Google My Business is an essential tool for any digital marketer’s toolbox yet one that many business owners neglect.
This is your online business profile as listed on Google, which means that it will show up with basic information about your business as well as a marker on the map when potential clients run a Google search on your business name or your brand keywords.
When done right, Google My Business can boost your company, help you get seen by more customers and direct those customers to your doorstep (or at least to your website). But when done poorly, Google My Business can mean you miss out on valuable opportunities.
So here are the five most common mistakes people make when it comes to their Google My Business profiles (and how to avoid them).
Missing information is common on Google My Business listings and it can be frustrating enough for a customer to go elsewhere.
It could be that the listing is missing your business hours, phone number, address or other vital pieces of information. This could make it harder for a customer to contact you if they have to enter your website and search for it leading them to go to a competitor instead.
Make a note to regularly check your listing and ensure every piece of information is available.
Not dealing with reviews
Google My Business reviews both the good and the bad are a huge part of this tool and are important for your local SEO.
When someone leaves you a review it is best practice to respond in some way. For positive reviews this can be as simple as a quick thank you and a note saying you are looking forward to seeing them again. This will help to build on the relationship with an existing customer, keep them coming back and show other readers that you value your clients.
For negative reviews it is also best practice to respond. Address their concerns as best you can with honesty and authenticity. Even if you cannot win them back over you will show other readers that you care.
Not keeping your Google My Business listing updated
You could have the most perfect GMB listing on the internet but if you don’t keep it updated you’ll quickly frustrate your customers and lose your potential for a strong Google local ranking.
For every single public holiday, you must update your business hours and opening days. If you are planning to close for a day to do stocktake or are closing early one day for a staff event it is vital to update these details on Google My Business.
This will ensure your customers do not travel to your business only to find the doors locked. That is a quick way to lose customers and earn negative reviews.
Additionally, you should also update your GMB whenever your products or services change, if you have new photos to share or if it has simply been a long time since your last update.
When you set up a Google My Business listing it is easy to enter (or even copy and paste) the details about your opening hours, contact details, location, ‘about’ section and products and services. Unfortunately, some business owners will stop there.
However, that leaves the question of images.
The good news is that Google will pull photos from its own image search to fill this space if you do not add your own including the street view of your business location. The bad news is that these photos are rarely high quality and do not usually show your business in the best light as they could be random photos a customer has taken or not related to your business at all.
Remedy this issue by taking beautiful photos that showcase your brand and load them to your GMB profile.
Not claiming the listing
Possibly the most common and the most damaging mistake in Google My Business is owners not claiming the listing as their own.
The listing may still exist and you may even be able to make edits and add your contact information as Google allows customers to make suggestions for edits. However, that also means another company could claim it or an unhappy customer could make damaging edits and you won’t know about it as Google has no way to tell you.
Claiming your business listing should be the very first thing you do. Simply go to the Knowledge Panel and hit ‘Own This Business’ then follow the steps for verification. This will give you control over your listing and ensure any suggested edits from customers are approved by you.
Need a hand with your Google My Business?
Local Web offers expert local SEO services for businesses who need a hand with their social media, Google My Business, Google Ads and local SEO. Our team can help you set up and manage a successful Google My Business account and keep it updated for the best results.
Get in touch today to let us know what you need.