Today, Google Maps is much more than just a quick way to pin-point the location of a business or plotting your route from A to B. Along with Google Search and Google My Business, it is one of a range of Google services designed to cater to the needs of business owners and customers alike.
And where that humble Google Maps marker is positioned now plays a more central role to the prominence of every business and is a key factor in ensuring their success online.
After all, anyone who simply wishes to find their nearest Italian restaurant, for instance, can now quickly launch the Google Maps app on their phone and select the ‘Food’ or ‘Drinks’ icon to see what’s nearby. Alternatively, when using a desktop computer, all they have to do is perform a Google search for ‘Italian food near me’ – and be instantly presented with a wealth of options, from location, ratings, prices, opening hours and so much more.
In fact, this process enables the average diner to even sidestep other online review services like TripAdvisor or Yelp. The elevated importance of Google Maps in today’s digital marketing, though, means that keeping a close eye on your firm’s location in Google is now more crucial than ever. It can ultimately help you to get one step ahead of, rather than fall behind, your competitors.
“But My Address is Wrong On Google!”
This is one of the most common complaints made by business owners. Naturally, everyone is anxious to ensure their own firm is accurately represented on Google so that ordinary users can more easily find their company’s brick-and-mortar location. It is important to know that, listings are actually prioritised into positions based on the user’s location. So, let’s look at how you can get your firm’s Google Maps location pin-point-accurate.
You won’t want the Google Maps marker to actually be hovering above the location of one of your rivals – especially as that could mean a number of people trying to find your business ending up there instead. And even if your competitor isn’t hogging that inaccurate location, there’s every chance that the potential customer who ends up arriving at the wrong place will give up on your business regardless, and look to said rivals instead.
How To Add or Edit Your Location Via Google My Business
Presuming, then, that your firm already has a Google My Business listing – and if you haven’t, our other recent Marketing Monday articles will give you the lowdown on what you need to do – you can simply log into Google My Business and start adding or editing your company’s address.
Google My Business provides detailed instructions for this process, including guidelines for entering a business address that Google will actually be able to locate. You will need to enter the complete and exact street address for your firm, for example, right down to any necessary suite numbers, floors or building numbers. However, avoid any information that isn’t part of your official address, and might even confuse Google or human users – such as ‘opposite Hyde Park’.
Even once you have followed these guidelines, also entering the specific street, town or city and postcode, if Google is still struggling to pinpoint your exact location – there’s also the option of moving the Google Maps marker yourself. In this situation, a red button for setting the marker location will appear over a map of your city on the right-hand side of the window.
Click on this option, and you’ll be presented with a map featuring a red pin on your business location. You can then drag this pin around, placing it precisely where it needs to be, while zooming in or out to ensure the greatest accuracy. Then, once the pin is positioned at the centre of your location, click ‘Apply’. Please note, Google may then review your edits for approval.
Or Maybe You’d Rather People Didn’t See Your Address at All?
Some businesses, of course, won’t wish potential customers or clients to know their physical address at all. This could be for a variety of reasons – perhaps because it isn’t easy, possible or desirable for them to conduct face-to-face customer service from their brick-and-mortar location. If this describes your situation, perhaps having searched ‘how to hide my address on Google’ in order to reach this article, here’s what to do.
Sign into Google My Business, open the location of your business that you would like to manage, and then click ‘Info’. Select the address field, then ‘Clear address’, and finally ‘Apply’.
Once your business address has been removed, your listing will only show what Google calls your ‘service area’. This is the geographical area that your organisation serves – a very handy feature for trade companies such as plumbers and cleaners, that usually deliver their services to customers away from their own site.
You can learn more about adding or editing your Google My Business service area here. Bear in mind that if you remove your business address from Google without having set a service area, Google will choose a local area for you by default – you’ll then be able to edit this as required.
Finally… Don’t Get Caught NAPing About NAP Consistency
Before we go, there’s one more thing that we wish to bring up: a little concept known as NAP consistency. This acronym stands for Name, Address and Phone number, and NAP consistency refers to an organisation’s name, address and phone number being listed the same way across the web.
This means that wherever your company, its location, and contact information are published around the Internet – think not only Google Maps, but also the likes of Yelp and TripAdvisor – it needs to be consistent. A lack of NAP consistency can hamper both human users’ and search engines’ efforts to understand your business and where it is located. For example, if your address is described in a different way, or your brand’s name is expressed differently from one place to the next, people, and particularly Google itself, may decide you are two different business (or more!).
Finally, it’s worth noting that while it’s really important to optimise your business location on Google for customers, that some of them may always have their location data disabled. This means Google won’t be able to show them results based on proximity, but will instead rank businesses based on other factors, such as reviews.
All of this makes it crucial to carefully manage and maintain every aspect of your firm’s Google My Business presence over time, rather than focusing entirely on where the Google Maps marker is placed. Get in touch with the Success Local team now, by calling 01455 367100 or emailing us using the below contact form. We can help to ensure you’re (pin)-pointed in the right direction when it comes to strengthening your own organisation’s all-round online presence.