You want your business to stand out both online and offline. But when you share a location with another company (or several), how can you let potential customers know exactly where you are and minimize confusion?
This issue is more common than you might think. Businesses save money by renting space in large office buildings, using coworking spaces or running multiple operations from one place. But there is a downside.
In addition to cramped quarters, several businesses end up with the same address, which can harm each one’s online brand visibility.
Fortunately, Google vastly improved its Maps feature to give businesses more control over their local listings and to allow users to find them more easily.
Of course, if you want to take advantage of Google Maps offerings, you need to be on the platform in the first place. Here, we will cover how to add your business to Google Maps and manage your listing, specifically when you share a location with another entity.
Create a Google My Business Account
The best way to get your business on Google Maps is by creating a profile on Google My Business (GMB), Google’s platform for helping companies manage their online search presence. Doing so is straightforward, fast, and essential for your local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Begin by creating your business’ Google account, or signing in if you have an account. Once you are logged in, enter the GMB site and click “Manage Now.”
Next, search for your business on the map, and if your name and location pop up, you can claim your listing. Then you can add to and edit its description if necessary.
If your business is not currently in Google’s ecosystem, click “Add Your Business” instead. From here, Google will ask you to fill out company information including the name, address, phone number and category (i.e. healthcare, multifamily, finance, restaurant, etc.). The category you choose will weigh heavily on your local search presence and will help differentiate your business from others with the same address.
Confirm Your Listing
Once you have created your GMB account and claimed or added your listing, Google must verify the information before it goes live on Maps. You can confirm your listing via email or phone, though email verification takes longer. In either case, Google will deliver a six-digit code and instructions for confirming your listing.
Now your listing is on the map, and you can edit and update its information, along with your GMB profile, whenever necessary.
Sharing a Location with Other Businesses
Once your business is featured on Google Maps, does it matter if other businesses appear at your location, too? In most cases, no.
Google is able to distinguish one entity from another based on its name, phone number, category and other relevant information, whether or not it shares an address. However, if two similar businesses share a location (say, a nail salon and a cosmetics studio), it could create problems for your local SEO, as Google’s algorithm might combine the two listings into one.
That’s why it is so important to include ample, specific information about your business on your listing and keep it up to date. If your building includes suite numbers, multiple entrances or other geographical factors, include them in your address to help Google and search users understand where to find you.
Disputing Listings and Maps Information
Though Google Maps has greatly improved over the years, it’s still less than perfect, and errors do occur that can harm your online presence.
Some errors are related to sharing a location with another active business, while others are caused by claiming a company address that is still – according to GMB – controlled by a business that no longer operates there.
The good news is that Google has mediation systems in place for disputing and resolving these issues.
For instance, you can report an error on Google Maps, such as incorrect street names, missing roads or erroneous marker locations. You can also request access to a listing that was previously verified by another business or individual in your organization to gain control over that listing. And finally, you can report and remove duplicate locations so search users can find your business without wondering which listing is the right one.
Gain Control Over Your Locations with Listings Management
Sharing is caring, but when it comes to commercial cohabitation, having the same address as another business can bruise your online reputation and visibility. Taking care of a single location is one thing, but managing multiple listings requires help from a dedicated listings management solution.
Tools like Binary Fountain’s Listing Management platform help businesses optimize their discoverability by automatically publishing and updating location data to multiple directories, taking down duplicate listings, analyzing citation data, and more.
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist