6 Common Mistakes of Google Business Profiles

Graphic of Google maps and checklist by Sales & Marketing Technologies

September 22, 2020

Setting up and maintaining a free Google business profile is essential for building trust in your brand and driving customers to your business. Additionally, a Google business profile is an important element of local search engine optimization (SEO). If you’re unfamiliar with local SEO, read our local SEO guide to learn how it can help you attract and retain more local customers.
However, it’s not enough to just have a profile - it must be accurate and appealing. Find out the most common mistakes of Google business profiles so you can avoid damaging your reputation, receiving a penalty, or losing customers.

Mistakes to Avoid with Your Google Business Profile

Business owners oftentimes will set up their Google profile and then never look at it again. Instead, be proactive to ensure your business always has a quality profile that builds brand trust and drives traffic to your website or physical location.

1. Incorrect Business Name

Make sure that the spelling is accurate and the name matches your real-world business title because having a different name on your Google profile then what’s on your website, business cards, etc., will confuse customers. Also, don’t add keywords to your profile name, you have plenty of opportunities to incorporate keywords in other areas of your profile.

2. Inaccurate Information

Your profile should have the most up to date information like business hours, phone number, website, offerings, etc. Don’t make it harder for customers to do business with you by having inaccurate information. Check your profile to make sure it’s consistent with your business, website, and social media. Google also allows you to set special hours to ensure your profile’s business hours are correct.

3. Hijacking

Unfortunately, profiles can be maliciously edited or hijacked by a competitor, angry customer, or another third party. Regularly monitor your profile to quickly catch the hijacking and take steps to fix your profile. Decrease the chances of hijacking by claiming your business’s Google profile. If you come across misleading information or fraudulent activity, you can submit a complaint on Google’s Business Redressal Complaint Form.

4. Fake Reviews

Fake reviews can come from competitors, angry customers, and the business itself. Fake negative reviews will damage your brand because customers rely on reviews to make purchase decisions. Fake positive reviews, however, are bad too because you’re misleading customers and if they discover the positive reviews are fake, they’ll lose trust in your brand.
Here are some tips for reviews to protect your business:
  • Don’t review your own business (including staff)
  • Don’t review your competitors
  • Don’t incentivize reviews
  • Don’t post reviews on behalf of anyone else
  • Don’t hire any business or use any review management software that violates the review platform’s guidelines

5. Poor Quality or Outdated Photos

Profiles with photos are more engaging than profiles that don’t have any. However, photo quality and accuracy matter. While you don’t have much control over what reviewers post, you can replace poor quality photos and outdated images (old logos, previous business location, discontinued products, etc.) to make your business more appealing and avoid confusion.

6. Not Responding to Questions

Google business profiles have a Q&A feature where anyone can ask or answer questions. If you don’t monitor or respond to questions though, you run the risk of someone not associated with the business responding with a wrong answer. Instead, answer these questions with helpful and accurate responses to attract customers. And unlike Google’s review guidelines, you can post and answer your own FAQs.

Gain Customers with an Optimized Profile

A Google business profile is highly effective for communicating with customers and building brand trust. It does require regular attention though to ensure the profile is benefiting, not hurting, your business. Sales & Marketing Technologies has helped businesses set up, optimize, and monitor Google profiles to drive more customers to their website or physical location.
Call 407.682.2222 or contact us below to schedule a free 30-minute strategy session on Google business profiles!

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