Creating online citations is one of the easiest ways for Google to know you exist, and no citation is more important than your Google My Business listing.
To me, claiming listings on Google Maps is relatively simple and straightforward compared to most other listing sites. However, I see people all the time requesting assistance with claiming listings for themselves or their clients.
I thought I’d put together a no-nonsense tutorial on how to claim your Google My Business listing whether you have a storefront or office, multiple locations, or no site at all.
Claiming a Business with a Single Location
Do a search for Google My Business or go to google.com/business.
Follow the on-screen prompts, when asked if you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office, select “yes.”
Type in your address and continue following the prompts. You will be asked to choose your service area if you serve customers at their location, your main business category or service you provide, and your phone number and website.
Once you complete the above steps, you will have to choose how you would like to verify your location. Your options are the have a postcard mailed and enter the verification code once you receive it or to receive a telephone call immediately with your verification number.
Since I am usually claiming the listing on behalf of another business, I usually pick the postcard method. If I was claiming my own business where I could answer the phone myself and not have to coordinate with someone else, I would choose phone verification.
Claiming a Business with Multiple Locations
If you have more than one location and have already claimed one of your sites, then adding a second (or third or fourth) site is a piece of cake.
Log into Google My Business and select Add Location. From there, you can choose to Add a single location or Import locations.
The import locations feature allows you to upload a spreadsheet with all of your sites following a specific template. For the sake of this tutorial, we’re going to add a single location.
From there, you are going to follow the same prompts as you did above when adding your first location. If your business is “XYZ,” just use “XYZ” for the business name again. There is no need to use a unique name for each location unless you created a different business name for each location.
You will differentiate each location by the address and phone number.
Claiming a Business without a Location
If you are a freelancer or a sole proprietor who works out of your home or you provide a mobile service, you probably don’t want your home address listed publicly.
But you also don’t want to miss out on customers finding your business listing.
The good news is that you can have your cake and eat it too. You can list your business on Google without displaying your home address online.
Login to Google My Business and type in your name or your business name. When asked if you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office, select “no.”
Go through the rest of the prompts. You will be asked to input your address for the verification, but it will never be shown publicly.
Pro tip: if you don’t want to list your personal cell phone number as your business line, you can get a local number for free using Google Voice (if available in your area) or for a small monthly fee on GoDaddy.
And there you have it. The no-nonsense way to claim your Google My Business listing whether you work from home or an office.