Google+ Local offers the opportunity for clients to have high visibility in search engines when users search for products or services within a geographical area.
If a Google+ Local profile is optimized to its full potential businesses can see significant growth in their search engine rankings and conversions.
But even though business owners go through the process of claiming, verifying and completing their information, there are always issues with Google+ Local.
I will show some solutions to 3 common problems business owners face when maintaining their Google+Local profile.
1. Inconsistency In Business Name, Address And Phone Number (NAP)
Consistency in the Business Name, Address and Phone Number, NAP, is one of the most important factors when optimizing the Google+ Local profile.
The NAP should be constant across the different websites that will display the business information. For example if your business is known as Search Engine People Inc, then that should be consistently used — not just Search Engine People or SEP.
Same in the case of the phone number and address: the phone number and address listed in the Google+ local profile should be the one listed on the website and any other forms of promotion or citations. This point is extremely important as Google prefers to see the same business information when it crawls all the available data on the web.
2. Duplicate Listings
Another problem when trying to rank higher for local queries in Google are duplicated listing: one or more listings of the same business in Google maps.
Scenario: Having a listing that has been aggregated by Yellow Pages, and another listing which has been claimed and verified.
Problem: The main problem comes when the listing that has been aggregated by Yellow Pages is ranking higher than the listing than it is claimed, completed, and has reviews.
Solution: Once the problem has been identified, this is what it is recommended:
a) Report it to Google as duplicate:
- Go to the listing that is not claimed
- Click Report a Problem
- Choose Place is a duplicate of another place and provide an explanation on why this is a duplicate
- Click Submit
- Wait until a Google reviewer will approve or reject or ask for more information for your request
b) If doing the above didnt work or Google has not sent a reply in 2- 3 weeks, try doing the following:
- Login in into your account
- Go to this link and fill out this form:
- Go through the form and provide a detailed explanation on the why the duplicate listing should be removed
c) Another option to report duplicate listings is through the Google Map Maker .
Google Map Maker allows users to add and update geographic information about places like business, schools, road, or buildings. These edits then get reviewed and once approved appear online and are reflected in Google maps and Google Earth.
- Find the business listing in Google Map Maker interface http://www.google.ca/mapmaker
- Provide an explanation regarding the duplicate listing:
It should be stressed that certain industries such as real estate, law firms are not considered duplicate when there is a listing for the main office and one for the agent or lawyer. These listings are not considered duplicate and shouldnt be reported as such.
3. Failing To Answer Correctly When Google Calls
Google started calling business to verify the information listed in their Google+ Local profile. Business owners should be aware that they might receive a call from Google to verify which address and phone number they have listed in their profiles.
An important factor to keep in mind is whether the business receives customers at this address or if it is a home based business. If it is the second the address should be hidden and the business owners should know which areas it serves.
Weve heard and also read in the Google forums that these calls are being mistaken for telemarketers and therefore business owners hung up. Failing to correctly answer the call and may result in having the listing removed from Google maps.
Inconsistency in NAP, duplicated listings, and not answering Googles phone call are factors that business owners should be aware when maintain their Google + Local profile.