Category Archives: Google Maps

Why Is Google My Business Verification So Hard?

Building Exterior
Building Exterior that Google does not like!

Google My Business verification should not be so hard! For owners of a single business verification is a snap – complete your profile, ask for a letter to be mailed to you, confirm the PIN number Google sends to you. But if you are an owner of multiple businesses that you run out of separate offices, brace yourself for the run around from Google when you try to verify a second business.

Just this last week, a supervisor at Google My Business finally told me that Google would never verify my client’s second account. We had been working diligently since October 11th to provide all the information and documentation pictures the Google staff said it needed for review. I have to say I was nearly foaming from the mouth when I heard that final response!

It is unthinkable that Google has such vague standards when it comes to business verification; rules that are not in step with small businesses located in the USA. Additionally, add a language difficulty , as the staff appears to all be located in India, and the difficulty grows exponentially.

Ridiculousness at Its Best

I was told to supply a photo of both suite doors and signage on each but as there was a wall between the two, Google did not like the image. I could not knock down a wall in order to provide the photo.

I was told to take a picture of exterior signage for the business, but as the client is in an office condo park, no businesses have exterior signage unless they own a whole floor. Another fail!

I was told to take a picture of the reception desk with the large company sign behind the receptionist. Okay let’s get real, this was a small business, they have an office, but not a glitzy reception area and no need for an inside sign, they know who they are! A fail again.

Finally, I was told that the font on the second business sign did not match the font on the sign on the first business. Wow, that was an eye opener!

Then I was told that due to the history of requests and images sent as we tried to give Google what they wanted for over a two month period, that they did not believe the client ran two businesses. So, the history of what I had sent to Google based on the account reps requests totally worked against the client.

Nothing should be this difficult to resolve, but it’s Google! Understand that on Google My Business verifications, Google does run the world.

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Google My Business Verification Problems

Building Exterior
Building Exterior that Google does not like!

Google My Business verification should not be so hard! For owners of a single business verification is a snap – complete your profile, ask for a letter to be mailed to you, confirm the PIN number Google sends to you. But if you are an owner of multiple businesses that you run out of separate offices, brace yourself for the run around from Google when you try to verify a second business.

Just this last week, a supervisor at Google My Business finally told me that Google would never verify my client’s second account. We had been working diligently since October 11th to provide all the information and documentation pictures the Google staff said it needed for review. I have to say I was nearly foaming from the mouth when I heard that final response!

It is unthinkable that Google has such vague standards when it comes to business verification; rules that are not in step with small businesses located in the USA. Additionally, add a language difficulty , as the staff appears to all be located in India, and the difficulty grows exponentially.

Ridiculousness at Its Best

I was told to supply a photo of both suite doors and signage on each but as there was a wall between the two, Google did not like the image. I could not knock down a wall in order to provide the photo.

I was told to take a picture of exterior signage for the business, but as the client is in an office condo park, no businesses have exterior signage unless they own a whole floor. Another fail!

I was told to take a picture of the reception desk with the large company sign behind the receptionist. Okay let’s get real, this was a small business, they have an office, but not a glitzy reception area and no need for an inside sign, they know who they are! A fail again.

Finally, I was told that the font on the second business sign did not match the font on the sign on the first business. Wow, that was an eye opener!

Then I was told that due to the history of requests and images sent as we tried to give Google what they wanted for over a two month period, that they did not believe the client ran two businesses. So, the history of what I had sent to Google based on the account reps requests totally worked against the client.

Nothing should be this difficult to resolve, but it’s Google! Understand that on Google My Business verifications, Google does run the world.

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Google My Business and Reviews

Image of a Google Maps exposure on Google.com.
Image of a Google My Business exposure on Google.com.

Yes I know, Google My Business is tied to a Google+ Page and no one seems to like Google+, but I have to say that there is a place for Google My Business and the reviews that are done there.

I recently moved to the Fredericksburg area which is in central Virginia. I need all new doctors, a new beauty salon, a new dentist – well new everything! How have I, an experience web marketer found new businesses to trade with and doctors to go to? From Google My Business!

As Google showcases Google My Business listings in the search results preferentially and returns them based on your own location, the results are catered to you personally. Click a result and you do not go to a website, but rather a larger map view with all local listings at the side and a plethora of reviews.

Which listings did I take time to review – those with reviews. Who did I not even bother to look at – anyone with no reviews or those with poor reviews and a low number of stars.

I never even went to any websites but the last two selections I made and then to only get the phone number and check out the faces of people who I would be trading with.

That’s the new way Google is forcing us to use their search engine. Clicking into a business website is secondary to getting the information you need fast right from Google AND this is where the Google My Business page is so important, as this is now the landing page before a client even gets to your website.

If you are smart and work the Google system, you will start now by setting up your Google My Business page and then aggressively working to add reviews to that page. Remember, Google is wanting people to stay on THEIR site to serve ads and to not even need to click into your website for information.

If you need savvy solutions to help with your website visibility visit us at McCordWeb.com – there’s no SEO “snake oil” here!

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Google Local Guides Impacts Your Online Reviews

Nancy McCord
Nancy McCord – explains Google Local Guides.

Quietly this past spring. Google rolled out a new program called Local Guides.  Not only did Google create a program to make a community out of people already active in their social space, but is providing perks, mentoring, and recognition for those that participate by writing reviews.

The benefit to Google is that it gets huge numbers of local business-specific, high quality reviews written by real people who have actually used the service or bought from the business. By creating its own reviewer network, Google builds a community that it can manage to boost what it wants to enhance its own relevancy in the local space. And it can use the reviews the way it wants.

Here’s one example of how Google is benefiting. Google asked all Local Guides to Level Up in March. By encouraging Local Guides that are Google+ Community Followers and offering personal encouragement, badges when you hit a certain number of reviews, and special recognition within its private global as well as local communities, it has crowdsourced business review writing in an incredibly smart and savvy way. I for one, boosted my review numbers to hit 50 – leveling up.

If you write 50 reviews and you get a special badge that appears next to your own reviews. Write 200+ reviews and you may get invites to special events, and even an occasional Google branded gift. Plus you get bragging rights.

As a Local Guide myself, I actually like the program and am using it as a way to share my local knowledge as well as to connect with other writers in my own community. I happen to think that this was an incredibly smart move on Google’s part to enlist a grassroots movement building it’s own review network that it will be able to use for AdWords and for its own search results needs.

There is cache associated with being a Local Guide and for now I am having fun with the program. If you are over 18, you can apply to be a Local Guide too. Just visit this page.

Remember Local Guides are not hired or paid by Google, nor are they Google employees. They are just helping to write about what they know and letting Google have the rights to their work.

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Business Phones – Think New Technology

Bright Idea Tips to Help With Business Phones
Bright Idea Tips to Help With Business Phones

I am moving to the Fredericksburg, Virginia area in July and August this year and as I plan ahead for my move I am revamping my home and business phone technology used to use new things.

Currently, I have a fax telephone line, a business phone line, a residential phone line, two line phones throughout the house, hard wired CAT 5 cabling, and over 9 computers. With my new move, I am going to streamline my use of old tech and move to some new tech.

For example, I am thinking of:

1. Using a Word document/Office subscription fax interface that will allow me to fax using my smartphone as well as to receive faxes this way too. I like MyFax at MyFax.com  as my solution. I selected this one due to ease of use and low price – $10 a month. I’ll be needing to have a temporary fax solution for three months before I move into my permanent office and so want something easy to use and usable on a smartphone.

2. I am actually thinking of not having a separate phone line for my business and using my smartphone as my office phone. I already have set up a Google Voice number and will most likely use this number on my website and have it forwarded to my smartphone or home phone on certain days. I have already purchased a new local phone number from Google for $10, as once you have a number you have to pay to change it. I like the ability to control when Google Voice forwards calls. You can even group contacts and then create different answering messages by group. You can have family and friends get automatically connected without delay which is a nice feature.

3. I know that I will have FiOS as my new office. I already have been using virtual phone numbers which really give a terrific cost saving and use VOIP. I may continue to use this for my business or at least for a dedicated fax line and now only one residential line, but I am still thinking of what is the best and most versatile option for my future needs.

With so many new technological choices what you used to think you had to have in your office phone-wise, you now get to think over and reinvent when you move. What technology have you moved to that has cut costs and streamlined your life? Make sure to let me know by clicking and leaving a comment. I guarantee that I’ll check it out and may use it too.

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Online Reviews Can Damage Your Sales

Recover your reputation online by embracing the online system.
Recover your reputation online by embracing the online system.

Here’s a comment I found on Yelp about one of the businesses I cross paths with that when I saw it I cringed for them:

“…Terrible. My 8 year old was like, “OMG MOM what happened?” Called her to adjust, try to fix, whatever, she was rude and condescending beyond words… AND WAY over priced. She had the *** to tell me how much it would cost to fix them! She said it was a touch up…  Losing her eyesight and hand is NOT steady, her mind is gone too! NUTS! ”

Consumers love Yelp and business owners hate Yelp, but as a business owner, you’d better learn how to work the Yelp system to your advantage. Reviews about your business happen on Yelp whether you have an account or not. Deciding not to claim your page there does not mean that your poor reviews will not show up, rather you simply have no way to rebut them . This is the same for Google Local. Google will build a page for your business where a review about you will be housed whether you claim the page or not.

As this business I mentioned with the poor review, has tons of really great reviews, it is a shame that this one review on Yelp is getting serious exposure on Google that is sure to damage their sales.

Better by far is to embrace the system, claim these page (Yelp and Google Local) and drive happy customers there by pointing emails to these pages and asking customers to review you online. One terrible review will not hurt you when you have 10, 20, or 50 fabulous reviews. There will always be “trolls” out there and consumers know it, but when you have only one review and it is a really poor one and Google is choosing to show it by your website listing, it can damage your business terribly.

Need more help with your image online? Ask us about our Brand Booster program or savvy solutions to help build your online and website reviews.

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