Have you been reading our blog for some time? Then you know that having an accurate Google My Business listing is essential for driving web and foot traffic to your business, improving your SEO, and helping build your brand reputation through reviews and posts. But what happens when the system breaks and your listing on Google is no longer accurate?
Daniel Gavsie, owner of Aliyah Massage in Montreal, had the unpleasant experience of twice having his business location changed on his Google My Business listing. For reasons unbeknownst to Daniel, after almost two years at his current location, Google updated his street address from Jean-Talon Street West to Jean-Talon Street East – a 30-minute drive away.
“It’s crippling,” said Daniel, who first noticed the problem when a client was 10 minutes late to their appointment. After calling his client to check-in, Daniel discovered the client was lost and looking for the clinic at the wrong end of the street. The client didn’t make their appointment – and Daniel missed out on the business.
“Searches for information are higher this year,” said Vanessa Gingras, an industry expert. “Every time government regulations change, there is a spike in searches. Ultimately, these inaccuracies lead to lost revenue.”
Guard Your Revenue Drivers
During the pandemic, when small businesses are lucky to be open and operating, lost revenue is no small matter. And when clients are already exasperated with COVID and with trying to figure out if businesses are open or operating regular hours, inaccuracies like this can lead to lost business on a larger scale, too. These inaccuracies may include:
- Loss of new business.
- Loss of already scheduled appointments.
- Loss of recurring business from clients upset with travelling to the wrong location.
So how can you get ahead of Google’s automation system, which determines if your information is accurate or not and, sometimes, makes changes without you knowing? Along with ensuring you are updating your business information regularly, having an active listing is crucial.
“Keep updating the listing even if there are no changes,” says Vanessa. “This tells Google you are an active business, which helps it value your business more than others.”
Because Google is a user-centric business directory, it will always prefer listings that it believes are active and up-to-date.
“It’s important for business owners to understand that having an ‘updated’ listing isn’t just about ensuring your hours are accurate. You have to be consistently updating your description, add photos, and so on, to stay relevant.” Doing so sends the right signals to Google, as their algorithms are always looking for business owners who are active and engaged. And why would they be if their listing was inaccurate?
Agencies Connected To Google Can Help
That’s why, when you’re relying on Google to maintain your online business information, it’s crucial to stay on top of your listing and show Google you are both active and that your information is accurate. While it’s not a fool-proof system, as Daniel witnessed, it’s your best bet to ensure Google leaves you alone and doesn’t try to override the content you’ve created.
If you’re still unfortunate enough to have an issue with how Google interprets your business information, it’s good to associate yourself with an agency. Choosing the right agency is key because some oversee thousands of business listings and work closely with Google to help solve these types of problems. With an agency on the case, these types of issues get solved more quickly than if you’re attempting to navigate the waters yourself, as the agency will have more pull with Google. And, for small business owners, a quick resolution in these instances is everything.
“This error is on every level,” said Daniel. “It’s tough right now. We’re lucky even to be open.”
And Daniel is thankful this problem is now in his rearview mirror.
If you have questions about how you can better manage your Google My Business listing to avoid this unfortunate situation, send us a message – we’re always happy to help.