Google My Business (sometimes referred to as GMB) is a free tool from Google which you can use to advertise or share information about your business with the world. It's essentially a directory for local businesses, giving people one centralised location to learn about your business. It's like Facebook for local businesses! You control what information appears on your page, and even if someone has never heard of you before, they can visit your Google My Business page and start learning more about you immediately.
This article will try to cover many common questions from users, including "Can I Turn Off Google Reviews For My Business?" and clear up various misconceptions about GMB.
Benefits of Google My Business
Here are some benefits of using Google My Business:
- With over 1 billion users, Google's reach is enormous. Many businesses don't realize that creating a free Google My Business page could be an excellent opportunity to get their business in front of new customers and drive more traffic to their website. You can even add videos and photos, customize what appears on your page, and set up an address for directions right from the Home Page feature. It takes just 10 minutes to create a basic profile for your business.
- If you're already using AdWords to market your business online, then Google My Business is another way for you to put yourself out there as an authority in your industry.
- If you are not running AdWords Campaigns yet, Google My Business is still a great way for your business to pop up organically in local search. When people search for terms related to your business like "fast food" or "coffee shops nearby", chances are good that your business could appear if you're already listed on Google My Business. If your potential customer has never heard of you before, this can be an excellent opportunity to get new customers! If someone's already familiar with what you do and where you do it, they may have no reason to look elsewhere.
- You can easily show your customers all your contact information through your Google My Business page, including Address, Phone Number, Web address, Opening & Closing Hours, and more.
- Features like Rich Snippets make it easy to share information about event dates and upcoming sales with local search users (which can help increase your click-through rates).
How To Add My Business To GMB?
Here is the step-by-step guide to adding your listing to Google My Business:
1. From your computer, visit Google My Business and sign in with your Google Account. Make sure you sign in and not just create a new account.
2. Click on the big button that says "Add your business", and you'll be taken to a step-by-step page where you can enter information about your business. The first step will ask for basic information like your company name, address, phone number, etc. You'll also need to upload some photos of your location (don't worry too much about this just yet).
3. The next step is to add detailed contact information for your business, including your opening hours, location address, and other relevant details.
4. After that, you can link up some social media accounts with GMB. This helps people discover more about your brand or company through Google Search too!
5. Next, it will ask if you want to add additional categories for your business. This depends on what type of service or product you sell. If you have 20 different locations nationwide, pick the most popular one since those are usually listed first in search results anyway)
6. Once you've filled out everything, click Save.
7. You'll then be taken to the page where you can confirm your listing was successfully published - if not, check that all the information is correct and click Save again.
You're Done! Now What? Verify!
How To Verify My Listing on Google My Business?
1. After publishing your business listing, click the Verify button.
2. You will be asked to put in a code sent to your email or phone number - this is to make sure it's YOU creating that listing. Once you enter the code, click the Check code button.
3. Next, you'll see a form where you need to enter a few details about yourself and your business again -- this is just verification that it's really YOU claiming this listing and not someone else trying to steal some of your business traffic!
4. Click Verify and then wait for Google to review your info- it can take up to 7 days for the review process. You'll see a status page with a big green checkmark if everything went smoothly.
Congratulations! Now your business is officially listed on Google My Business!
Remember that if you want to claim an existing business, you may be asked to verify it through regular mail shipped to your business address containing a Verification Code.
Once you verify this listing, be sure to monitor your company and make updates as needed every few months!
How To Get Google Reviews For My Business?
Next, after successfully registering your business on GMB, you want to get the word out about your company by attracting as many reviews as possible so that potential customers can trust your business. You can do this by posting your Google My Business listing across the web.
1. Your Regular Customers are your biggest asset; ask them personally if they could spare a minute and review your business.
2. Post your GMB link on:
Your website (include it at the bottom of every page)
Facebook page (write a post highlighting why people should check out your business through Google Search, then encourage them to visit your GMB listing)
LinkedIn company page (the same as the above step)
3. Offline Customers: If someone recently visited your store or business, ask for their feedback and encourage them to leave a review.
How To Remove Bad Google Reviews For My Business?
It's worthwhile to build up your Google My Business reviews over time -- but what happens when a bad review shows up on the first page and is causing excessive traffic loss? There are several ways you can try to deal with it:
1. Flag Inappropriate Reviews: Some reviews fall in google's Prohibited and Restricted Content Categories. Here is the list of Prohibited and Restricted Content by Google:
Spam and fake content
Sexually explicit content
Dangerous and derogatory content
Conflict of interest
So if you see a negative review related to any category above, you can Flag it as Inappropriate. Google will take some days to review it and will delete it.
2. Contact the customer directly: Sometimes, they might not like your business, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't appreciate a call or an email requesting a follow-up conversation. Say sorry for their bad experience and try to address their issue, and after that, you can politely ask them to change/edit their review.
3. Contact Google Support: If you think the negative review is wrong or misleading and hurts your business reputation, you can send a formal request to the Google My Business support team asking them to remove it. Make sure you include all the details in this email, including screenshots of conversations, because they will contact the reviewer for further confirmation and other people involved (if any). It may take few weeks before the process completes, so be patient until you hear back from their end!
BTW, a bad review is just another opportunity to improve your business practices and customer service. There's no need to remove the reviews completely if they're legitimate - it's better to take customers' feedback and make changes that will encourage future positive reviews instead of focusing on how things used to be before this person came along.
Can I Turn Off Google Reviews For My Business?
The answer is NO! Under no circumstances can you turn off Google Reviews for your business listing. That's why many local businesses hire a marketing agency or SEO expert with experience in dealing with Google My Business account to optimise and improve their rankings.
However, there are some cases in which google can temporarily turn off reviews:
1- If there is a technical issue with Google's review system, your reviews may appear as pending while they're analysed for quality or spam.
2- If the review violates Google's policies (e.g., if it contains hate speech), then Google has the authority to temporarily turn off the reviews while they investigate further.
3- If your listing is under attack and someone is trying to defame you by publishing bulk negative reviews to hurt your business.
How Many Reviews Do You Need To Get Your Business First Page On Google?
Some years ago, Google announced that you can get top spots on local searches even with only 1-3 positive reviews because of their machine learning and artificial intelligence. However, reviews are not the only factor considered for rankings; there are many others.
So that's all for this topic; I hope you enjoyed reading and learning about how to set up and improve your local business ranking on Google by increasing your reviews!
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