How to Claim your Business Listing in Google Maps
Google populates its local business listings from outside data sources such as phone directories (yellowpages, superpages, etc.) and other such sources. All these listings are initially "unverified" and business owners are responsible for claiming their listing before they can edit it.
If you have not yet claimed your business in Google Maps, please DO IT NOW!. There have been many reports of unclaimed listings being hijacked by spammers, competitors and crooks. Claiming your listing will help to prevent this happening to your business.
If your business is not already listed, maybe you're not in a phone book or other source, you can add new business listings as well.
Basic instructions for updating and editing a listing are provided by Google here. Below you'll see a more detailed how to with screen shots of what you'll see along the way.
Are You Listed?
First check to see if your business is listed in Google Maps. Do a search for your business name and include your city name and state in the search query.
US Residents go to Google Maps Here
Canadians Can Go Here
View Your Unverified Listing
If your listing already exists, and you've not yet claimed it, the results will indicate that it is an "unverified listing".
If your listing does not show up here then you can go and submit a new business listing
In some cases you may notice incorrect data, maybe a wrong phone number or old address. Don't worry about that, you'll be able to edit that after you claim it.
If you find there are multiple listings for the same business you should follow this link for info about that.
Now click on the linked title of your business in the search results, or on the "more info" link. You are presented with different views depending on which link you click, but you get all the same info.
View Listing Details and Edit
You'll see your listing pop-up as a bubble on the map. Now click on the "Edit" link. For Canadians this link may instead say "Add or Edit Business".
Start the Claiming Procedures
Since your listings has not yet been claimed, you will be presented with basically the same view again, but now a new link appears that says "Claim Your Business". Click that.
Log Into the Local Business Center (LBC)
If you already have a Google Account log into it here. If not use the link below to create an account. You'll be able to use other Google services with this same account. Useful Google tools for business owners include Analytics (website statistics), Adwords (pay-per-click advertising), Webmaster Central (spot problems search engine bots are having with your website) and others.
Once you have an account, log into the LBC, switch over to Google Maps again and repeat the above steps (find your listing, click the edit link, then the claim link).
Add Your Business Details
Begin by entering your business contact information. As you enter the address info the Map to the side will zoom in on your location. If the market is not where it should be there is an option to move it. Click the "Fix incorrect marker location" link and then you can move the marker. Use the zoom feature on the map, and maybe switch to satellite view so you can see buildings, to better see where to place the marker.
On the next screen you can add more info such as the categories your business would be under, business hours, payment methods, upload images and videos, etc. You can later log into your LBC account and edit these at anytime, in case you wanted to add more photos or anything else.
Validate your Listing
Last step is to validate your listings. Google wants you to confirm you are the business owner by sending a phone call, text message, or post card to the contact info provided for that business. Choose the method that you prefer.
Phone or SMS text are of course the fastest. But unfortunately it does not always work. We've seen times when the system does not recognize your inputs from your phone. If you encounter that just fall back to the snail mail version.
If you choose the phone validation your phone will ring shortly after you click the "Call Me Now" button. Follow the automated instructions and enter the PIN number you see on your screen.
If you opt for the snail mail validation you'll have to watch for the card from Google in your mailbox. When it arrives, log back into your LBC account and enter the PIN number.
Once your PIN has been set your listing may take some time before all your edits go live in the Maps results.