How to acquire customers for free through organic traffic on Google Maps

Guide to promoting local businesses on Google My Business, with real-life examples of how it works.
How to acquire customers for free through organic traffic on Google Maps
Guide to promoting local businesses on Google My Business, with real-life examples of how it works.
The share of Google services in the CIS countries is leading. In Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and others, most people use Chrome, Google Search, YouTube, and a significant portion of the audience relies on Google Maps for navigation.

Every time we search for something commercial in the search engine, in addition to contextual advertising and SEO results, we also see a window displaying three businesses with physical locations.
To appear in the list of companies displayed in the 'Places' section, you need to register your business on Google My Business.

Go to the page and click on 'Create a Business.
After specifying the name of our organization, check the box next to 'Yes.
We enter the address of our location.
Then, place a marker on our address.
If we have a store or café with delivery options, we also indicate this.
We add contact information.
Confirm the information. It's easier to do it over the phone, but Google may require you to record a video at the physical location and provide a description of your business after some time.
We list the services we provide.
We upload a photo.
Next, Google will offer to set up advertising for the geo-location. It's better to skip this step and approach contextual advertising more professionally.
Our geo-location is created and ready to work.
After creating our geo-location, for effective promotion on maps, we will need to fully populate it.

In Google My Business, we need to add:

  1. Name: In addition to your brand or company name, include a key service you want to promote. For example, "Prom Cleaning - industrial cleaning in Tashkent" or "English Study - English language center in Bukhara."
  2. Photos: Include pictures of the storefront, the interior of the store or office. For example, if you have an educational center, you can upload photos of the learning process. The more real-life photos, the better.
  3. Products or Services: You can list products with prices (or without, as some prefer), or provide a list of services with detailed descriptions.
  4. Posts: Here you can cross-post from your SMM efforts, share information about discounts and new arrivals. While there's no guarantee that this feature will bring significant organic traffic, it won't take much time.
  5. Reviews: The most significant aspect is ratings from actual customers. Send a link to your company and ask visitors to leave reviews. It's also essential to respond to all reviews, both negative and positive. I don't recommend artificially inflating reviews.
  6. Questions & Answers: Ask acquaintances or company employees to ask you common questions, and answer them from your company profile. A sort of F.A.Q. is also useful for customers and overall company promotion.
Here are examples of how promotion on Google Maps has worked for my clients.

Dry Cleaning in City N

The geo-location was created a couple of years ago, but no work had been done on it since then. In March 2023, we decided to rewrite the name, description, add a list of services, and gather reviews. With just 3 calls in March, we achieved an increase of 32 calls in June (off-season!).
Logistics Company in Almaty

The company had not worked with Google My Business, even though it had been in business for 3 years. In November of last year, we created a page on Google Maps, and without much effort, the project started receiving calls to the call center from potential clients.
Bakery in the center of Dubai

The establishment was added to Google Maps in October of last year, but the client abandoned the promotion on Google My Business. Nevertheless, the numbers for free organic traffic were good.
Photo Studio in Istanbul

In September 2022, with joint efforts, we propelled the organization to the top of Google Maps. The results for this year are as follows:
Marketing Agency in Tashkent

We created the account in March, received the first call at the end of May, and closed the deal with the client. But luck was on our side here :).
If there is no physical location, Google may request verification at some point.
0$. However, you can run search advertising on the geo-location. It doesn't work as effectively compared to website promotion. I haven't tested it extensively.
Results Aren't Immediate

On average, it takes 3 to 6 months to reach the top 3 positions in a moderately competitive niche and a city with a population of up to 5 million.

Falling out of the Top 3 is Easy

Constantly managing reviews and content is essential.

At times, marketers and business owners may not even realize the effectiveness of promotion on Google Maps. Yes, the results may not come immediately, but the costs of promotion are minimal. Give it a try.

You can also order a consultation on web analytics, contextual or targeted advertising.
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