing on Google Maps, they are able to see the individual reviews and star ratings that users have left, as well as an overall score (the combined average of all your star ratings from users). To stand out on Google Maps, it’s a good idea to pay attention to these reviews, since they can have a big impact on whether someone decides to visit your business or another one instead.

When someone reviews your business on Google Maps, you’ll receive a notification from Google My Business and the opportunity to leave a reply. If a happy customer has left a note about the good service they received, you could respond by thanking them and saying you hope to see them again soon. The reviewer will then be notified of your reply. Consider putting a sign up near your till, inviting people to leave you a Google review or mentioning it in your newsletter or on your social media pages to encourage more reviews from satisfied customers.

Sometimes you’ll also encounter unhappy customers who leave negative feedback on your profile. When this happens, respond to their concerns as constructively as possible and invite them to get in touch so you can make the situation right. From your response, potential customers who are browsing reviews on your profile will see that you are engaged with your customers and care about providing good service, even if somebody wasn’t happy with their experience this time.

3. Enhance your profile with photos

Photos are an easy and fast way for prospective customers to get an impression of a business and research shows that businesses with photos get 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps. Posting images builds trust in your business and gives potential customers an idea of what they can expect when they visit. Photos are particularly important on Google Maps, where people are often browsing on their smartphone and making decisions quickly. Ensure that your cover photo is visually appealing and that you include images of the exterior and interior of your business, as well as some images of your products and friendly staff members.

Keep your Business Profile on Google listing looking fresh by sharing new photos regularly. You might also include photos when you use Business Profile posts to share updates about a new product, event or special offer on your business listing. While it’s not necessary to spend money on a professional photographer to make the most of your photos, do post photos that are clear and good quality. Blurry or badly-shot photos are unlikely to reflect well on your brand or help you achieve your business goals.

4. Select the right business category

Every business on Google Maps has a business category attached to its listing. This helps potential customers understand what kind of business they can expect to find at the location in question, such as a restaurant, a bar, a monument or a shopping mall. To attract people who are interested in your products or services, it’s important to make sure your business category correctly represents what you do.

Depending on your business type, you will have access to different features for your Business Profile on Google. Hotels, for example, can show their class rating and showcase amenities such as spas, swimming pools and fitness centres, while restaurants can add menus, URLs for reservations, and online orders. Health and beauty businesses can add service menus and booking buttons. By ensuring accuracy and giving potential customers all the information they need, your business has a better chance of standing out on Google Maps.

This information included on your profile could be the difference between someone visiting your business over another when they’re searching for the perfect venue on Google Maps. Encourage potential customers to choose you by making your Business Profile shine.

Business Category

Categories are used to describe your business and connect you to customers searching for the services you offer. For example, if your primary category is “Pizza restaurant”, Google may show your business in local search results to people who search for “Restaurants”, “Italian restaurants” or “Pizza” in their area.

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