Google My Business Listing Suspension Resolved Back in Business

On June 22, 2019 we wrote about how our Google My Business listing had been suspended by Google about a week prior to that. We are happy to report that our suspension issue has been resolved with a positive outcome in the space of just one month.

Google My Business Listing Suspension Resolved Back in Business

 

How was this accomplished? There are many horror stories out there about how it can take months to get this resolved and sometimes it just doesn’t get resolved. We were determined that we were not going to just let it go and become a statistic.

Our first few conversations with the team that takes care of this issue really did raise a spike in the blood pressure as the rhetoric from the team members was strictly based upon “you broke the rules, you are wrong, you have to comply with the rules” when we didn’t know what rules of Google’s we had broken. It took quite a lot of chain yanking to get them to reveal what actual rules we had supposedly broken

Finally we found out you cannot have two listings at the same address for two businesses. Especially if the address was not a commercial address but an at home address. With so many people working from home these days, who knew?

Our insistence that we broke the supposed rules innocently were completely irrelevant to the team. They just kept spewing the same rhetoric.

When this happened, we kept to our story which was entirely true that we broke the rules innocently, we have complied with the suggested fixes, and when we made further changes as suggested by the team, we kept getting suspended every time we initiated a team suggested change.

This escalated the entire issue to a higher chain of command in the team.

Finally we got a phone call from a knowledgeable gentleman who told me to go look at the listing. It was alive, well, and published. He told me to go in and edit the listing as I saw fit. I told him quite honestly I was afraid to even touch it because previously when I had made suggested changes the listing kept getting suspended. He insisted, so I went in and made changes to better fit the listing. The listing stayed live and valid.

This Google team member was probably one of the nicest individuals I had spoken with throughout this entire fiasco, and the most knowledgeable. He advised me that listings can get suspended either by the suggestions and input of others as well as by their automated system, and informed me of a few things never to change now that the listing was repaired and blessed by Google.

Besides the fact that you can only have one Google My Business Listing per address, he advised me to:

A) Never change the business name

B) Never change the actual address

C) Never change the main category for the listing (although you can add up to 10 additional sub categories to any listing as long as they are relevant to the business)

While this sounds easy enough, getting through the process to this point was an actual nightmare but it was a learning experience with a positive outcome so you cannot ask for more than that.

Are you having any issues with your Google My Business Listing? Has it been suspended? If so, give us a call or text at 201.753.1677. We will work with Google on your behalf to get the issue straightened out.

So Your Google My Business Listing Got Suspended What’s Next?

So one day you go into your Google My Business account to perhaps make a post or make an adjustment to your hours and what do you see? Your Google My Business listing has been suspended!! End of the world, right? Not so much. Keep reading.

Google My Business Listing Suspended

Google My Business gives you a free listing for your business complete with a spot on the map, categories for your business, the ability to post pictures and to actually post posts about your business. It’s a free service. Sounds great! 

Enter today’s spammers and scammers who make fake addresses, fake listings, hand out fake damaging reviews to legitimate businesses, and take down legitimate business listings by reporting them as duplicates, or out of business when they are not. Not sounding so great now………..

Google encourages “edits” to listings in the effort to make them hopefully more relevant and accurate. Which opens a door to the scammer, spammer and competition to use this editing power for harm instead of good. 

If your business does NOT see customers at your location, such as a consultant who goes out to meet with clients, or an at home internet business who sells and ships from the home but does not have a physical brick and mortar retail store, you are generally encouraged to clear your address on your Google My Business listing so that your home address isn’t out there for all to see. 

If you operate more than one business from your location, say your home, such as a husband operating one business and the wife operating another, you cannot have both businesses listed on Google My Business. So what’s the point of even listing your businesses on Google My Business?

These two types of scenarios, the one where you clear your address and the operating of more than one business from your home location is what Google has been targeting and suspending lately. 

You’re not dishonest, you’re running a legitimate business, but you are getting your listing suspended. Yes, you can contact Google and ask for it to be reinstated. There is no guarantee they will do so, and there is no guarantee they will constructively interact with you. 

So what’s a small business owner to do? The listing is suspended, you don’t know when or if it’s ever going to be brought back to life. And meanwhile like a fairly normal person you are kind of freaking out. 

It all boils down to doing things the old fashioned way, boys and girls. Good old fashioned search engine optimization done the way we did it quite a few years ago, before Google My Business was ever even a thought or a conception. Google My Business started in 2014. We’ve been doing search engine optimization long before that, since 2000. 

And how did we get our clients all over the Internet like splat back then? Good old honest search engine optimization with geo targeting and precisely constructed landing pages. All white hat, all transparent and all targeted at your desired target audience. No black hat seo BS. 

Honest, creative search engine optimization with geo targeting and carefully constructed landing pages has survived the test of time. It has survived innumerable Google algorithm changes, it has survived all of the trendy techniques of times past, and it survives today alive and well. 

So, if your Google My Business page has been suspended never fear. There is life after suspension. Plenty of life. And plenty of business that you can acquire just by making the move towards geo targeted SEO and carefully crafted landing pages. 

In 20 years of business there has been plenty of change and we have always successfully reinvented ourselves and our clients so we can roll with the punches and move ahead. We can help you do that too. 

Call or text us today at 201.753.1677 to find out more.

Be Aware of Google Maps Hackers

Yes, I know this article was written back in 2014…….. yet it still holds the same relevance today as it did then unfortunately. With the rising rates of fraudulent transactions and mean spirited behaviors among people, when a competitor wants to shut you down there’s a very easy way to do it. On Google Maps. They can take your Google My Business listing down in a virtual heartbeat. 

All the stories in the article I’m about to link to have either taken down the business completely or caused enough grief to the business owner to cause real financial hardship. Community edits are a main source of trouble, as are the infamous map hackers and those who change the business hours and flood the business with fake reviews.

Read original article here

The point is no one checks their Google My Business listing every day. I check it about every two weeks on my phone or iPad with the app. All has been well with my Google My Business listing for a long time. No issues.

I checked it today whilst doing social media because I thought how neat would it be to copy my Instagram post which immediately is shared on Facebook to my Google My Business listing. Lo and behold I was listed as a duplicate listing which could NOT be removed because someone else had become the manager. Which was not true because when I looked up Users it was only my account managing it. 

I had no ability to change anything and I could not obtain permission to transfer it to another account. Then I noticed 2 other listings had been tampered with as well. Bottom line after 2 hours of trying everything in the book, I copied my reviews, and finally was able to delete all listings. Then I created a new listing which was immediately suspended. I was not allowed to use LLC after my name. 

I created yet another listing and now am waiting for that pesky verification postcard. 

It really is imperative that you stay on top of your Google My Business listing because you never ever know when that evil individual who is your competitor or a hacker will strike. Sad world we live in. But one must remain vigilant. 

Getting Your Business to Show Up on Google Local Near Me Searches

It makes perfect sense for any business to be able to show up on Google when potential clients search for a local business near them. However, many businesses do NOT show up when potential customers or clients search. The typical search would be “jewelry store near me” or “dwi lawyer near me” or “general contractor near me”.

The landscape has changed in regards to the demise of Google+, sometimes referred to as Google Plus, which I personally considered pretty lame. However, the upside of this is the new and improved Google My Business. Which I am actually impressed with. And I’ll tell you why. It really enables the business owner to control their presence and to connect with their audience and potential clients.

The quick and dirty procedure to get your business to show up on the local near me listings is the following:

Google Maps Ranking Factors – fill out your entire business listing completely and comprehensively and you will see the rewards with better exposure.

1) It always pays to verify your Google My Business Information – so make sure you do this.

2) Encourage your current clients / customers to leave you reviews on Google.

3) Take the time to properly categorize your business – the more careful you are to target your niche, the easier it will be for people to find your business.

4) Optimize your listing description – this is all done under the INFO tab on the left. Categories, service areas, your hours, phone, website, appointment url (even if that is just your contact us page), description, and any photos you might want to add.

5) Using a local telephone number is preferable to using an 800 number. Many 800 or 888 numbers are robo call numbers or spam numbers. If you want to come up in local searches, use a local phone number. This also shows Google you really are a local business.

6) Embedding a Google Map on your website is further proof of credibility and legitimacy.

How to embed a Google Map on your website? Google My Business makes this super easy for you. From the dashboard of your listing, click on INFO in the left hand menu. Then, all the way to your right click on View on Maps. Next, on your maps view, look in the left hand column for the three bar menu icon at the top left of the page. Click on that and scroll down to where it says Share or Embed a Map. Click on that.

A small screen pops up that says Share. You have two choices – Send a Link or Embed a Map. Choose Embed a Map. You can choose the map size. Then click on Copy HTML and add that to your contact us page or your website footer widget or send to your website manager to do this for you.

The next step is to create posts with pictures. This is a mission critical step. Going back to your dashboard page, see Posts in the left menu. Click on that. Create a post complete with relevant hashtags, and a relevant image. Your post doesn’t have to be the Great American Novel. Keep it short and sweet.

Since we are always posting about a service we offer or a web design product that we offer, we choose What’s New. At the very bottom you can Add a Button. We always choose Learn More and put the link to the service or product in there. When done, hit Publish.

Be advised that all Google posts expire after 7 days with the exception of Event posts. So be sure to post on a consistent basis of every 3 or 4 days to serve up fresh content. Monitor your insights and watch the traffic to your listing go up. And watch your search engine visibility grow. And listen to the phone ring. It takes some time, as do all good things, but you will have done your business a great service by following these steps and maximizing your Google My Business listing.

***HINT: To make your posting easier and a more streamlined process, we create our original post in our business Instagram Account with all of the appropriate hashtags. We then share it from Instagram directly to our business Facebook page. From there, we copy the content to our Google My Business post. Upload the picture, and we are done. 5 minutes. Literally. And painless.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Leveraging Google My Business for Business Success

Google is finally doing away with Google+, which in my eyes, was fairly useless as far as business is concerned. Up on the up side, they have made Google My Business much easier to use, more clear cut, and have incorporated the posts feature from Google+ into Google My Business.This is a key selling point in why your small business should take advantage of this and leverage this tool for your business success.

The key to using Google My Business correctly for best business exposure is simple.

  • Fill out your INFO section as completely and thoroughly as possible. Don’t have a dedicated appointment URL? Use your contact us page. Be sure to pick the most relevant categories for your business.
  • Reviews. Respond to your reviews, both good reviews and not so good reviews. It shows you’re keeping up with your client feedback.
  • Turn on messaging. Get the Google My Business App so you can respond quickly to any inquiries that come your way.
  • Upload some photos of your business. They don’t have to be images of your office if you prefer not. They can be images you use in your blog posts or social media as pertains to your business.
  • They give you a free website. We don’t need it because we have one of our own. However, you can turn this one page freebie into a useful landing page for your business. Food for thought.
  • Above all, take advantage of posting POSTS. What we do is we post on Instagram, share it to our Facebook business page, then copy it to our Google My Business Posts. All posts expire after 7 days so it is important to keep your feed fresh. Save images from expiring posts in your photos.

Be consistent and watch your INSIGHTS grow and your phone call rate go up!

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Why Blogging Matters to Your Business

Why does blogging matter to your business? No one has any time to do it, and no one wants to put forth the extra effort to do it, much less take the time to conjure up original content.

How many times have we searched on Google for anything, and see 10 – 20 websites that have the same blog content posted. Not exactly original content.

So back to the original question of why blogging matters to your business.

It doesn’t matter what kind of company you run………… construction, the arts, landscaping, food and drink, jewelry, fashion, attorney services or medical practitioner. We’re all in this together. Every business type needs to blog, end of story. Here’s why.

  • Credibility – the more you blog and provide original content of value, the greater your overall credibility becomes on the Internet.
  • Visibility – it doesn’t matter whether you are peddling your products or your services………. providing your reader base with quality content increases your visibility.
  • Search Engine Value – yes, the Gods at Google like fresh quality content to be in constant circulation on the Internet. Even though they do not crawl or index all pages that are pumped out, and when they do crawl or index it is on Google’s time frame and not ours, it’s still a good idea to provide fresh quality content.

What if you are just starting out with your blog? There’s always that classic excuse of “I have no subscribers”, or, “No one will read it”.

First off, everyone has to start somewhere. No one got anywhere who didn’t at least make an effort.

Second, there’s social media. Put your blog posts out on social media. Post on your business Instagram, share it to your business Facebook, and share that to your personal Facebook. Post on LinkedIn. Post on Google My Business. Oh that’s right, I forgot. It takes too much time. Are you serious?

Third, attract an audience by using appropriate hashtags. How on Earth would you know which hashtags to use? By researching hashtags and also Google keywords.

Now that we are done with the excuses of why it’s too much trouble or too much work to blog, let’s move on.

Is blogging something you should be paying someone to do, or is it something that should be done in house at your company? It depends. Some types of businesses work better if the blogging is done by staff in house. Others, you can feed content to the marketing agency you’re paying and they will polish it up and put it out there. It is entirely up to you.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.