What would you do if you typed your name online and saw someone else created a profile with your photos and information? You would either try to get that profile removed or claim ownership, right? Well, it’s not that different for businesses. If you see your business listed on Google, the first thing you need to do is claim ownership and make sure the listing shows correct information about your business.
What if I just let it be?
Not claiming your Google Business Profile (GBP) listings comes with repercussions for your business. Here are 10 risks you will be facing if you don’t claim your GBP listings.
1. You are losing leads
People are reluctant to trust the information shared on the listing if it’s not complete, has no images, and replies to reviews. According to Google, claimed listings get more leads, while unclaimed listings show the “Own this business?” message, which signals that the business does not even care about their online reputation.
2. You are not managing your reviews
If you want to take your customer service seriously, listen to what your customers want, and gain their trust, you need to respond to the reviews. The more you interact with your customers and respond to both bad and good reviews, the more reviews and customers you will get. Obviously, you won’t be able to reply to your reviews unless you have control over your listings.
3. People don’t see your business
Nowadays, it’s almost mandatory for all local businesses to have an online presence if they want to get more customers. You need to make sure your listings pop up when people look for your business or similar ones. If you are not on maps, how are others supposed to find and visit your location?
4. You have no control over your online visibility
Whether it’s good or bad, Google allows anyone, even your competitors, to create a listing with your name or claim your GBP listings if you don’t do it first. If you have a local business with physical locations, the first thing you need to do is go and audit the listings with your name, claim the listings and, if some are missing, create and optimize all your locations on GBP. Thank us later!
5. You are losing your rankings
Only by having control over your listings can you optimize your GBP to appear in the Local Pack, Google Maps, or Knowledge Panel. Make this something you do on regular bases. Local SEO optimization is the key to more customers.
6. You can’t post any business updates
Do you have new products? Do you want to announce your holiday campaign? Is there going to be an event at your location? You can and should post about this on your GBP but first, make sure you claim it. It’s free advertising for your business, and if you don’t use that chance, your competitors will.
The worst that can happen is letting your competitors take control over your listings. What is holding them back from sharing false information about your business, adding their phone number, sharing compromising images, or simply keeping you from getting calls and messages from your clients? Be faster than your competitors!
8. Google can simply remove the listing
If your listing is left unclaimed and not optimized, people will realize the information is not getting updated or even think that the location has been permanently closed. So over time, the rankings of the listings will go down until the listing disappears.
9. You don’t get messages from your customers
GBP can be your new homepage. You can get text messages and calls and even receive bookings through your listings. You can both improve your communication with your customers and get new leads at the same time.
10. You run your business blind
If not claimed, you will not get vital information about how often your business appears in local search results, how often users interact with your listings, click on your links or try to call you. The same goes for Google Analytics. If you get control over your listings, you can add UTM links to track all the website visits from GBP.
Now that you know how not claiming your GBP listings can affect your sales, make sure you take control of how users see and interact with your business. Instead of spending thousands on ads, start with the basics: claim and optimize your listings.
Have multiple locations? Need help with claiming your GBP listings? We can help!
Astghik Nikoghosyan, October 19, 2022