As an idea, utilizing Google My business appears to be straightforward. After all, you only need to create an account and claim your business to get started with local SEO.
And when you actually begin using Google My Business, it turns out to be more complex than you thought. While endeavoring to build your business on GMB, plenty of questions and concerns start springing up. Other than experiencing experimentation, how are you expected to make sense of this all?
We understand how overwhelming it could be to begin with Google My Business! But, here’s the good news: We have answers. This blog post will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Google My Business.
Read on to get the answers you've been searching for.
Answers to 10 frequently asked Google My Business questions
We thought it'd be a great idea to get you more acquainted with some intricacies of GMB. Let's get started with answers to frequently asked Google My Business questions.
Q1 - Are Google business listings free?
What? You can list your business on Google for free!
Yes, it is real! Anyone can add a business on Google and best of all, it won't cost them even a single penny!
Google My Business is a completely free business listing through which Google is attempting to bring the physical world online. Your business listing not only help users find what they're searching for but also lets you tell them the story of your business. So, it’s a win-win for both the Google users and the businesses.
Note - While Google is enabling you list your business for free, you are not actually allowed to post on your profile whatever pleases you. Google timely regulates whatever a company is posting in their listing and posts to ensure everything is compliant to their guidelines.
Q2 - Is there a difference between Google+ and Google My Business?
No, Google+ and Google My Business are not the same! Instead, there is a considerable difference between both.
Google+, which was established in 2011, is a social network that was launched to compete with Facebook. But, due to the data breach that happened on the platform during March of 2018, it is shutting down soon. Just like Facebook, on Google+ one could share links, videos, pictures, and other content with whom they’re connected. Also, it lets people join public or private communities and follow Collections.
On the other hand, Google My Business is an online dashboard for your business that connects you directly with your customers through Insights, Maps, Search, and Analytics. Any additions or updations that you made in your information will be reflected in your online listing, that shows up when an individual searches for your business on Google.
Q3 - What to do if someone else claimed my Google My Business listing?
This listing has already been verified by someone else!
This message showing up on your screen can be disturbing in case you're the business owner, and you don’t know who has claimed your business. On Google My Business some wicked people and companies have been known to claim a business listing and divert users to their very own business. Or there's even a possibility that the listing could have been verified by someone you know.
So, how to deal with this situation? Fortunately, Google gives directions on how to move forward and legitimately claim the listing for your business.
To request ownership of an already verified Google business listing,
Go To business.google.com/create and fill in your Business Name and Address
After choosing the right business from the search results, press Continue
If another person has already verified your business, you’ll see a message indicating that someone else owns this business
Now comes the main step! Tap Request access and fill out the form
Click Submit. When you've finished the way toward requesting the ownership, the current listing proprietor will have 7 days to respond.
Three cases can occur now!
First, either your request gets approves, or second, it gets denied. In both the cases you'll be notified by an email through Google My Business.
Third can be that you don't hear back after 7 days. In this case, you might have the option to claim the listing yourself. Keep in mind; I said you 'MIGHT' have the choice! If you don't see an option, there are chances that the listing is not eligible to be transferred.
Q4 - How do I edit my Google My Business listing if I’m relocating to a new address?
The data you enter on Google My Business plays a crucial role in determining your visibility, which also makes it easier for customers in the real world to discover your business. This is why it’s important to keep your Google My Business listing information correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date.
You'll need to have a Google My Business account to make any updations in business information like address, hours, contact info, and photos. Those who don’t have an account can claim and verify their business by following our guide on Google My Business.
To edit your address,
Make sure you're signed in to your Google My Business account.
From the GMB dashboard go to Menu and click Info.
Click the Address field to enter the new address and click Apply. (Ensure that the info you fill in follows the Google My Business Guidelines
Q5 - Can two businesses share the same address on Google My Business?
2 Businesses, Same Location, Different Google My Business Accounts? This is a fairly common scenario.
Google is location based. If two businesses are legally independent businesses, i.e., if they are all individually operating businesses with separate names, telephone numbers, websites and even offer different services they can each have their own separate Google My Business listings.
Q6 - Why Google My Business Page reviews are so important?
If you are a marketer and you have doubts regarding why Google My Business reviews are so critical, these stats will clear all your doubts!
- About 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase
- 93% of local consumers use reviews to decide whether a local business is great or awful
- 72% of customers don't make a move until they have read reviews
Reviews on Google My Business are something beyond the customer’s thoughts about your product; they are highly capable of significantly affecting individuals' purchasing decisions.
That's why in today’s competitive world, you’ll need more authentic business reviews. However, remember, Google customer reviews don't occur themselves; you will have to make significant efforts to get valuable feedback from your customers!
Related: You may want to read these tips on how to get Google My Business page reviews!
Q7 - Can any random person make changes to my Google My Business listing?
It probably won't seem fair to you, but in reality, any random person can suggest an edit to your business listing.
Try to think about it the other way round! Why would Google give any random person a facility to make changes to the business listings?
Assume, if Google gives full editorial control to the business owners there might rise a situation where they could make a lot of spam edits, which is also a problem. It is just a balancing act to avoid spams!
However, when these changes go live -- Merchants are notified by an email from Google My Business. Here’s what the e-mail looks like:
Sometimes there may be a case when you miss out an e-mail from Google My Business, and you might not even be aware of the edits that have been made to your listing. To avoid such scenarios, I'd suggest you to perform frequent Google My Business audits to ensure no inaccurate changes are made to your listing.
Q8 - Do Google My Business posts help SEO?
Besides making your business listing more relevant and active, posting relevant content and information about your business on Google My Business additionally helps in SEO -- enables you to rank higher!
The posts you share on Google My Business will, of course, incorporate information about your local business, products, and services as well. Greater the information you share specific to your business and location, the richer metadata you’ll be building into your Google My Business listing.
Google My Business posts are a surefire way to gain tons of visibility, generate leads, and grow sales.
Q9 - What do I need to avoid doing at all costs when using Google My Business?
There are so many businesses that have gotten into trouble on Google My Business by violating Google’s guidelines. Don’t let yours be one of them!
Some of the key takeaways:
- Do not encourage fake reviews! Use legitimate ways to get a review on Google My Business.
- Don’t over-hashtag your Google My Business posts. Even though you have up to 1,500 characters for your post, but the character length is between 150-300 characters, so use these characters wisely and don't waste precious characters by incorporating a considerable number of hashtags.
- Pin your business location accurately on Google My Business! If you are missing this, it is the biggest mistake that you are committing.
Q10 - Where can I find answers to other Google My Business questions?
Google My Business is consistently evolving, so don’t be surprised if your questions about it increase. So, where do you find answers to all your Google My business and its listing specific questions?
The best place where you could discover answers to those questions are Google My Business forum or Google Support. This is where you'll learn everything from Getting started with Google My Business to what's new in Google My Business from their product experts·
These assets not just help in the occasions when you have an issue, but they are a great way to help you learn extensively about the intricate details and the tips and tricks of Google My Business.
There you have answers to majority of your Google My Business questions.
Now all that’s left for you to do is leverage this information to your advantage and prepare to take your business to the next level.
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