How to Optimise your Google Maps Listing in Google My Business
Published on February 10, 2019
There is one simple digital marketing opportunity that all tourism businesses must invest in, and that is Google Maps.
Google Maps is one of the ‘stayers’ of the Google product suite (along with their search engine) with over a billion users worldwide. Google Maps is used widely, across domestic and international tourists visiting Australia to access map information in their planning, booking and experiencing stages of travel, therefore being an important, influential tool that tourism brands need to effectively manage.
The way in which Google Maps creates and curates information to ensure it makes sense to the end user is fairly intricate, and the team over at Make Use Of, simplify this process perfectly.
All you (as a tourism business) need to know, is that there may or may not already be a listing for your business on Google Maps… with the good news being, that because you own the business, you can claim and optimise it for your benefit!
Benefits of Optimising your Google Maps Listing
Ensuring you have an optimised listing on Google Maps, will give your business:
- The best chance of being found by people who are using search engines to find local products – whether it is via typing in search queries or using the ‘near me’ function
- Another outlet to share your blog/event listing content – which extends the reach of the content far beyond your website
- A reputable place to encourage and store reviews about your experience, where people are looking for 3rd party recommendations
- An additional outlet to gather product reviews – which, the more you get, will influence your ranking of your map listing in search results
- A distribution promotion point for online travel retailers – like Wotif, Expedia, Booking.com etc, who sell your product online
- A very healthy, and relevant backlink to your website which improves your website’s authority in search engine results
So without overcomplicating the process, I’m going to share with you step by step how you can optimise your Maps listing, so that you can leverage these benefits for your business!
How to Optimise your Google Maps listing in ‘Google My Business’
Google Maps listings are managed by business owners via Google My Business, which is simply a management portal for just this purpose. It allows businesses to claim and optimise their listings, encourage reviews, and post articles (we’ll get to this later).
1. Find your Business’ Map Listing
In order to manage a Google Maps listing, you need to have a Google Account (which you can signup for here). From there, you need to visit google.com/business where you can signup to for the first time, or sign in to (if you already have a Google account)
Once you get there, you then need to just search for your business name, as Google may have already created a listing for you (as mentioned above).
If your business name appears, check your major contact details, and then follow the prompts.
It will then take you to a page where it will ask you to verify your business (to make sure you are the owner) by sending you a code via a postcard in the mail, or deliver it via a phonecall.
2. Verify + Optimise your Listing
Once you have your verification code, then you sign back into your Google My Business account (as per the above), type in your verification code, which will then gain you entry into your Google My Business Management Centre.
From here, you need to consider your listing as a mini version of your website, so make sure you optimise your available attributes for your business including:
- Business Name
- Address (or Service Area… choose an area based on postcodes or by drawing a circle)
- Phone Number
- Category (IMPORTANT: learn more about how categories work here >)
- Opening Hours
- URLs (Website/Social Media)
- Attributes (such as ‘Free WiFi, Outdoor Seating etc)
- Upload as many high quality images as you can
- Add a personable and engaging bio/description
3. Add multiple locations if you need to…
If you are an accommodation property, and you have multiple properties, then you can ‘add a location’ to the same Google My Business Account, by clicking on the ‘Add a Location’ tab in the left hand menu of your Dashboard… and from there, follow the same process as above!
4. Encourage Reviews from your Customers
Your listing on Google Maps allows you to accumulate reviews from your customers, so make sure you are asking your customers to share their experience with your business on your Maps listing, as well as your Tripadvisor Listing!
5. Publish ‘Posts’ to expand content on your Google Maps listing
As of June 2017, Google launched a new feature for businesses managing Google Maps listings – and that is to be able to publish ‘posts’, which are simple links with an image, description, and call to action button.
This provides a great new opportunity for businesses to be able to leverage content from their own websites, and highlight specific posts or event listings, to give them extra exposure in search engine results.
How to create a post…
To create a post, you can go into your Google My Business management centre, and click on the ‘Posts’ tab in the left hand column.
From there, start typing in the section in the middle of the page, where is says ‘Write your Post’, or click on the blue icon down the bottom right hand corner of the page, and it will automatically expand for you to add content to.
As an example, I’ve created a post to promote our Tourism Marketing Academy + Mastermind. So I’ve added an image, some text, a heading, publish inclusive dates (great for events), and then a call to action.
Once you are happy with the content, just click the ‘preview’ link in the top right hand corner of the post, and it will show you what it will look like when it’s published…
And, so once you’re happy with it, just click the ‘publish’ link in the top right hand corner, and it will then show up back on your ‘Posts’ page in your Management Centre. From there, they will be published on your listing, as per the above images!
Hopefully that all makes sense?
It really is a fairly simple process of claiming and optimising, and the prompts that are given through the whole process are very helpful. Remember, if you run into any dramas, Google has a great Help Centre just for Google My Business >