Google My Business is one of the most effective marketing methods to boost online visibility, reach local clients, and increase revenue.
Countless brands have GMB accounts and are seeing significant results. However, some businesses fail to attract leads and get the attention they need because of certain mistakes they make.
Use this report to identify the 7 common GMB mistakes and avoid them to ensure the desired results.
This is by far the most common mistake that businesses make. They assume that since the business is showing up in local listings, there is no reason to claim it. However, verifying your listing is important. It gives you more control over your account and makes it easy for Google to assist you if you have any concerns.
Claiming your listing allows you to create Google Posts, reply to customer reviews, and manage your account effectively. It gives you more control over your business and ensures no one claims your listing or edits the information you upload. It makes it easy for you to correct any inaccurate information and protect your account.
If you claim your listing, you will get notified whenever there’s an update to your profile. This makes it easy for you to manage your account and ensure everything is as it should be.
You can verify your business by email, phone, postcard, instant verification, or bulk verification. Choose whichever method you prefer.
Search for ‘Google My Business Help” on your browser and navigate to ‘Verify’ to get all the information you need about verifying your business using the above-mentioned methods.
Once you verify your listing, optimize your profile, review your information, and ensure everything is correct. Keep your account information up-to-date to make it easy for prospects to find you and connect with your business.
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Duplicate listings affect visibility. Google filters spammy-looking GMB listings out of local searches. So, make sure you don’t have duplicate listings.
Adding a GMB location that has already been verified can affect your rankings. If you share the same physical address with your competitors, you may get filtered out and fail to appear on search engine results pages while your competitor remains visible.
The best way to solve this issue is to build credibility, become an authoritative figure in your industry, stand out from the competition, and convince Google that your business is better than the competition.
However, if the duplicate listings are yours, they are easy to handle. Simply remove the duplicate or incorrect listing by signing in to your GMB account and go to ‘Manage locations.’ Select the location or locations you want to remove. Click on ‘Actions’ then ‘Remove location.’ That’s it. You’ve successfully removed the duplicate listing.
Another method is to log in to your GMB account and click on ‘Account summary.’ Go to ‘Duplicate locations’, select the location you want to remove, and click ‘delete this listing.’ Choose ‘Remove’ on the three-dotted menu if you want to remove multiple locations.
It is important to note that once you remove a location, it can’t be recovered. So, make sure you only remove the ones you want to remove.
If you want to report a duplicate location on Google Maps, go to Google Maps on your laptop. Select the location you want to report and click on ‘Suggest an edit.’ Go to ‘Close or remove’, click on ‘Duplicate of another place’, select the right location, and click ‘submit.’
Most businesses don’t add important information to their profiles. Making it difficult for potential customers to understand your business, learn more about it, or get in touch with you.
Some of the crucial details that companies forget to add to their listings are contact details, physical address, website URL, and working hours.
If prospects don’t know how to reach you, they will seek business elsewhere. So, make sure you provide adequate information and make it easy for customers to contact you.
Double-check your phone number and make sure it’s accurate. Ensure your number is not used by multiple businesses. Search for it using different variations on Google and add them all as a search query. For example, if your phone number is +22119228110, search for it using different variations. Once you’re done, use Google’s advanced search operators to enter all as a search query.
Double-check your physical address and make sure it’s correct. Add your working hours to ensure customers know when to contact you. Provide your business email address and phone number to make it easy for prospects to contact you if they have any inquiries or need assistance.
Most businesses lose customers because they provide inaccurate information or fail to update their account details. So, keep all your information updated and make sure you notify customers of any recent changes. For example, if you change your working hours or move to a different location, make sure your customers are aware of that.
If your profile says you work from Sunday to Saturday and you recently changed your working days to Monday to Friday, highlight it on your page. Update your profile with the new information and be consistent.
If you recently adjusted your working hours, highlight it on your profile. Change your working hours on your GMB account and provide accurate details.
If your profile says you work from 7 am to 5 pm, be available during those times. Make sure you are available when you say you are. If you say that you offer 24/7 online support, make sure you do precisely that.
Improve your customer support system to retain customers, form stronger relations with clients, and improve their overall experience. Send timely responses to questions and answer every question you get. Doing this helps you keep clients and ensures they don’t go to the competition.
If a customer has issues using your services, navigating your website, or finding the information they need, provide the necessary details and offer a solution.
Most businesses that have closed down leave their GMB listings as they are and fail to highlight that they have closed. If people find your business listed in online searches, they expect you to be in business. It is frustrating and time-wasting for people to visit your store only to find out you are no longer operating.
So, if your business is closed, mark it as permanently closed. Doing this reduces frustrations and ensures customers don’t waste time visiting your store or office. If you mark your business as permanently closed, Google will filter your listing and make sure it doesn’t appear on the top of search engine results.
If you move to a different location, update your business address. Make sure your customers and first-time clients are aware of your new location and know where to find you.
Note: You don’t have to create a new business profile if your location changes.
Simply add the new location and verify it when asked to do so.
FAILING TO OPTIMIZE YOUR DESCRIPTION
Your description is important because it helps prospects get a clear picture of what your business does.
One mistake that most brands make is failing to use persuasive language or use meta descriptions when stating what their businesses do. You don’t want to make the same mistake.
Your GMB business description makes it easy for prospects to understand what you do and is key to getting the attention you want. So, make the most of it.
Add all the services you offer so you can help customers determine whether or not you can help them. Identify popular keywords within your niche and incorporate them into your strategy. Add at least 3 high-ranking keywords that your target audience usually types in searches when looking for services or products similar to yours.
Google only displays the first 250 words on your description so, make it count. Use persuasive language to attract attention, get users to click on your links, and turn visitors into customers.
Talk about the value that you bring to customers’ lives to get their attention. Identify customer needs and state how your business solves certain problems or challenges. Use your description to show prospects that you have the answer to their problems.
When people see that you offer value, you can solve some of their common problems, and your product or service helps make their lives easier, they will willingly engage in business with you.
Businesses are always competing and fighting for attention. So, make sure yours stands out. Highlight a few things that set you apart from the competition and convince prospects to choose you over your competitors.
Convince potential customers to engage in business with you and pick your offer over the competition. Use persuasive language to get them to take the desired action.
Keep your page well-structured and appealing to attract attention.
One common mistake that most brands make is not using enough photos on their pages. People prefer and interact best with visuals. So, use that to your advantage.
Photos add a professional touch to your account and help you present your business effectively. Add high-quality images to your page. Use images that make it easy for people to recognize what you do without reading any text. For example, if you own a clothing store, add pictures of clothes. If you own a restaurant, add pictures of your best recipes and new ones.
Add a picture of your storefront or offices to make it easy for prospects to identify you.
Upload employee images to help customers relate to your business easily. You can add an image of all your employees wearing branded t-shirts or photos of your staff working on a certain product you’ve recently launched, and so on.
Another thing that gets people’s attention is sharing behind-the-scenes images. So, add one or two behind-the-scenes photos to raise interest and get users to engage with your content.
HAVING MAP PINS IN THE WRONG PLACE
Most businesses never double-check their map pins. That is why you discover that most of them are often in the wrong place on Google Maps. This makes it difficult for potential customers to find you.
If your map pin is in the wrong place, prospects are not going to find you. They will be directed to the wrong location and end up seeking business elsewhere. So, double-check your business pin and make sure it’s where it’s supposed to be.
Go to Google maps to determine whether or not your pin is in the right place. If it’s not, go ahead and correct it to make it easy for walk-in clients to visit your store.
Another great feature that businesses overlook is the ‘Located In’ feature.
The Located In feature helps prospects know where you are located and makes it easy for them to find you.
Find out whether your Google My Business account is showing the right ‘Located In’ to minimize frustrations and ensure you don’t lose clients to the competition. Simply run a Google search to determine if your GMB displays the accurate ‘Located In.’
If it doesn’t show the right location, tell your customers where they can find you. For example, give them the exact address and tell them you are located in a specific shopping mall or building. Doing this makes it easy for people to find you and minimizes the time it takes for them to discover your business.
NOT DISPLAYING CLIENT REVIEWS
Adding client reviews to your GMB account is one of the most effective ways to attract new customers and convince them to engage in business with you.
One of the most common reasons why businesses fail to grow their customer base and attract clients through their GMB listings is that they don’t display reviews.
The first thing that people do when deciding whether or not to buy your product is check for reviews and ratings. They want to know that you can solve their problems and meet their needs. They want to know if other people have used your product before and learn more about their experiences. So, add client reviews and ratings to accelerate the decision-making process and make it easy for potential customers to choose your business.
Ask happy clients to review and rate your product, service, or business. Add the reviews to your page and boost credibility.
Getting client testimonials doesn’t take long. Just identify 5 or so people who are happy with your services and approach them. Email or call them and ask them to share their experiences with your product or service.
Get straight to the point and ask relevant questions to ensure they give their feedback.
Some of the questions to ask are; “Which product have you recently bought from us?”, “How long have you been our customer?”, “What was your experience with your recent purchase?”, “What is one thing you liked about it?”, “What do you think about our customer service?”, and “Would you consider doing business with us again soon?”
Once you get the responses you want, add them to your GMB account.
Another quick and easy option is to ask for client testimonials and display them on your page. So, ask past clients and new ones to send testimonials. Ask them to talk about their experiences and mention how your product changed or added value to their lives.
Ask them to mention a problem they had and how they solved it with your product. Ask them to state how your business has made their lives easier so that you can attract more people to your brand.
The testimonials don’t have to be lengthy. They can range anywhere from 60 to 100 words. The goal is to make sure they are positive reviews that are written by people who have used your product.
Don’t use fake reviews to get leads and attract people to your business. Don’t pay people to leave reviews on your page because Google can penalize you for it.
Offering coupons or incentives to people who write fake reviews can lead to your listing being removed from local searches. So, don’t do it.
Another common mistake that businesses make is ignoring reviews. They either send late responses or fail to comment altogether.
People want to see that you value their opinion and are not just interested in making money. So, respond to all the reviews you get. Appreciate positive reviews and respond professionally to negative ones. Don’t get defensive when you receive negative comments. Try to understand where the customer is coming from. If they genuinely need your assistance, find out what they need help with and solve their problem. If there is a misunderstanding that needs to be cleared, clear the air.
Keep in mind that you have a reputation to protect. So, lashing out at customers is not going to help you in any way.
Prospects will judge you based on your responses and how you handle criticism. So, remain professional and don’t lose future clients because of negative reviews.