Having a managed and curated presence on Google Maps is essential for any business. Marissa Mayer, Google Search Products VP reported at SXSW that Google Maps has over 150 billion users – 40% of those users were mobile users and therefore likely to be making decisions on the move – and quickly. While Ms Mayer appears to have fallen from grace there’s no doubt that the world loves Google Maps and if your business isn’t there, you’re missing out. Not only do you need a presence, you also need to make the content is relevant and helpful and optimised for search queries.
That’s is all well and good for one business with one Place to set up. It’s easy – it takes a few minutes, and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to do it. But if you’ve a network of local presences, you’re going to choose between crowdsourcing the task (getting each location to set up the Place account and hoping for consistency) or centralising it.
If you centralise it and have more than a few locations, you should know that managing local presences on Google Maps is an onerous task. We were posed with the question last week, and were happy to discover that Google has made it easier for brands to manage their Google Maps entries with their Maps bulk uploader.
Google have a great guide to use but here’s our quick summary a la EMO.
Step 1: Create a Google account
- Don’t use your own Gmail account or create a Google account that doesn’t match the domain of the company.
- Request an email address that matches closely to the name of the Maps entries and create a specific account to manage all Google maps for that client going forward. Either ask the client to forward these emails to you or get a specific email address to be set up that automatically forwards to you.
Step 2: Get and organise the data
- Put the data into this format and follow the directions carefully
- The file must be in format .csv, .txt, .xls, .tsv, .xlsx, and .ods
- You can select up to 5 categories for the listings so use them wisely – look at keyword recommendations to guide your choices
Step 3: Upload the spreadsheet
- Upload the spreadsheet here
Step 4: Check for errors
- After you’ve uploaded the file, you’ll be given a page of errors to correct either on the spreadsheet or on the screen
- Evaluate for missed information: Some entries will need additional information added like ‘area serviced’, which is not done in the bulk upload. Check that all information is created
Step 5: Request verification
You’ve now created the Google Places entries, but Google needs to verify them to ensure you have ongoing control over the content on the page.
- Ask Google to verify the entries by filling out the bulk verification form linked from your account.