Get on the Google Maps for Free?

Can you get found on the Google Maps for free?  Yes you can, but first let me do some explaining.

Above is an example of a Google ad that really frustrates me.  It just seems to me that the ad is a little misleading.  Sure, the clicks don’t cost you anything, and Google doesn’t charge you to claim your listing that they have most likely already created for you.

Here is what the ad should say:

“Do you own a business?

Be found SOMEWHERE on Google for free

Google Places

Claim your free listing on Google today”

The ad makes it sound like your business really is going to get found on Google, but the honest truth is you could claim you listing and get found on the Google map, but more likely than not your listing will be buried 6 or 7 pages down the list of local competitors.

I AM NOT SAYING YOU SHOULD NOT TRY TO GET ON THE MAP AND CLAIM YOUR FREE LISTING. All I am saying is that you should not expect as a do-it-yourself local business owner to do the right things to get your Google maps listing on the first page of results.  Frankly, an ad like this usually helps my business out.  You as an SMB see the ad by Google and get excited that you have found your golden ticket to page one on Google.  You take the time and claim your listing.  2 or 3 weeks go by and you start realizing the ticket to the first page of Google wasn’t so golden.  Then you ask friends and family if they know how you can get your maps listing to the first page of Google.  They guess (but they tell you like they really know) that it takes time and agree it is a good guess.  You wait a year and then go looking for your listing only to find that you are still not on the first page of Google.  You realize you need help so you do a Google search for Online Marketing Experts and you find my company in the #3 spot on the first page.  We explain that it is much more complex than what Google had portrayed in the ad.  You become our new client.  A few months later you are on the first page of Google and everyone lives happily ever after.

Yes. It is free to get on the Google maps.  No. They don’t charge you for clicks to your website if you are on the maps listings, but they don’t tell you what it takes to get to the first page on the map. Ask us, or a company like ours, and they can help.  It will cost you money for our help, but remember: Yes. It is free to get on the Google maps.  No. They don’t charge you for clicks to your website if you are on the maps listings so it is a great idea to claim your Google Places listing.

Best of luck to all who try, especially to the do-it-yourselfers who try to rank higher on the first page than my clients.