One question I get from business owners all the time is:
Why isn’t my business showing up on Google Maps?
Today, I want to share the different ways you can fix this issue.
It’s important that your business is showing up on Google maps, especially for local searches.
Try it out for yourself to see how prevalent Google Maps results are in search results.
For example, here’s what I get when I search for “best tree removal Ottawa”:
Someone looking for this service is probably going to choose the business closest to them that has generated the best reviews.
The results showing Google Maps come up fpr every local business industry and market segment – even more so with local service-based businesses.
Why is any of this important?
Customers for any type of business, whether you’re doing eyebrow microblading or waste removal, are going to be pulling out their smartphones and saying “Ok Google, what’s the best…” .
And you know they’ll be checking the Google Maps results to see where to go or who to call.
Showing up as a result on Maps for local searches will have a positive impact on your business.
Hopefully you have a better understanding of why it’s important to be optimizing your business on Google Maps.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why yours might not be showing up and what you can do to fix it.
Why Your Business Isn’t Showing Up on Google Maps
There are four main reasons why most businesses have trouble with their Google My Business listing not showing up as part of the Maps results.
It’s likely a small error causing the discrepancy.
Thankfully, most of the issues with GMB listings are easy to fix.
Here are the four main reasons why your business might not be showing up on Google Maps:
- You haven’t yet verified your listing
- Google is unable to determine a specific location for your GMB listing
- Your Google My Business account has been suspended
- There are issues with your new business address
As you can see it’s the listing that causes most of the problems with Google Maps results.
Let’s take a look at each one of these issues and what you can do to fix it.
Issue #1: Unverified Google My Business Listing
To get started, check to see if your business is verified on Google Maps.
Head to Google and search for your business name with its city and location.
Did your business listing show up on the right hand side of the search results?
If yes – that’s great.
See the “Suggest an edit” link?
If that’s the only link then your listing is verified.
If there’s another link “Own this business”?”, then your business isn’t verified.
It’s possible that your Google My Business listing is showing up even if you haven’t verified your business so let’s take care of that.
Without a verified listing your business will rarely appear on Google Maps – and this is a problem.
In markets with a lot of local competition your business won’t show up at all.
How to Verify Your Google My Business Listing
The easiest way to verify a Google My Business for your business is with the postcard method.
Google will send a postcard with a pin verification code to your business address.
After receiving the postcard use the code in the verification box for your listing.
Assuming everything goes according to plan your business should be showing up on Google Maps after a few hours.
Issue #2: Google is Unable to Determine a Specific Location For Your Google My Business Listing
If your Google My Business listing still isn’t showing up it’s not a problem.
Don’t get nervous yet – there’s some more local search optimization that needs to be done!
Local search relevance, or LSR, are the signals that Google uses to determine your geographical location.
There can be a lot of issues with LSR and it’s possible that your own local marketing strategy is what’s causing the problem.
The Building Blocks of Local Search Relevance
To determine the location of your business Google looks at all of the instances of your business information everywhere online.
These are better known as citations and they contain useful data to help Google rank your business website locally.
Discrepancies with the consistency and accuracy of this information can lead to issues with your Google My Business listing not showing up properly.
Information typically added to these business citations includes:
- The name of your business ( needs to match your GMB listing)
- Exact address with number, apartment, or box listed
- Accurate city, country, and postal code information
- Business phone number
- Business website URL
The information that you include with citations for your business online needs to completely match what you used on the Google My Business listing.
Your GMB listing is the main foundation, or the building blocks, for every citation that you build online.
How do accurate citations help with local search relevance?
Each business citation that you build acts as a vote for your Google My Business listing.
You would think that building more citations would have a better impact on the success of your Google positions, right?
Actually, it’s nothing like that at all.
Citations need to be built on relevant websites and directories.
Building a citation on a website in an industry different than yours can lead to continued issues with your Google My Business listing and ranking.
Here are some of the first places to get started with building citations for your business website:
- Google (Submit your website through Search Console)
- Local business directories (Apple Maps, Bing, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc)
- Industry-specific platforms (directories and platforms specific to your niche)
Check out this helpful Moz guide on biulding citations for your small business.
Issue #3: Your Google My Business Listing Has Been Suspended
Google regularly audits Google My Business listings to verify the accuracy and authenticities of their information.
Any discrepancies here can lead to your business listing getting suspended.
A suspended listing can result in a sharp decrease of search engine traffic and a lack of new leads being generated.
Your business website will also suffer in the local search rankings.
That’s why it’s important to deal with a suspended Google My Business listing immediately.
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t tell you the exact reason why the listing was suspended
Here are some of the most common reasons for Google My Business listing suspensions:
- The business information on your Google My Business listing was updated. Google is currently verifying the new information.
- The validity of your office location is being questioned. Google will request a photo of the front of your office.
- An incorrect URL was used on your business listing.
- Improper use of keywords in the Google My Business listing title.
- Your office is a PO Box or other virtual location.
- Your business doesn’t have a physical location – you didn’t remove the street address from Maps
The first step when your Google My Business listing is suspended is to run an audit on your listing and verify the information you’ve added.
Next, call Google Local support if you’re not able to get your listing reactivated.
The customer service team will be able to pinpoint the exact issue with your listing and walk you through the steps of solving it.
Remember not to panic if your your GMB listing is suspended – everything can be fixed!
Issue #4: There Are Issues With Your New Business Address
After relocating some business experience issues with disappearing from Google Maps and the map pack.
This happens most often when the Google My Business listing isn’t being managed actively.
Listings are removed is because Google doesn’t have a reference point for the original business location.
This reveals poor local SEO optimization and other deep-rooted issues with your website.
Here’s what happens:
- Google notices that your business is using a new address
- Since there aren’t many other instances of this new address (citations) the listing gets flagged by the algorithm
- The listing is then removed from Google Maps and local search results
The easiest way to avoid this issue is to actively manage your Google My Business listing.
Managing the listing and optimizing your website for local SEO will encourage Google to make the changes right away.
Keep in mind that your new address might have to be verified and you’ll have to wait for the postcard with the code.
Depending on your listing you might be able to verify using other methods, although these typically aren’t available for new verifications.
After verifying your business will be listed back on Google Maps and available on Google to people locally.
Start this process with your Google My Business listing two to four weeks before changing your business location.
This will give you enough time to optimize your website for your new location and wait for the verification from Google.