Google Maps (Local Business Listings) is fairly easy to set up, but the process isn’t so straightforward, as past experience has shown. Here are the steps:
- Go to Google Places (http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter?pli=1) and sign in with your Google account.
- Fill out the company name and info, a 200 character description of the company, the industries, etc.
- The company name has to be the EXACT company name as is on your business card, otherwise Google will pick up on this and disable your listing. Therefore, no SEO tactics can be applied here (I’ve tried this already, which is why I’m passing this info on).
- Images and videos score plenty of points with Google, as well, the more info, the better.
- Once the info is submitted, you need to verify who you are with a 5 digit code that Google gives you. This is given to you in one of three ways (your choice):
- Code on a postcard (takes approx. 3 weeks to arrive),
- Direct call to business telephone number, or
- SMS message to the cell phone number you provided.
- You will need to cooperate with your clients to get this set up, as they will need to provide you with the code that they receive (you can’t use your own cell number more than once, so why waste it on a client?).
- Wait 24-48 hours.
Also, you should know that Google changes their rules with this fairly frequently. As well, to effectively maintain your listing (and hopefully get it to the top 7 in Google’s map results), try to garner comments. The more there are the more authoritative the listing is.