You’ve probably received a phone call or two (or, if you’re like us, several times a day) with a recorded message about your Google Business Listing. As you probably already know, these are telemarketers trying to sell you services that you don’t need. These firms scour websites and social media to collect contact information and, as they are located outside of the US, it’s difficult to get them to stop calling. But what if there are actual problems with your Google Business Profile? We’ll point out some common issues and how to resolve them.
Issue 1: Does your business qualify for a listing in the first place?
Google Business Profiles are primarily for local businesses so that they can show up in location-based searches. These search results are typically related to Google Maps. So if your business has a physical location (office, storefront, etc.…) where potential clients can come visit, then you’re good to go. If you go to clients’ sites to do work (plumber, electrician, etc…), then you qualify as well because you can share a service area (should be within a 2-hour drive of your “home”). If you have a virtual business where you work out of your home, that’s a grey area. A lot of us want to have the ability to show up in searches and get “Google reviews” so some people will use their home address. Others use a P.O. Box or an address from Staples or the UPS Store, but that violates Google’s terms, so your profile will be shut down once Google becomes aware of it.
Issue 2: Your profile has incorrect information.
Are your hours accurate? Is your product/service listing up to date? Are you posting holiday hours? These are all little things that can cause headaches if not addressed. Someone drives an hour to your business only to find out that your location is closed. Or they reach out to you about a service you no longer offer. These issues could result in a bad review or they may report your profile. So put a reminder in your calendar to review your profile each quarter (or every month if you have a lot of changes in your offerings).
Issue 3: Bad reviews
Businesses get bad reviews for a variety of reasons and they’re not always your fault. However, potential clients will see these reviews so you need to address them. You can start by replying to the review (which you should do for all reviews anyway). If the client has a legitimate issue, try to resolve it and then ask them to update the review. The customer isn’t always right, so if they post a negative review because you won’t cave into their unreasonable demands, share your side of the story so readers will at least know your side (but be professional and positive). Sometimes, the reviewer may have targeted the wrong business (this happens more than you think), so contact the reviewer and let them know.
Issue 4: Over-Optimized / Under-Optimized Profile
This is the area where the scammer tries to get you. “You could be getting so much traffic from your profile.” Proper optimization of a profile is a topic in itself, but the Cliff Notes is that you want to make sure all applicable fields in your profile are filled out accurately. You can add products, services, posts, and pictures to your profile so be sure to do that. But don’t over-optimize. Google has some strict rules that if you break, your profile will get suspended. And they won’t tell you why.
Google Business Profile is a great tool for businesses, but you need to ensure you’re following the rules. Make sure your profile is set up correctly and all of the information is accurate. And review it at least once every quarter to ensure everything is still accurate. If you have any questions or need guidance, don’t hesitate to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with us. We’ll ensure that your profile is good to go.