Most people are unaware of this neat feature that Google provides, but have you noticed that when you search for a business, sometimes Google will show a specific business on the map at the very top of the search results?
Let’s take a concrete example. My company’s name is StasoSphere, which resides in Vancouver and besides other things that I do in this life I’m a Reiki practitioner (which is an energy-based healing modality). Now let’s search google for ‘Reiki Vancouver’, which most prospective clients would type in to find a Reiki practitioner in Vancouver.
And this is what we get:
My company shows up at the very top of search results and it includes a map indicating my location, and the information about my business.
Note: Google will show different results depending on your country, so if you aren’t using google.ca (Canada) you might get different results.
[update: since this article was written I moved to Victoria, BC, so you probably won’t find my site for Vancouver, but will need to look for Victoria Reiki instead]
If you click on my company’s listing you’d get a more detailed view:
OK, so how do you accomplish the same? It’s very simple and it’s free.
All you need to do is to add yourself to Google My Business, by going to:
(if you already have an account with google, use it, otherwise create an account for free)
Once logged in, click on “Add new listing” and fill out the details about your business, add working hours, photos, videos, payment options, industry and of course a detailed description and contact information to help your prospective clients contact you.
Tip: If you don’t want to disclose your exact address, you can use a street intersection to have the location on the map to be more or less correct. e.g.:
Broadway Ave and Commercial Dr
Once you filled out the information it might take a few days for your listing to show up in Google Search results.
Dealing with Competition
As of this writing it seems that my company is the only one that’s listed with Google Local Business Center. But what if more than one company is listed in the same industry? For example let’s look at a query: ‘Vancouver Acupuncture’:
There are quite a few companies in that industry that discovered this service and got listed in search results. As you can see that Google now shows a much more condensed view of companies.
So How do you compete for the first listing with other companies? As you can see from the snapshot, it seems to be a combination of the relevant keywords and the number and quality of reviews. Companies with words ‘Vancouver’ and ‘Acupuncture’ come up higher than those that list only one of the keywords and of course the number of high rating reviews affects the listing as well. Therefore you need to do two things:
- Smartly choose the title for your listing to match the keywords the prospective clients are likely to search for (typically that would be the name of the city your business is in and the name of the industry you are in)
- Contact your clients and ask them to submit high rating reviews of your business (they will have to go your business listing, click on ‘Write a Review’, login into their google account and submit a review).
It shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to list your company with Google My Business, so don’t procrastinate and do it now!
Apr 2016: updated the article to adjust for the yet another change in the name of this service. Originally it was called Google Local Business Center, then it was renamed to Google Places, and the most recent incarnation is called Google My Business.
Apr 2020: I have recently shut down my healing business and moved on to other things, so you will no longer see my healing business showing up on Google Local Biz/Maps.
Tags: practice building, search, SEO
Thank you!!! I googled: “how to get business to come up in google” and you were the first link…and all I needed. I appreciate the help and for keeping things simply stated.
Thanks for your help! Your information was clear, concise, and extremely helpful!
Great advice, thanks Stas! I also found your article when googling how to get my business site to come up higher in the search results than old personal references. Glad I found this for sure!
You are the hero to help people who like me small business owner want to do their ad free on the internet. And you are so generous to share with us . thanks a millon
Thanks for your help. Your information has helped my company grow.
Thank you for this easy to follow instructions.
Thank you so much. Very helpful!!!
This was a phenomenal gift of your time to help us all.. thank you so much!
Almost as good as your therapy!
You made it so easy for us.. may your business growth come back to you in many new ways for all that you have helped others attain!
All the kindest blessings and regards,
Very helpful guide, appreciate it!
This is great information! I am just starting my photography business and this is extremely helpful! Thank you very much!
you are awesome thank you very much!!!!
Thank you very much! The phone company wanted to charge me $350 a month to set up a website and come up first on Google. I did some research, found your instructions, and told them I was good. Very helpful!
awesome person to help all of us to grow….Thank you…
Thanks a million!
it is people like you that makes the world a better place!
May God bless you and your’e family!
Have an awesome day!
[…] have a very high chance of being first on Google. Another great article to check out would be by stasosphere, which lets you find out how to be on top in Google’s local/map results. Southern New […]
THANK YOU! this is fantastic and funnily enough I was looking at how to promote the holistic side of things!!!
On my google account. Where do i find ?dd new listing?
Thank you so… much for the help!
thank you for the advise I knew I was missing something I’m going to work on my listing today.
I know the title of my business is very important but can’t I put a bunch of key words in my listing and shouldn’t it still come up?
You *can* do anything you want, but spamming usually doesn’t pay off in the long term…
I’m having difficulty having my business come up when I google the services with location. For example, when I type “spray tan New Braunfels” I get no results with my business. If I type in my actual business name, it comes right up with my Google business listing.
Your company listing “Afterglow” does show up in the listings around #10 but you were searching for the wrong keywords, the keywords you search for need to be in your title or subtitle or category.
It looks like you haven’t completed the registration with google business, e.g. you’re missing work hours.
You also have no reviews, which don’t always guarantee higher listing, but often they help a lot!
Thanks will be great for my Reiki business :P
This service has already change its name again.
Now it is the GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Thank you, Joe, I update the article to indicate that change.
great advice. Thank you!
Thank you article is helpful. I have my business page listed. My ratings n reviews are very high than others but still it comes in third place in my area. My Ayurvedic clinic listed in the name of Aadya Aayurdhama. Suggest me how can improve further.thank you in advance.
I am also having difficulty having my business come up when I google indian restaurant barrie. I get no results with my business. If I type in my actual business name, it comes right up with my Google business listing. I have google my business set up and I am using it and I have reviews. what am I doing wrong???
This has to do with Google algorithms. Typically if there is a competition and you aren’t one of just a few business, Google will first show businesses with high ratings/reviews. Assuming that you got your biz record correct – i.e. the keywords you search for match the keywords on your listing – if you zoom into the part of the map where only your business is located it should show just your business. Now, slowly zoom out letting more competition in, and see how other businesses start pushing yours down. Check their listings, ratings and reviews and you should get a pretty good picture, why you’re on on the top. I hope this makes sense.