How To Add Your Business To Google Maps

Whether you are running a large or a small business, it is time for you to start thinking locally. People are expecting more relevant and localized information and are searching online for local businesses. Google Places is a great way for your business to meet these millions of people searching it every day to find local services.

According to Google, 20% of total searches on are local searches. This means that more than 2 billion monthly searches done on are location-based. In addition, 97 % of internet users do online search for local businesses, 73% of internet users’ all online activities are related to local-based content and 40% of mobile search traffic is local-based. These impressive numbers indicate huge opportunities for businesses; in fact, Google Places is the most effective solution to start taking advantage of this opportunity.

Google Places is an excellent free resource for businesses to promote their products and services online and target their customers with relevant and location-based information. In this article, you will explore everything you need to know about Google Places and find out how it can help accomplish your online marketing objectives.

The Evolution of Google Places

Until 2006, Google generated only organic search results. In 2006, the new algorithm of Google enabled Google Maps to distinguish searches that were local in nature or intent. Consequently, Google started to show local search results on Google Maps. On September 2009, Google launched “Place Pages,” which were displayed in Google Maps search and were web pages for information about businesses, cities and landmarks from all around the world. In October 2010, Google introduced its latest presentation of local results with “Place Search.” “Blended Place Search” is another name for “Place Search,” since it displays both local and organic search results.

What is Google Places Exactly?

Google Places is a powerful tool found in Google Maps that provides relevant information about businesses, such as the phone number, address, emails and operation hours. The authorized representatives of businesses can customize the associated content by updating their business information and adding images, videos, coupons and real time events.

Google Places gives businesses power to take control over their performance on Google search. By having the opportunity of giving relevant information to potential prospects about their products and services on Places pages, local businesses can improve their communications with their target audiences.

Presently, Google Places is available in over 100 countries, enabling businesses to take control over their international business locations’ search results.

How Does Google Places Work?

When Google interprets a search entry as a request for information about localized business listings, it shows local results. For example, if a specific type of business is searched with a location information, like “Turkish food in Austin,” Google will immediately gather information from Yellow Pages and other third-party providers and show the search results in that location. When users click on a Places listing, they are taken to a Places page where they can find business descriptions, videos, images and customer reviews.

Why Does Your Business Need a Google Places Page?

Basically, Google Places pages provide businesses with the opportunity to connect to their targeted local customers. In fact, with the help of the Google Places page of your business, the chances of people finding your business and showing interest in what you have to offer them increases. Clearly, this results in increased exposure and higher sales volume.

Also, Google Places pages enable local businesses, like construction firms, schools, restaurants, and malls, to announce company updates, discounts or events. This helps businesses create community awareness and visibility for their promotional activities.

In addition, as a result of the mobile revolution, people use their smart phones to find immediate solutions for their product or service needs. This changing behavior of consumers is a huge opportunity for local businesses. They can end up serving these consumers at their stores just minutes after their business information is found on Google Places.

Besides, Google Places generates a massive SEO advantage. When a local search is done, Google prefers to display local search results rather than showing well optimized websites for the sake of relevancy. Therefore, Google Places eradicates the need for optimizing your website for location keywords. Instead, you enter your business information in your Google Places page, Google lists your business for local searches, and you can spend your budget and effort on product related keywords.

Finally, having a Google Places page is the only free way to have people find your business on Google. You can promote your business with Google Adwords or organic search results. Obviously, Google Adwords is the paid listing of Google and requires significant budget and expertise. Organic search listing, on the other hand, is the free listing of Google. It means you don’t have to pay to Google, but you do have to spend a considerable budget for a website, SEO tools or expert services to be able to beat the fierce competition and get listed at the top. Therefore, the enormous benefits of being listed on the Google Places for free are obvious.

Adding Your Business Information to Google Places

The following is a step-by-step instruction for you to add your business information to Google Places.

1 ) If you already have a Google Account, use your Google account email and password or Adwords login information to sign in. If you don’t have a Google Account, you can either go directly to the sign-up page or click on “Sign up for an account now.”

2 ) Next, go to Google Places homepage at and then click on the “Get started” button.

3 ) Don’t be surprised if you find out that Google already has your business information. To find your business information, select the country of your business location, enter your business phone number and then click “Find business information.” If Google shows any result, check to see if your business information is there. If you find your business information but think it is not correct, you should click on “Edit Details” and enter the right information. If the search results don’t include your business at all, then you need to click “Add a new listing” to create your business entry.

4 ) Enter your basic business information including the company name, address, phone number and website URL. Describe your business clearly on the description section. Then, enter several categories to describe your business even more to make it found easily when searched on Google.

5 ) Next, enter your business operation hours and payment options your business accepts.

6 ) Then, add business related photos and videos. You can upload your photos from your computer or from the web. Google allows you to upload 10 photos to your Places listing and display them in order of greatest size and best quality. To upload videos, you will need to upload your videos to YouTube and enter the YouTube URL of your videos. Google lets you upload up to 5 videos to your Places listing.

7 ) Use “Additional details” section to add any additional and custom information about your business, including parking availability, the brands you carry or your rules about allowing pets.

8 ) While you enter your business information, your listing will appear on the right side of the screen in Maps for you to preview the information. After you preview your listing and do the final editing, click the submit button at the bottom of the page to complete your entrance.

9 ) On this final step, you will be asked how you want to verify your listing before it goes live. It is best to choose to do verification by phone since it is the fastest option. After you choose the verification method, click Finish and you will be done. You will be able to see your business listing live by signing into Google Places and going to “See your listing on Google.”

How Can You Optimize Google Places to Maximize Its Benefits?

The benefits of creating your optimized Google Places pages outweigh the advantages of setting up your local business websites. Therefore, even before building up your company website, you should create a Google Places page and completely optimize it to get your business ranked higher than your competitors.

The good news is, with a targeted effort, you can quickly rank at the top of Google Places. Here are important tips to optimize Google Places to maximize its benefits.

1) Obtain 100% Completeness on Your Google Places Page

When you fill in your business information to create or edit your Google Places page, you may think that some of the fields are not necessary and may choose not to complete all fields. However, Google always tries to present the most relevant and complete information possible to provide the best user experience. Accordingly, it is better to obtain 100% completeness by filling out both the required and optional fields.

2) Maintain Consistency on All Online Business Listings and Citations

Google will search your business information, including the business name, phone number and address, on other business listing directories, your company website and your social media profiles. While doing this search, Google places great importance to the consistency of your business information on all these sources.

The name, address and phone information of a business is known as “NAP,” and you should make sure that your NAP is identical in all your citations, your website and your Google Places page. This is one of the major requirements to be ranked on Google.

Besides, if you can increase the quantity of consistent quality citations, you can increase Google’s trust for your business. Therefore, as a local business, you need to determine the top citation sources and use an effective strategy to build citations with consistent information on these sources.

3) Find the Best Sources to Build Citations

You can check the local directory listing sites and social networks to find places for your citations since Google receives lots of information from these directories and networks. Some of the best sources are Yelp, Urban Spoon, Kudzu, Open Table, YP, CitySearch, Yellowbot,, Mapquest, Superpages, Google+ and Foursquare.

4) Use Targeted Keywords but Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Similar to the rules of effective traditional SEO, the rules of Google Places SEO require you to use your keywords in the proper places. Obviously, this is important for your ranking. Conversely, Keyword stuffing and the inappropriate usage of keywords will make you perceived as a spammer. Unless your keyword is a part of your registered business name, you should avoid using keywords in your business name and the business categories. The best place to use your keywords is the description area. These keywords should be related to your products and services and also to the cities or suburbs you mainly target. But again, you should avoid keyword stuffing and use your keywords wisely.

5) Upload as Many Photos and Videos as Possible

Google lets you upload only 10 photos to your Places page but you can use a simple strategy to have more photos showing up your Places page. What you need to do is to supply third-party sources with as much photos as you can. Google frequently checks the information regarding your business on third-party sites, grabs relevant information, including photos, from them and puts them on your Places page. Therefore, you need to load your relevant business photos to as many third-party sites possible, including CitySearch, Thumbtack and InsiderPages. Also, you can add a “Gallery” page on your business website, so Google may use this page as another source and may show photos from this page on your Places page.

An important tip here is to load your photos and videos from an online sharing site rather than uploading them directly from your computer to be able to link in “geo tags”. You can add your photos to Panoramio or Flickr and add your videos to YouTube. Then, you can link these photos and videos to your Places page.

6) Show or Hide Your Business Location Depending on the Service Area

On March 22nd, Google announced the “Google Places Quality Guidelines” update. For the most part, what they changed was related to a selection you need to choose when you specify your business address and service area. Here is what the updated part says:

“Don’t receive customers at your location? Serve customers at their location? Select the “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing” option within your dashboard — if you don’t hide your address, your listing may be removed from Google Maps.”

What it means is if you don’t provide your service at your actual business location, you have to edit your Google Place page to hide your business address ASAP to prevent your listing from being removed.

According to this update, if you have a brick-and-mortar business and serve your customers at your actual business location, then you should show your address. If you have a home-based business and provide services both at your home and on the road, then you need to show your address and also use the Service Radius tool. Finally, if your business is a home business, and you don’t serve your customers at your home, then you have to hide your address.

7) Encourage Your Customers to Review Your Business

The more customer reviews you have, the better chance you will have to rank high. Providing relevant content for positive user experience has major importance for Google. Therefore, if your business gets positive feedbacks through customer reviews, Google shows your business information higher in the search results.

Another tip here is to be aware that customer review ratings appear on the search results if you have at least 5 Google customer reviews. Therefore, don’t be neglectful for asking your satisfied happy customers to give positive feedbacks for your products and services until you get at least 5 reviews.

But you need to be careful when you ask for reviews. One of the conditions where Google may remove your customer reviews is what Google calls conflict of interest. This violation of Google’s guidelines occurs when customers write dishonest and biased reviews for personal interests. Consequently, you cannot give incentives to your customers to write reviews for you, but you can safely ask your email list or Facebook fans to write a review for you or add a call to action on your website with a link to your review page.

8) Use hReview Microformat on Your Website

Google uses some microformats for organic and local search results. One of the microformats is “hReview microformat,” and having this code in place allows your customers to go to your business website to give a review very easily. Previously, they needed to go to Google Maps, search for your business, find your listing and log in just to give your business their customer reviews. However, with hReview microformat, reviewing your services and products can be very easy.

Once you get at least one customer review on your website, you will have the opportunity of displaying double sets of average-review stars on search results, one set is your customer reviews from an hReview snippet on your website and the other is regular Google Reviews from Google Places. Having two sets of golden review stars will surely make your post shine among other posts on the search results page, drive more clicks from your potential customers and boost your click-through rated as well as getting more customers in the door.

9) Take Action When You Receive Bad Reviews and Turn the Situation to Your Advantage

In many cases, negative customer reviews can help your business if you know what action to take. First of all, you need to respond to the review promptly and show your customers that you are willing to face the situation. However, when you are responding, do not get personal. Try to fix the problem and show the unhappy customer that your business is ready and capable of remedying the problem. Once you have answered all the questions, take actions to ensure that the same problems never happen again and discuss the problem with your team to learn from it. Taking all these actions can help you gain even more credibility than ever in the eyes of your customers and motivate them to interact with you more on your Google Places page.

10) Add Coupons or Any Type of Promotional Offers to Your Places Page

This is a very effective way to attract your potential customers. You simply add printable offers to your Places page and let Google bring new customers to your business. What you need to do is very simple. First, enter a short text for your offer and then determine the expiration date and locations that the offer will be accepted.

Adding coupons or any promotional offer to your Places page creates more complete information about your business and helps your business stand out in search engine results page. Also, you can more precisely track the effectiveness of your optimization efforts on your Places page.

11) Use Bulk Uploads for Multiple Locations

For companies that have franchises or multiple locations, Google provides bulk upload option when they need to create more than 10 Places pages. While this option is convenient to use, it may require a long process to get your listings approved. To prevent this long process, you need to pay attention to some points.

First, if your business has branches with different company names, you need to make sure that the parent company name is incorporated and you use the brand name in the title. Also, you need to pay attention to the proper usage of your keyword placements and prevent too many repetitive keywords on your bulk upload. Finally, you should make sure that your individual listings are all complete and differentiated from each other. For example, descriptions should be unique to each location and the phone numbers should be different and stated with local area codes.


As a result of advancements in online location-based search services and mobile phones turning into mobile search tools, more people will engage in local searches to find recommended places to eat lunch, to have a faucet repaired or just to buy gas. Google Places provides a huge opportunity to your business by helping you meet these people who are eagerly looking for local solutions to satisfy their needs and improve the quality of their lives.

In short, Google Places is a must for all businesses that can think and serve locally. You just need to hurry up since it’s getting more crowded every day and remember to apply the strategies mentioned in this article to meet your potential customers as fast as possible.

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