Ranking on Google is significant for businesses. Everyone knows that. And while most businesses tend to do the usual SEO things – building links, content marketing, and social media – it forgets one key component: Google My Business.
Also known as a GMB listing, this business profile is vital. With over 25% of local searches being affected by the information on GMB listings, it’s importance is paramount, and businesses should optimize their listing to rank as high as possible.
But while there are plenty of blog posts out there that explain how you should optimize your listing, there are few that tell what you shouldn’t do. It’s these common mistakes – that don’t seem like a big deal – that can negatively impact your Google ranking.
Not Posting On Your GMB Listing Consistently
Making posts on a GMB listing is a relatively new feature.
Much like Facebook or Instagram posts and Tweets, GMB posts have the same effect: notifying your audience about recent company news, offers, deals, products, or a blog post. You can add photos, videos, special offers and a Call-To-Action feature so that users can interact with the post.
Unfortunately, not a lot of businesses use this to their advantage. It’s one of their biggest mistakes: they make a listing, but never post on it.
But the interaction is vital for Google. According to ChatMeter, “when people interact with your listing more, it can increase your rankings through “Behavioral Signals”. A high click-through rate, from your GMB listing to your website, is considered a behavioral signal.”
Basically, the more GMB posts you make, the higher the chance your users will interact with them, and therefore, the better your opportunity rankings will increase.
Having Incorrect Information
Filling out details for a GMB listing can seem tedious. The necessary information, such as opening hours, website URLs, and phone numbers, seem too basic to insert. Does it affect your rankings? Well, it does.
If a listing is missing any of that essential information, it will be difficult for customers to know what you do, when and how you’re available to help them. But it’s not just about what your potential customers think; it’s about what Google thinks too.
Google doesn’t want to show incorrect information in its search results. It damages their credibility and reliability for users. If Google picks up that your information is incorrect, it will do what it always does: push your rankings down.
So to avoid any issues, make sure the information on your GMB listing matches that of your website. The same information will alert Google that your business is serious about its listing and will increase your rankings.
Not Having Or Ignoring Reviews
It takes some effort to get someone to post something positive on your GMB listings (as opposed to negative, which is easy for people).
Start by suggesting to customers – whether through email, in person or over the phone – to submit a positive review. If you’ve provided a service or product they want, they’ll be happy too. Over time, you’ll accumulate a strong enough presence on your GMB listing.
But that doesn’t mean you stop there.
Replying to reviews, be they positive or negative, is essential. Consumers are drawn to companies that engage with their customers. 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, which highlights they care how you interact with your consumers’ opinions, as well as offering assistance.
That is especially important when it comes to negative reviews. You need to interact in a way that shows your consumers you deal with issues. Apologizing and offering assistance is the best way you can manage negative reviews.
But how does this affect Google?
Google loves interactivity. It detects the importance of the site and aids it by ranking it higher. The more you interact with your consumers, the more Google will recognize the importance of your GMB listing.
Having Duplicate Listings
We all know the standard rule of SEO and Google: no duplicate content. The same logic applies to any GMB listing, except in a different way. Google’s terms and service states that you should only have one Google My Business profile page – no duplicates.
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses tend to accidentally duplicate their listings, having two listings for the one location. That can cause problems because Google could think you are trying to smother the market by overloading listings, which is against their terms and service.
It means you could get punished by having your rankings drop or worse, your GMB listing removed.
If you think you might have another GMB listing, contact Google to get them removed as quickly as possible.
Having The Wrong Map Pins
How do people get to your business’ location without having a Map pin? Google maps pinnings are essential, so, if your pin is going to the wrong place, that doesn’t look good for anyone.
Consumers won’t trust your business or GMB listing, and Google will think something is wrong with your business, such as its a fake. As we mentioned above, Google thrives on providing credible information. If it thinks you are misleading users, it will punish you.
So, you have to make sure that the map pin is going precisely to your business. It can make a massive difference to your GMB listing and Google rankings.