Google My Business is a rapidly growing service that is essential for local SEO. However, because it is still a rising platform, some mistakes are easy to make, but also easy to avoid. We’re here to go over those mistakes and guide you through solutions to help make your Google My Business as helpful and useful as possible.
We want to make sure your business is living up to its full internet potential, which is why we are here to offer tips and solutions regarding some of the most common Google My Business mistakes you could be making.
1. Not claiming your Google My Business profile
Failure to claim your company’s profile is essentially the biggest mistake you could make in the realm of Google My Business. If you do not claim your profile, then you have no control over the information that is displayed regarding your business. By not claiming your company’s profile, the public can recommend hours and phone numbers, as well as other details, meaning that if that information is incorrect, your business could suffer. Wouldn’t it be bad if your company was closed on Saturday and Sunday, but nobody mentioned that in the recommended hours? Then, if people showed up on a day when you are not open, it would reflect poorly on your business and could result in loss of clientele.
It also means Google could make an accidental mistake regarding your business. If Google cannot quickly tell what kind of business you are, they may misidentify you, meaning that you would not appear in the correct search queries, resulting in no gains for your business.
We have an article already about how to complete your Google My Business profile to increase rankings, and it will provide an outline of all the information you should fill out to ensure that your Google My Business profile is a meaningful addition to your company’s online presence.
2. Not completing or optimizing your profile
Claiming your Google My Business profile is a good step towards increasing your business’s overall credibility and reach, but you should also make sure you are completing and optimizing the profile. We have a blog post on the components most crucial to the growth of your business through Google My Business, but really, you want to be as thorough as possible in getting every portion filled out. There are a couple of sections you should be especially aware to fill out completely and correctly. Here are our best tips for avoiding mistakes regarding optimization of your profile. After all, complete profiles are 2.7x more likely to be seen as reputable.
Picking the wrong categories for you business
One aspect of your profile you really want to complete wholly and succinctly is the “Categories” section of your profile. These categories are how people will be able to identify what kinds of services you offer. There is a complete list of categories available, so you can search out each of the groupings that will be most relevant to your business. You want to include all the categories that accurately reflect your brand while leaving off those that are simply a characteristic of your ideal market. For example, a hotel with a pool should be listed as “Hotel” or “Motel,” and not as “Swimming Pool.” You risk being seen as unreliable if you choose to categorize yourself too extensively.
Inserting unflattering photos or not sharing any photos
Another mistake you don’t want to make is regarding the “Photos” section of your profile. Today, you can add a Logo, Cover Photo, and other photos, including action shots “At Work.” You will want to take advantage of these categories and insert images that look nice and represent your company well. You will want to prioritize shots that look best, so that way, those images are the first impression potential customers receive.
Remember, anyone can upload photos of your business to your Google My Business Profile. Don’t make the mistake of letting someone else upload the only photos that represent your business, as it will not help your business grow.
If you’re using Google My Business, it is clear that you want to see your business grow. Therefore, you should do all that you can to maximize the results of possible queries that could show your business as a search result.
3. Never updating your Google My Business profile
Like your website, you don’t want to create a Google My Business profile and then never update it. Having an updated and active Google My Business profile tells potential customers that you care about your business’s image and its customers. There are several ways in which you can keep your Google My Business profile updated to inform potential customers best.
– Frequently adding posts
You will want to be diligent about updating your Google My Business profile with new Posts. These Posts deliver valuable information about your company, from offers and promotions to information about the services your company provides. If you never update your Posts, people will not know that your business is up-to-date and looking to grow.
Posts are an efficient and effective way to express your brand and what it offers. You should enhance your Google My Business profile using them. As Google My Business grows, it will become an increasingly big mistake not to use Posts in your profile.
– Updating profile information
If you create your Google My Business profile, but then never update the information regarding your hours, website, or other information as it is needed, your business will appear much less reliable to potential clients. You should be updating your business’s information frequently- it is just as important as updating your website.
You should always update links as needed and have your hours updated, especially around holidays. Outdated information makes your company look unprofessional and outdated. If people cannot rely on your details to be correct, they likely will not trust you to handle their services.
Therefore, you should always make sure you are updating your Google My Business profile in the same way you update your website. Both should accurately represent your business.
– Responding to reviews and questions
Another way that you can show potential customers that you are invested in your online presence is by engaging with those who engage with your profile. This means that you should be responding to those who use Google Reviews to comment about the quality of your business. Regardless of whether the review is good or bad, you should take the time to get back to people, as it will show that you care about your clients and the quality of your business.
There is also a Q&A section of Google My Business, in which members of the public can ask questions about the services you offer. You should be checking your Google My Business profile frequently to answer those questions. If you do not answer, then members of the public can, and they may not respond with accurate information, which can reflect poorly upon your business.
Remember, the best thing to do is to promote your business fairly and smartly, which includes keeping all aspects of your Google My Business profile up-to-date. You should ask customers to leave a review of your services on your profile, as you want legitimate reviews to boost your credibility.
4. Using false information for your business’s profile
The last thing you want to do is to misrepresent your company on your Google My Business profile, or anywhere else for that matter. While it is usually not intentional, any incorrect or improper information can lead to account suspension.
One good example of a misstep is the inclusion of keywords in the title of your Google My Business listing. For example, if you made the title of your Italian restaurant “Business name – Fine Italian Dining,” you may rank higher for the query “fine Italian dining,” but Google specifies that it is against its Guidelines to include unnecessary information in the title for the business. While this may seem like a natural step to enhance SEO, you should be careful, as you may end up with your business suspended if Google sees your business’s profile and acts to make sure that people are not taking advantage of their service. You should always take steps to make sure you are following Google’s Guidelines as closely as possible.
You always want to guide your audience in the right direction
Additionally, you should take care to make sure there is not a duplicate business profile. For years, Google has had issues with businesses falsifying their addresses when they are not legitimate companies, which means they are essentially stealing customers from those who have otherwise earned them. Since Google is working to crack down on this issue, you will want to make sure you do not have multiple profiles that could put you in jeopardy. You want to make sure your business appears legitimate and trustworthy to potential customers, and if you are not truthful about your services, location, quantity, or type of business, it will reflect poorly.
Conclusion: Google My Business is an Invaluable SEO Tool- If You’re Using it Correctly
Google My Business is one of the best tools for local SEO at this point, but it will only serve your business well if you are correcting your mistakes and optimizing your profile as efficiently as possible. All of the mistakes we mentioned above are simple to fix and will help your company’s profile rank higher, and your company perform better online.
If you need help with removing mistakes on your company’s Google My Business profile, we are here to help. Hartford Web Design has the expertise to make sure your business has a profile that will show off all the things you have to offer, which means developing the best page possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information about how we can help you build your Google My Business profile in a manner that eliminates mistakes and helps your business thrive.