How to Get Your Business on Google Maps

The local map pack is a powerful way to rank higher in the SERP for local searches. Here's everything you need to know to get your business on Google Maps.

Table of Contents

    As a local contractor, you know just how hard it is to get in front of your clients. The home service space is incredibly competitive and there’s also only so much room in the search results. If your customers can’t find you when they search for your services online, you might as well not exist. Building a Google Business Profile will help your company show up in Google Maps and the local map pack.

    When someone searches for “roofing company in (your city)” or “plumber near me”, you want your company to show up. And your Google Business Profile is how you make that happen.

    What is a Google Business Profile?

    Your Google Business Profile is a free business listing that puts companies in Google Maps and the local map pack. Also, you can add important information to help your clients learn about your business or get in touch with you.

    Let’s say you run a fence company in Allen, TX. If someone searches for “best fence company in Allen”, they’ll see a map pack like the one below.

    a screenshot of the Google Maps local map pack for fence companies

    Without a verified Google Business Profile, you will struggle to appear in the map pack. You’ll be on Google Maps, but you’ll most likely be a few pages down the results.

    Why GBP listings are important for local contractors

    Nearly 72% of people use Google Maps in the US. Which means that the majority of people looking for local businesses are using Google Maps. However, over 80% of people use Maps after doing a local search. Even with the addition of ChatGPT and AI summaries, most people still use Google to find local businesses.

    pie chart of google maps usage from direct use or keyword search

    Building your Google Business Profile puts your company on Google Maps. However, optimizing your listing helps you rank higher in Google Maps. And, it will also help all of the pages on your site rank higher in the local search results. When we say that your Google Business Profile is the backbone of your local SEO strategy, we mean it. Everything you do to boost your local visibility traces back to it so it’s important to get it right.

    For other local businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, etc., customers can get directions to your location. Your office shouldn’t get much in the way of foot traffic, so that doesn’t apply to home service companies. However, getting your business on Google Maps does help you rank on the first page of Google. And you can get a ton of visibility from being in the top 3 spots without paying for it.

    roofer search results sections

    Google has also been top loading the search results page (SERP) with paid advertising blocks. So, between Google Ads, Local Service Ads (LSAs), and generative AI summaries, people are dealing with scroll fatigue. Searchers have to scroll a lot just to be able to see the local search results. And most of are just clicking on the first relevant result they see to avoid scrolling that far. The local map pack is the highest you can show up in the SERP without paying for it.

    Google Maps ranking factors that impact your visibility

    Your can’t climb to the top of the maps results if you don’t know what to optimize. Google has confirmed that there are three factors that affect your local map pack ranking – relevance, distance, and prominence.

    Relevance is a measure of how closely your company and listing match the intent of the user’s search query. For example, if someone searches for “roofing companies in Allen”, they aren’t going to see a list of plumbers. Google will have a list of roofers in Allen for that search’s local map pack. Listings that more closely match the search are more likely to rank higher in Google Maps. This is why it’s so incredibly important to accurately fill out your map listing. Which, we’ll cover in this section.

    Distance is how far away your company’s location is from the searcher. Your proximity to their search and if your company is in the area they’re looking for impacts your rankings. If someone is searching for “Allen flooring company”, Google isn’t going to show companies in Frisco, McKinney, or Plano first. That isn’t what the user is looking for.

    screenshot of the local map pack for Allen flooring companies

    Prominence is a measure of how well known your business is in the area. It combines your online reputation, local SEO, your star rating, and a few other metrics under a single umbrella. This is the one GBP ranking factor that your team can control and optimize.

    Spinning up automated customer review campaigns can build a pipeline to add positive reviews to your listing. Creating content and getting more pages to rank can boost your local SEO and brand awareness. Adding your company to other local citation websites can boost your brand awareness as well.

    Find out if you already have a GBP listing

    Building out your Google Business Profile is rather simple and you’ll be on Google Maps in no time. However, you need to know if you’re already on Google Maps since Google doesn’t like duplicate listings. And there are a few different scenarios that you might run into:

    • There isn’t a GBP listing for your business. This is the best case scenario since you’ll be able to start one from scratch.
    • There is an unverified GBP listing, but Google owns it. You can claim the unverified listing to own and manage it.
    • There is a GBP listing, but someone else owns it. You’ll need to request access from the person who owns it.

    To find out if you already have a listing, go to the Google Business homepage and click on “Manage Now

    screenshot of the GBP homepage

    Enter your business name into the “Business Name” field.

    screenshot of company search in the google business profile setup

    If you see your company, a listing already exists and you can jump to this section.

    If you don’t see your company, there isn’t one and you need to start one from scratch.

    Creating a brand new Google Maps listing for a contractor

    Before we get to it, I want you to remember one thing. Do not let a team member build your Google Maps listing using their personal email. I cannot stress this enough. Employees come and go. You need to control your business listing so you aren’t chasing it down months or years later. And if you can’t get access to it, you could lose years of positive reviews. This is a huge setback that can have a major impact on your ability to rank for local searches. At the very least, set up a email address and use that instead.

    Alright, now that that’s over with, let’s dive in.

    #1: Creating your company

    Picking up where we left off, click on the option to “Create a business with this name” and click “Continue“.

    screenshot of the GBP listing process: creating your company

    We’ll make a listing for ABC Roofing & Restoration, the completely real company that I didn’t make up for this article.

    #2: Choose the type of business

    As a contractor, you could fall under any of these business types. People could buy products to y our site or visit your business in person. However, your business model involves making visits to your customers. So, you’ll want to select “Service business” and then click on “Next“.

    screenshot of selecting the type of company for your GBP listing

    #3: Select your business category

    Enter the type of contractor you are into the business category field, pick the most relevant one, and click “Next“.

    screenshot of selecting a business category in GBP

    If you provide multiple types of services to your clients, don’t worry. You can add more later. In the meantime, I recommend picking the category that you get most of your business from.

    Google Business Profile contractor categories

    • Arborist service
    • Asphalt contractor
    • Carpet cleaning service
    • Cleaners
    • Concrete contractor
    • Contractor
    • Countertop contractor
    • Custom home builder
    • Deck builder
    • Electrician
    • Fence contractor
    • Flooring contractor
    • Garage door services
    • Home builder
    • House cleaning service
    • HVAC contractor
    • Marble contractor
    • Moving company
    • Painter
    • Paving contractor
    • Pest control service
    • Piano moving service
    • Pond contractor
    • Pool cleaning service
    • Roofing contractor
    • Siding contractor
    • Stucco contractor
    • Swimming pool contractor
    • Tile contractor
    • Tree service

    #4: Mapping out your service area

    Enter in the different cities, states, or zip codes your company serves to define your service area, then click “Next“. And just like the previous step, you don’t have to map out your entire service area right now. You can start with one or two and add the rest later.

    screenshot of the service area setup step for GBP listings

    #5: Add your phone # and website URL

    Add your phone number and website URL to the fields on this screen, and then click “Next“. If you don’t have a website yet, that’s completely fine since it’s an optional field.

    screenshot of adding your phone # & website to GBP

    Also, you can use call tracking numbers from services like CallRail for your GBP phone number. However, I highly recommend using your direct phone number for the time being.

    #4: Put your business on the map

    Select whether you want to get optimization tips and invitations to surveys & pilots, then click “Continue“. You can also go through the TOS & privacy policy on this screen as well.

    screenshot of the survey selection screen in GBP

    #5: Add your physical address

    Entering the physical location of your office is one way to verify your Google Maps listing. However, it isn’t the only one. You don’t have to enter your address now, but your listing will be unverified until you complete a verification method. And it’s important to note that unverified listings do not show up in Google Maps or the local map pack.

    If you choose to verify later, click “Verify Later” and skip to step 7. If you are verifying your listing, enter your address and click “Next“.

    screenshot of the physical address screen of setting up your google maps listing

    #6: Verify your Google Business Profile

    You have a few different ways to verify your Maps listing. This is an important step that you should take the time to do. If you leave your listing unverified, it won’t show up in Google Maps or the map pack until you do.

    Google Maps listing verification methods

    • Phone code: Get a code via text or call sent to the phone number you added in step #5.
    • Email code: Send a code to your email address.
    • Business video: Take an upload a video of your business to verify the location.
    screenshot of the GBP verification method step

    Choose which verification method you want to do, and enter the code Google sends you and click “Verify“.

    screenshot of a verified GBP listing

    #7: Add your services

    Based on the business category you chose in Step #3, Google will already have a few services selected. Check to make sure they’re accurate and then select any others that your company provides.

    screenshot of GBP services screen

    You can also click on “Show More” to see an expanded list. And if you still don’t see every service you provide, click on “Add custom service” and manually enter them. Once they’re all selected, click “Next“.

    #8: Add your business hours

    screenshot of the hours of operation step in GBP

    Put the hours that your office is open, and not the hours your teams work in the field. People typically use your Google Business Profile to know how and when they can get in touch with you. You don’t want people calling your office after hours and reaching your voicemail.

    #9: Add your business description

    Adding a custom business description will help potential clients learn more about your business. You can also cover the services you provide, your service area, and why you’re better than the competition. You have 750 characters to play with here so try to be brief but descriptive.

    screenshot of the business description step

    If you aren’t ready to add this, you can skip this step and come back to it later.

    #10: Add images to your profile

    Select 3-5 high quality images of your staff, projects, trucks, etc. to add and upload them to your profile.

    Types of images to add to your Google Maps listing

    • Before & after pictures of completed projects.
    • Shots of your teams & trucks out on the job.
    • Pictures of your physical locations.
    • Company photos of your whole team.
    • Photos of each team member.
    screenshot of adding images to your listing in google maps

    #11: Wait for verification

    Completing all the steps above builds your Google Maps listing. Now, you just have to wait for the verification process to go through which can take up to 5 days.

    Getting access to an existing Google Business Profile

    In some rare cases, you might already have a Google Maps listing floating around out there. If your GBP listing already exists and you don’t own it, you can follow the steps below to get access.

    Claim your unverified Google Maps Listing

    Sometimes Google will automatically create a maps listing for you, but leave it unverified. You’ll be able to claim and get access to this unverified listing. Then, you’ll be able to add additional information, respond to reviews, fix incorrect info, etc.

    To claim your unverified business listing, go to the Google Business Profile homepage and click “Manage Now”.

    screenshot of the GBP homepage

    Enter your business name and you’ll see a list of companies that match yours. Pick the one that matches your company from the drop down.

    screenshot of claiming an unverified maps listing

    On the next screen, click on “Manage now” to claim and verify your company’s Google Business Profile.

    screenshot of requesting to manage an unverified google maps listing

    If a different screen appears, someone else has already claimed and is managing your listing. And, you’ll need to follow the steps below to get access.

    How to reclaim a GBP listing managed by someone else

    If you see your business on Google Maps, but can’t claim it, it’s most likely being manage by another account. This usually happens when an ex-employee created the listing with their email and leaves without telling anyone.

    Luckily, you don’t have to chase down all of your ex-employees to get access. You can simply request access to reclaim your company’s listing.

    To do that, go to the Google Business Profile page and click on “Manage now”.

    screenshot of the GBP homepage

    Type in your business name into the field and pick your company from the drop down.

    screenshot of reclaiming your google listing

    On the next screen, click on “Request Access” and you’ll have to enter for more information.

    requesting access to an existing GBP profile

    On the following screen, Google will have you fill out the form to request access to the listing. Fill out the information and click “Submit“.

    • Select the access level: You have two options – Management or Ownership.
    • Relationship: There are three options here – Owner, agency, and employee.
    • Contact name: Enter your name.
    • Phone number: Enter your phone number.
    filling out the form to get access to an existing google maps listing

    After submitting this form, Google sends the request through to the current account owner. They have three days to approve your deny your request. If they don’t respond at all, Google might automatically give you access to the account.

    However, this isn’t always the case. And if they reject you, you can submit a ticket to Google to see if they can help.

    How to edit your existing Google Maps listing

    If you skipped any steps during your maps listing setup, you can edit them at any time. You can get to your map listing a few different ways:

    • Go to the Google Business Profile homepage, click manage now, and search for your company.
    • Go to Google Maps, search for your company, click on your listing, and then click on “Manage your business profile”.
    • Log into your Google account and go to Google. Click on the Google Apps icon and click on the Business Profile Manager icon. Find your company on the following screen and click on “See your profile”.
    • Google your company’s name and you’ll see the menu system below.

    All of the above methods take you to the same place.

    screenshot of the GBP dashboard in the SERP

    This dashboard will let you manage every aspect of your Google Business Profile. And that includes making edits to fields you’ve already filled out. To updated your business information, click on “Edit Profile” and add the updated information. You can also read and respond to reviews, add photos, create service cards, and much, more.

    Build a solid foundation for long-term organic growth

    Getting on to Google Maps should be just the first step in your local SEO strategy. While it puts you on the map, you still need to maintain, optimize, and manage it effectively.

    Partnering with our team guarantees proper management of your listing, allowing you to focus on what you do best. Leave the marketing to us.

    Contractor marketing is our bread and butter. We know which levers to pull, how to pull them, and when to pull them to get the best results. We’ll optimize your Google Business Profile to boost your organic visibility in the local map pack and on Google maps.

    If you’re ready to build a foundation for long-term organic growth, get in touch with our local SEO experts today.