- The first step is to set up a Google account that will be used only for your business to manage your Google Places listing. Try not to use an existing personal account or let a marketing company use their account because you won’t be able to transfer the Places listing unless you share the account information. It’s easiest to keep it simple and start a new account or use the company account associated with your other Google tools such as Feedburner or Analytics.
- Visit http://www.local.google.com and look on the left side for a link that reads, “Put your business on Google Maps.” You’ll be prompted to log in to your Google account again.
- Click “List Your Business.”
- Enter your business’s phone number. Make sure it is the phone number associated with the physical location of your business. Next, you’ll be able to select your business from a list and edit it or enter it as a new listing.
- Completely fill out the listing keeping in mind search terms that users will use both if they don’t know about your business or if they do. The more information that you provide, including generic search terms for your industry, the easier it will be for customers to find you. A few tips: Select multiple categories and payment options and upload photos or video. Be sure to enter descriptions for your photos and video. As you fill out the info for your listing, it will be automatically previewed in the side bar floating on the right.
- Next, select if you want to verify your listing by phone or mail and then click finish. You’ll receive a PIN by phone call or a Google letter in the mail. (Go for the phone option. It’s immediate.)
If you have multiple locations, go ahead and add new, separate Google Places listings for all of them. You’ll just need an individual phone number for each physical location.
Search engine optimization is a constantly evolving, involved industry but there are a lot of little steps your business can take to help your chances of being found on Google. Taking a few minutes to set up your Google Places listing is a great first step.