Common Google My Business (GMB) Mistakes to Avoid

Are You Sabotaging Your Google Rankings?

Most businesses are sabotaging their local Google rankings and the worst part is they don’t even realize it


Go through this list like a checklist to determine if you’re sabotaging your own Google rankings.

We frequently complete SEO audits and nearly 100% of the businesses we review are making at least 1 of the 11 common mistakes in this article.

So there’s a good chance you’ll find you’re making a few mistakes as well.

With that said, don’t get discouraged if you do find a few mistakes. The good news is it’s fairly easy to fix all of these.

My goal here is to help you identify what’s wrong and what’s preventing you from ranking high in Google’s local results, and then it’s up to you to take action to get everything cleaned up.

Alright, let’s get started with the easiest mistake to fix…

When you think of search engine optimization (SEO), then you immediately think of your website ranking in Google’s results. However, with local SEO, there’s a bit of a twist.

Search for “nearby dentists” and you’ll see a big map in the upper right corner. Plus, you’ll see information for dental offices listed in the main results (i.e. name, address, phone number, reviews, etc.) .

Here’s the thing… that information is from each business’s Google My Business profile page, not their website!

So if you do not yet have a Google My Business profile page, you’re missing out. It’s 100% free to set this up and shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes of your time. Click here to learn more and get set up today.

Don’t forget the very last step which is to verify your business listing. That’s an important step to ensure you’re the owner of your page so you (and no one else) can make edits in the future.

The next common mistake I see is having duplicate Google My Business profile pages.

Google hates duplicate content in their search results. It’s a bad experience for their users to see the same information twice in their results, and it’s a waste of Google’s resources to analyze and store duplicate information.

That’s why creating duplicate listings is against Google’s terms of service. Each business location should only have one Google My Business profile page. To see if you have more than one page, use the Moz Local tool.

Simply type in your business name and address and Moz’s tool will let you know if there are some duplicate listings floating around online. If there are, then contact Google to get them removed as quickly as possible so they don’t drag down your rankings.

OK, now let’s look at the most common (and often most costly) mistake made on the Google My Business profile page.

In my experience, the biggest mistake is missing relevant categories.

Don’t rush this critical step when you’re setting up your page.

Think of categories like sections of the Yellow Pages. The more sections you advertise in, the more likely your prospects are to find you.

So the more relevant categories, the better. Note that it’s against Google’s terms to include irrelevant categories so be careful when you select your categories.

Google doesn’t make this super easy so I recommend you take a look at this big list to find all the relevant categories for your business. Another tip is to review the categories top-ranking local businesses have selected in their profiles.

NAP, which is simply an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone number.

As I mentioned above, it’s important to have the same contact information listed on both your website and your Google My Business page.

But that’s not all…

Google takes this a giant step further and compares your contact information listed on your website versus the information listed on other websites across the entire internet!

That means you must have consistent NAP on every single webpage that lists your contact information. Mainly we’re talking about business directories since those are the types of websites most likely to display your contact information publicly online.

To check for inconsistent NAP, again go use the Moz Local search tool. Simply type in your business information and the tool will quickly tell you if you have any problems.

A citation is simply a mention of your NAP on another website.

Above, we emphasized the importance of consistency across all your online citations. Well just because you have consistency doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

It’s possible you’re missing some important citations that are hurting your chances of ranking high in Google.

To check if you’re missing important citations, you can start by using the Moz Local search tool. If you find there are opportunities, then simply add all of your business information to the websites.

OK, that’s enough about your NAP and citations. Let’s move on to the mistakes that aren’t so easy to fix…

Most businesses struggle to get customer reviews online. So if you’re lacking reviews on your Google My Business profile, then don’t beat yourself up too bad because you’re not alone.

The problem is that it takes some real effort on your customers’ end to add a review.

I’m sorry to say there’s no silver bullet solution here. All you can do is ask (via email, in-person and over the phone) and make it as easy as possible for every customer to leave a review.

Of those 3 methods, we’ve found that asking via email — along with a link and directions — is the most effective method because your customer doesn’t have to find your profile, you’re leading them right to it.

Getting positive reviews will likely be a slow process, but over time it adds up and will give you a real competitive advantage that is difficult to replicate.

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