Troubleshooting Google My Business
Troubleshooting your Google My Business listing can be a challenge. Many of my clients first contact me due to an issue with their listing; 90%+ of these cases could have been easily avoided. In this article I aim to address some of the most common issues faced by businesses using Google My Business, how to avoid them and the best solutions if you’re already in Google’s ‘naughty corner’.
Setting up and claiming your business on GMB is a relatively easy process, ranking for your keywords and being found locally however, can be slightly more complicated. There are many difficulties that one may face when trying to rank your Google My Business but don’t fear, enquire today about Black Diamond Marketing’s Google My Business Optimization Service.
Sometimes it may result into your Google My Business listing getting suspended. There are two types of suspension a ‘soft’ suspension and ‘hard’ suspension. In the former, since you broke Google’s guidelines you no longer have the ability to manage the listing but your ranking does not decline and you are still able to be found online.
The latter suspension means your entire listing has been removed including all reviews, photos, and content. Here are some of the violations that can leave your account suspended- We strongly recommend reading Google My Business’ Guidelines HERE to be sure to adhere to their rules and regulations. For assistance with troubleshooting Google My Business listing issues, contact us today.
Wrong Forward links or Phone Numbers
Tempted to redirect to some other URL or business not owned by you? Please don’t do this. In Google’s guidelines, it states, “Do not provide phone numbers or URLs that redirect users to landing pages or phone numbers other than those of the actual business, including pages created on social media sites otherwise it leads to suspension.”
NO Listings for Virtual Offices
If you are planning to list your business on GMB make sure you have a contact person and a physical storefront to serve your customers. The location should be staffed by your team during stated business hours. If not and still listed is considered as deceptive practice and your listing will get suspended.
There are some exceptions-
- Express mail drop boxes, ATM’s and video rental kiosks are exceptions but they need to add contact information for providing help to customers.
- Seasonal businesses are also eligible for listings but they have to display permanent signage year round the location.
Troubleshooting Google My Business – Incorrect Information
Information on your Google My Business page is for your potential customers to get to know about you and your business. Make sure your businesses NAP (name, address and phone number) are exactly the same. For example, if you used the abbreviation Rd. instead of ‘Road’ then it must be Rd. in EVERY SINGLE CITATION. If there are discrepancies here then Google will not see them as the same company, please make sure your citations are accurate. For assistance with citations, contact us today.
In addition, website URL, website category should be accurate and consistent. Even the tiniest variation can lead to losing ranking and therefore customers.
Primary Category comes in high risk industry
There are certain regulated goods such as fireworks, gun merchants, nicotine etc. that are in some way sensitive or controversial. There are some of the businesses that are deemed ‘risky’ in the eyes of Google. In their guidelines, Google states that regulated business and services are permissible as long as the business sets age and geographic restrictions.
Multiple Listings for Same Business
This is an obvious one but I see it again and again. Please don’t be tempted to open more than one listing for your business. I get it, if you have 2 listings then you have twice as much chance as ranking and being seen, right? Unfortunately, no. It actually means that you are twice as likely to be banned and offers no benefits to your ranking or listings.
If you have more than one page i.e. a duplicate listing for the same business, it’s better to remove the duplicated one. Otherwise, Google could potentially ban both the listings.
Troubleshooting Google My Business – Ownership Issues
Any type of business which doesn’t uses its own property or uses a location it does not have authority to represent (like social/hobbyist classes in a community centre etc.) unfortunately these type of listings are ineligible as per Google guidelines. Google have recently wised to up to this and listings can be banned/suspended immediately if a well known/regularly used address or location are attempted to be claimed.
How to avoid suspension?
It is pretty easy if you use some common sense and follow Google’s guidelines. To go ahead in business by providing false information or using deceptive practices will not help you and will be far more damaging to your business in the long run. You need to be honest to keep your listing safe from suspension.
Troubleshooting Google My Business – How to get GMB listing reinstated?
If your Google My Business listing is suspended, the business representative remains confused as in accordance to Google’s policy they will not state the reason for suspension and only state that it is due to policy violations. The only thing the owner can do is to re-verify the listing with a fine tooth comb no matter how obscure. If your listing has several violations it may take numerous round of suspension to fix all the issues. It is better to re-verify thoroughly so not to get into trouble of repetitive suspensions again and again.
If going through hard suspension it’s better to take help from Google My Business Forum. Be prepared to prove that you are in 100 percent compliance of all GMB listing guidelines.
Did you know?? Optimized GMB listings receive over 700% more clicks than an un-optimized listings!
Black Diamond Marketing offer a complete Google My Business Optimization service, leave all the complicated SEO work to one of our GMB experts!
Do you already have a GMB listing? Would you like to know how it’s performing?
Then complete the form on our homepage to receive your free Google My Business audit report today!
Don’t forget you can also join our Facebook GMB Mastermind Group for regular updates, news, tips and advice for ranking your Google My Business listing.
Thanks for reading.
To Your Continued Success