So, you’ve started a new business and want to put it on Google Maps. This guide will tell you how to put your first business on Google Maps in just a few simple steps.

This guide is for anyone who is creating their first Google My Business account. If you already have a Google My business account and just want to add another business to it, then log in and click add new business and start the guide on step 2.

To complete the steps below, you’ll need a Gmail address. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create one before continuing.

Step 1: Sign into Google My Business

Visit Google My Business and sign in, using your Gmail account. We always recommend making a new Gmail account for your business to keep it separate from your personal emails.

Step 2: Enter the Business Name

Enter the name of your business into the field.

Pro Tip: Later, once your business is established, you should avoid changing the name without support from an SEO expert because the name needs to be consistent across Google and other directories such as Yell and Yelp etc.

Step 3: Choose a category

Choose a primary category for your business. This category is very important as it play a key role in determining what searches your listing will appear for in Google.

Pro Tip: Once you have finished creating your listing, when you come in to edit the categories, you will be able to add up to 9 secondary categories. Adding extra categories can help with your SEO.

Pro Tip: If you want some inspiration choosing a category, check out what category your competitors are using. You’ll see competitor’s category listed next to the stars, under the business name in Google.

Step 4: Choose a type of business

There are two types of businesses to choose from. One that wants customers to visit their work premises, and one that doesn’t. If you have a shop or an office, then you’ll probably want people to visit your business premises. But if you run an online business or only offer call out services such plumber or mobile hairdresser, then you might not want people showing up at your door.

If you want people knocking at your door, select ‘Yes’. If you don’t want customers at your door select ‘No’.

Regardless of which one you choose, your business will appear in Google. Your answer simply determines whether or not Google will show a pin on the map and offer directions to your address.

Step 5: Address or Service Area

Depending on your answer to question 4, you’ll get different options on the next step. If you chose ‘No’ to question 4, you’ll now be asked to define a service area. If you chose ‘Yes’ to question 4, you’ll now be asked to provide your business address. And then, you’ll be asked if you serve customers outside your location i.e. if you own a basic store you would say no, but if you have some kind of delivery service or you sometimes need to visit your customers, you would say yes. If you say yes, you’ll be asked to define a service area.

Pro Tip: When defining a service area, its important to think about the widest area that you actually serve i.e. If you serve the whole country, then type in the name of your country and leave it at that. There’s no need to list all the different cities and counties individually, unless you only serve a specific selection of cities.

Step 6: Business Contact Details

Now you’ll be asked for your company phone number and website address. Simply enter these into the fields.

Pro Tip: Always copy your website address from your actual browser address bar after visiting your website to ensure you enter the exact format version i.e. http or https, www or no-www.

Pro Tip: If you want to be able to see how much traffic your website gets from your Google Maps listing within your Google Analytics, you should add a tracking parameter. Here is an example of what to append to the end of your website URL:

?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=GMB

So for Spark SEO, since our website address is https://sparkseo.net, the URL we enter into Google My Business is https://sparkseo.net?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=GMB

You can just copy our tracking URL. What does it mean I hear you ask. It means that the traffic came from Google, it’s organic traffic and that it should be logged as coming from a campaign called GMB. Within Google Analytics, you’ll be able to identify the Google Maps traffic based on the campaign name (GMB), either by using advanced filters or creating a segment.

Step 6: Finish

After setting the contact information you may be taken to a screen that asks if you want to receive additional information. This is up to you.

If you elected to not appear on the Map by choosing ‘No’ in step 4, you may also be asked for your address at this point. They ask for this so they can verify your business.

Once you’ve provided all this information, you’ll be taken to another screen a ‘finish’ button. Click that button.

Next Google will ask you to provide a business description, business photos and more. If you want, you can skip all these steps for now, but it’s important that you do come back some time later and populate your new listing with as much information and images as possible. Having a populated profile helps with Local SEO.

Step 7: Verification

None of the changes you make will go live until you actually verify your listing. Sometimes you’ll be prompted to verify your listing during the step 6, other times you’ll see a notification once you’re done with all the questions.

Its important to verify as quickly as possible as it takes a few days to complete. Google will mail you out a physical letter with a code in it. This will arrive at the business address that you entered earlier.

Keep an eye out for your verification letter and if someone else sort out the mail at your business address, we recommend you tell them to be on the lookout for it. The letter can easily be mistaken for junk mail.

Once you get the letter, open it. Inside will be a code. Just log into your Google My Business, click on your new business and then click the button to verify. Google will ask you to enter the code.

Sometimes, the location will appear on Google Maps immediately. Other times not. It all depends if Google wants your account to be reviewed by a human or not. If they do, then it could take up to 24 hours after verification is complete for your business to appear in Google.

Voila! Your business is now on the map. If you want Spark SEO to do all these steps for you, as well optimising your business listing so that it gains maximum visibility in Google Maps, place an order for our Local Blast-off package. It has been designed to deliver fast, long-lasting impact for new businesses. There are no recurring fees, just a single one-time payment. We’ll create and optimise your Google listing so that it performs to its absolute best potential. If you prefer to optimise the listing yourself, here’s a great post that will teach you the key components.