Google My Business (GMB) is a handy free tool that makes it easier to spread the word online about all of the wonderful things your business offers. Because GMB listings appear in both search and Google Maps results, there’s a lot of visibility potential here. However, if you’re making some common GMB mistakes like the ones discussed below, you’re not going to reap the rewards associated with a properly optimized GMB listing.
No matter if you’re an enterprise level business, an SMB, or a startup, having GMB ensures your business profile appears in the local search. However, setting up a profile or optimizing it requires technical knowledge. The digital marketing experts at Saba SEO, one of the leading San Diego SEO companies, have put together a list of mistakes businesses often make while setting up their profiles on Google My Business.
Unclaimed Listings and Closed Businesses
The biggest mistake you can make is simply not claiming your GMB listing. If you fail to do so, you run the risk of competitors claiming it or potential customers seeing information that’s misleading or inaccurate. Claim your listing by going to the Knowledge Panel in your Google Account and selecting “Own This Business.” If your business closes, mark it “permanently closed” in your GMB dashboard.
Missing or Incorrect Information
The second biggest GMB mistake you can make is to have a listing with missing or incorrect info. Commonly overlooked details include:
- Website URLs
- Business hours
- Phone numbers
If you make changes to your business hours, get a new phone number, or relocate your business, don’t forget to update your GMB info. The last thing you want is angry customers who show up when you’re no longer open to leave you a bad review and turn to one of your competitors instead.
Not Responding to Reviews, Comments, or Questions
Even some businesses with perfectly optimized GMB reviews make the mistake of ignoring all reviews—both good and not-so-nice ones. Since online searchers tend to zero in on the reviews that show up with business listings, a lack of response may unintentionally suggest you simply don’t care about your customers. You can also turn customers off by ignoring general comments and questions. Remedy this problem by:
- Having a policy in place for responding to negative reviews/feedback
- Using the new Q&A feature to answer questions concerning your business*
- Thanking customers who post positive reviews
*You can also post your questions, so take advantage of this ability to present answers to FAQs pertaining to your business
Not Utilizing Photos to Your Advantage
Some businesses limit their GMB listing photos to the default street view and whatever customers submit. The problem with doing this is that you have no control over the quality of customer-submitted photos. Plus, Google sometimes pulls photos from related social media accounts, and they sometimes grab images from the wrong accounts. Instead, make your listing more appealing with:
- A series of interior and exterior shots
- Photos selected or submitted by your own employees and customers you personally approve
- A 360-degree tour of your business location
Also, check “located in” references if you have a business that’s located within a mall, shopping center, or another business. Make sure GMB is showing the correct “located in” info so you can fix it if it isn’t right. Do the same thing with map points meant to show where your business is located. Finally, get into the habit of performing a Google My Business audit periodically to confirm everything is still properly optimized and listed.
By avoiding the mistakes mentioned above and listing your business profile in Google My Business, you can harness the power of local SEO. Whenever people search a local business, they will see your business in the local search bar. If setting up your business profile on Google My Business seems difficult, consult Saba SEO. As a premier internet marketing service provider in San Diego, we have extensive experience in search engine optimization, web development, internet marketing, and content development. To learn about our high-quality search engine marketing services, give us a call at 858-277-1717 today.