Google has become an increasingly important channel of referrals for a wide array of businesses. Over recent years the development of local search and services such as maps has opened the door to small businesses and service providers to new opportunities for search coverage.
The introduction of the Google my Business platform has allowed users to view business information in Google’s index. Showing location, contact information, opening times, reviews and other features.
Google my Business is available to both store front and service area operations. It provides a dashboard where the business information can be changed and amended, as well as giving an insight into views and engagements with the business listing.
This feature is useful to business owners, giving them extra visibility in the search results. It’s also an attractive feature to users, allowing them to access opening times and other information quickly and easily.
Despite its advantages, Google my Business can sometimes be confusing and there can be difficulties with some aspects. For example, verification for difficult locations and access issues (forgotten emails and passwords, profiles set up by previous agencies). This can often lead to incorrect listings of business information.
Sometimes, incorrect information can cause great harm to a business. A recent story in the News and Star, a Cumbrian local news outlet reported that owner of a local Thai Bistro suffered a great loss of trade due to a Google business listing the restaurant as “permanently closed”.
The issue was later resolved, but only after the owner had lost an estimated £4,000 – £5,000 and laid off a member of staff.
Its unclear exactly how this error was caused (the article suggests that a Google error was the cause), but this serves as an example of just how powerful these listings can be, and the damage that mistakes and inaccuracies can cause.
Google business listings are just one area of local search, but can be extremely important to your visibility.
If you are experiencing issues with your local search presence, or would like more information, contact us today.