March 18, 2015

3 Mistakes Businesses Make With Google Maps

A light shining on an old globe of the world with a stark, black background.
Google Maps has made it easier for your customers to find you. Image: Kenneth Lu
By Alexis G.

Google Maps is a dependable mapping service that provides location information via satellite imagery. Statistics indicate that 1 billion use the tool monthly while 97% of consumers search for businesses online.


For many businesses and local businesses especially, Google Maps has become virtually mandatory As a business owner, Google Maps gives you an online presence, indicating your business's location to potential customers and visitors and allowing you to remain competitive.

The efficiency of Google Maps is undeniable as it has the capacity to check landmarks and possible routes, enabling faster travel time. It isn't only for directions it’s a great marketing medium.

While Google Maps is undoubtedly invaluable, businesses typically make these three mistakes:

1. Missing/Incomplete Information


A large number of business owners never verify the information they offer in their contact/place page. This mistake could possibly result in the removal of your business from the map section or never show up where prospective customers are looking in the map.

You need to verify information from your website to ensure that your business’ Address, Name, and Phone number appear as text rather than an image. This makes it easy for Google to read your information and authenticate its accuracy easily. 

While completing a business profile sounds obvious, some businesses don't do so. Search engines frequently give preference to complete profiles, which provide users with a superior experience. Some of the elements businesses forget to include are:

Business Name - If you don't offer your legal name as it appears in the external world, Google could eliminate your listing from its map section.

Telephone Number - This alone could prevent you from appearing in the map outcomes if you don't provide the right number. Ensure you follow the rules and make certain that you provide an authorized telephone number.

Business Address - Never offer an address without verifying with the USPS initially. A slight mistake could prevent your listing from showing up in the appropriate location.

2. Absent Relevant Categories


Google recognizes what your business deals with through categories. Businesses make this common mistake, so avoid rushing this crucial step when listing your business. Prospective customers are more likely to find you if you advertise in more categories.

Ensure you capitalize on the local categories to add interest and depth to your listing. Ensure you also check off every category that relates to your business. Most business proprietors choose either one "suggested" category or select the maximum of five "suggested" categories; this is a big mistake. 

3. Not Using Similar Search Strategies as Your Customers


Unless you possess incredible brand recognition, it's unlikely that your customers will use your business name to conduct a search. They will usually search for the services and products you provide. They will do so on their smart phones, computers, and GPS devices in their vehicles.

Therefore, if a potential buyer or user is searching for somebody to substitute his or her car brakes, he or she will use terms such as brake repair, car repair, or brake service. It is important you take a moment and search for the services and products you provide.

Better yet, conduct the search on your computer using various search engines. Then perform a similar search from your iPhone, iPad, iPod and any other mobile device. Lastly, conduct the same search from your car's GPS device. This will give you an idea of what your clients are seeing, and more importantly, what they aren't seeing.

Conclusion


Numerous businesses engage clients from various geographical locations and it's only practical to use Google Maps for indicating your location. In addition to helping you stand out in search engines, your presence on this tool could make the difference between a prospective customer selecting you or a competitor, so avoid these costly mistakes.

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