The last few motnhs, I have had an ongoing learning curve going with setting up and keeping up Google Business Profiles (formally Google My Business or Google Places).
If you haven’t got a Business profile set up for your business, then I would recommend you get one. Set up correctly, a Google Business profile is a potential way for your business to be listed on page 1.
If, for example someone wanted to search for web designers in Braintree. You get the paid adverts right at the top of the page, but below here is a map for every web designer in Braintree. Users can view more businesses by clicking the button to view more businesses, but the top 3 positions are money in the bank.
Here are some tips to get you there:
Give as much info as possible: Hear you can add opening hours, your logo, a cover photo, other images of your product or service or building. All this information adds to your profile and has it working for you.
Answer questions: People can ask you questions on your profile. Yes you will get questions saying “how much if your product service, etc” Answer politely and fully or direct them where they can find the answer. Adding your FAQ’s will also serve you well.
Get reviews. It’s one thing telling everyone how brilliant your company service is, but to have testimonials endorsing your product/service speaks volumes. Go as far to ask your customers if they are happy with your service and ask for a review. It all builds good reputation and Google recognises the feedback.
Use your right to reply: On the same point, not every review is good. This could be a case of mistaken identity, a disgruntled customer for the most petty reasons or old fashioned corporate sabotage. If this is a disgruntled customer, then you have a right to reply. Be polite and fair as your reply reflects on your company’s image.
As a sidenote, if you believe someone has given you a bad review for another company, or believe a competitor posing as a customer has given you a bad rap, then you can appeal to Google. You will however need to provide evidence that this is the case. Google take about 3 business days to reply somtimes a little longer.
Be honest: I have saved this one until last, because it is the most important. Tell the truth. If you’re company is called Acme Enterprises then call your business Acme Enterprises, don’t call it Acme Business services and valeting service. Google suspends any profile that they think might be gaming the system and the difference between a visible profile and a suspended profile can be detrimental.
Now this is the scope for much debate. Google do ask you to verify your business prior to listing your company, but if they get a complaint or suspect that you are not being straight with them, they have the right to take your profile offline and ask you to verify again. It is after all, their system.
Google will ask for a recent bill or your company signage to prove your name. So unless you have genuinely changed your company name and can prove it, your smartest move would be to revert back to your company name.
If you want to debate the issue with them, all I can say is good luck. Google take up to 3 business days to reply, but they often go over that. Also you may have to ask more than once, as their vast support team have a tendency to give copied/pasted answers.
So to conclude, a Google Business Profile can be a potential foot in the door for your business, but you will need to put the work in and just be honest.
If anyone has any questions or can beat my email ping pong record with Google support (2 months), then let me know in the comments.
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