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How to Set Up/Claim Google My Business Listings in South Africa

Thumbnail for the article: How to Set Up or Claim a Google My Business Listing in South Africa

Whether for local SEO or simple business discovery – Google My Business is an amazing free tool we think every business should take advantage of. 

However, especially during the pandemic, many businesses are discovering that they overlooked setting up a profile for themselves. Or, that they no longer have access to their own profiles to update their information. 

That’s why we’re here to take you over all the steps to setting up, or claiming, a Google My Business listing for your business. 

What Do You Need to Set Up a Google My Business Listing in South Africa?

Before you get started, you’re going to need the following: 

  • A free Google Account 
  • A physical address for your business and/or a list of areas you service. 
  • A contact number or website for your business

How to Set Up a Google My Business Listing in South Africa 

If you don’t have a Google My Business listing set up already, the process is relatively simple – but it can take some time. 

There are two main ways to do it:

1. Through Google My Business

  1. In your web browser, go to the top right of this page and click Sign In.
    • You’ll need either a personal or business Google Account 
  2. Sign in with your Google Account details and click Next. 
    • You’ll need either a personal or work Google account.
    • We recommend using a work-specific account in case you decide to expand your business later.
    • If your business is part of an existing franchise you’ll be able to select it here.
  3. Enter your business’ address and click Next.
    • It may also ask you to manually position a market for your business on Google Maps.
    • If your business doesn’t have a physical branch, but you service a specific area, you can choose an area instead. 
  4. Clarify the purpose of your business address, and how it should display: 
    • If you serve customers at the address, e.g. if it’s a physical storefront, follow these steps: 
      1. Enter your business address.
      2. Click Next. If you also serve customers outside the location, e.g. if you deliver goods, you can also choose your other service areas here. 
    • If you don’t serve customers at the address, e.g. if it’s a corporate office, follow these steps: 
      1. Enter your business address.
      2. At the bottom of the page, click I deliver goods and services to my customers and then click Next.
      3. List your service areas, then click Next.
  5. Select your business’ category by searching for it and click Next.
  6. Enter a phone number or website URL where customers can reach you and click Finish.
    • You’ll be prompted here to create a free website through Google based on the above information – you don’t need to. 
    • Google recommends providing specific contact information; i.e. the phone number for a specific branch and not a general call centre, where possible. 
  7. Select a verification option. You can either Verify now, Verify later or forward it to the relevant person in your business for verification. 
    • You can either use physical mail, your business email or a phone call (to your business number) to verify your listing. 
    • Make sure all your information is correct before you do this. Verification can be quite time-consuming – especially using mail – and you have to do it all over again if you made a mistake.
    • If you get an alert someone else has verified your business, see the below steps or Request Ownership. 

2. Through Google Maps 

  1. Access Google Maps on your browser here. 
  2. You can add your business in 3 ways:
    1. Manually enter your address in the search bar and under Business Profile on the left click Add your business. 
    2. Right-click anywhere on the map and click Add your business.
    3. Open the top-left menu and click Add your business.
  3. You’ll be redirected to the above process to finish setting up your listing. 

How to Claim a Google My Business Listing in South Africa 

If you already have a Google My Business listing – but you don’t have access to it – it’s a bit more complicated, but there are a few steps you can try:

  1. On your computer, either open Google Maps or Google My Business.
  2. Search for your business’ name in the search bar
    • You need to be signed in to Google My Business to use it. 
  3. Look at the suggested results and select your business’ name (make sure it’s the right listing).
  4. Click Claim this business and then Manage now.
    • If the business is already claimed, this is where things get can get complicated. See below. 
  5. Select a verification option and follow the steps on-screen. 
    • You’ll typically have the same verification options as setting it up, depending on what information was provided when the listing was set up. 

What to Do If Your Business is Already Claimed? 

If you try to claim your Google My Business listing, and somebody else already owns it, things can get a bit complicated.
You can either: 

  1. Backtrace who set up your profile and get them to give you access.
    • This is the fastest solution and the one we recommend trying first. 
    • It will show you the first few characters of their contact info, which should help you identify the relevant person. 
  2. Create a new profile and verify it all the way – then try to get the other listings removed or merged with the new one. 
    • This can take a very long time – so we only recommend it as a second choice. 

If both of these don’t work, we recommend contacting Google customer support directly on this page.


We hope this helped you set up your very own Google My Business profile.
Remember to check it regularly, encourage users to review your business and engage back with people who ask questions or leave reviews on the platform. 

When used this way, it can be an amazing tool for drawing in local customers to your business and communicating with them.  

If you’re still not sold on the platform, check out our previous article on why you should use Google My Business.

Or you can check out more e-commerce marketing content on the inSyte blog and listen to the inSyte Podcast to get more tips for taking your digital marketing to the next level. 

This article was brought to you by Syte.

We’re a specialist e-commerce digital marketing agency dedicated to driving up your bottom line.

If you need any help running your business’ local or international SEO strategy, feel free to reach out with the form below or check out our case studies page to see what we’ve been able to do for our clients. 

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