Google My Business:
Why your business is not showing up on Google
Google Maps is one of the main ways that potential customers can find your local business. If your business is not showing up on Google Maps or Google Search, you could be missing out on customers and sales. In this blog post, we will help you identify the reasons why your business might not be showing up on Google, as well as provide the various steps you can take to solve this. Firstly, we’ll start by explaining the importance of Google My Business and how using this effectively might be the answer to all your problems.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free Google tool for all local businesses and can increase online brand awareness significantly. Not only does it lead to more online exposure for a business, but it also has a positive effect on its other digital marketing efforts. It allows you to manage your business information across Google Maps and Google Search in order for people to find your business more easily online.
In addition to this, it also provides you with valuable insights about customer behaviour and makes it easier for you to respond to feedback from customers. Customers are able to ask questions, leave reviews and post images of your business. It also allows you to add social links and website links to increase your organic web traffic. Any updates or changes, like your business hours for example, can also be made through this Google tool.
Why is my business not showing up on Google Maps?
There are numerous reasons why your local business might not be showing on Google Search or Google Maps. The first possible reason for this could be that you don’t actually have a verified Google My Business account. The first step would be to find out if your business has a registered account or not. You can do this by visiting Google My Business and signing in. Once you’ve signed in, navigate to the dashboard. If you see a dashboard with business listings, it means that you do have an account. If not, you will need to create a new account.
Create a Google My Business account
Fortunately, creating and setting up an account or listing takes only a few minutes. Firstly, you’ll need to log into your business’ Google account. After you’ve logged in, create an account and enter the name of your business. Thereafter, you’ll need to choose the category that fits your business the best. The next steps will require you to enter your business’ address, phone number and website address.
Once you’ve entered all this information, click ‘Finish’. Your new account or listing should now be set up. If you noticed while trying to add your business that Google already had your business information, however, it means that your account already exists. This means that you might simply need to claim your business on Google Maps.
Claiming a business on Google
To find out whether your business has been claimed on Google or not, you can do a search on Google Maps. Go to Google Maps, enter the name of your business in the search bar and click on your business. If you see the phrase “Claim this business” below your business, it means that the business has not yet been claimed. Simply click on this phrase and follow the steps to successfully claim this business as yours. But what if you’ve already created an account and claimed it previously and your business has still not been showing up on Google Maps?
Verify and register your business on Google Maps
If your business listing has not been verified on Google, it will not show on Google Maps. Once you’ve verified your business, you will also be able to edit and update your business information. Some businesses are able to verify by phone, email or Search Console. But in most cases, however, businesses will need to verify by mail. Once you’ve created and claimed your business listing, you will need to request a postcard, which will be sent to your business address.
To do this, sign into your account, select the business you want to verify and click ‘Verify Now’. Make sure that the business address is correct and request the postcard. The postcard can take a few weeks to arrive. It’s important that the person receiving it is aware that it is on the way as it could easily be mistaken for spam mail and be discarded. Once you’ve received the postcard from Google, you will see the verification code on the card.
Sign into your account again and click ‘Verify Location’. Thereafter, you need to enter your five-digit verification code and submit. This will let Google know that your business address is accurate and the same as on your business listing. It might take some time before your business information starts appearing on Google but once it’s live, you’ll be able to see it on your business profile.
Other reasons why your business is not showing up on Google
So, what if your verified business is not showing on Google Search or Google Maps? The top three other reasons for this could be because your business has relocated and you haven’t updated the business listing, your account was suspended or you lack location authority.
Reason 1: Your business relocated
If your business has recently moved and the physical address changed but you did not close down your old Google My Business listing, Google might view it as your business having duplicate listings and de-verify your business. As soon as someone reports your old business or store as closed, Google will very quickly remove your business listing. If this is the case, you will need to verify your business again with its new address.
It’s important to ensure that all the business’ information on the website is accurate and consistent before you start the verifying process again. When changing your business address, always make sure that your business only has one listing. Otherwise, it sends conflicting signals to Google. You need to update your business listing as soon as you open your business at the new address. Any business address change will need to be updated manually on your account.
Reason 2: Your Google My Business Listing was suspended
Worst case scenario, your account has been suspended. This occurs when you have violated any of Google’s guidelines, either intentionally or unknowingly. When a Google My Business account gets suspended, the business will not appear in Google Search or Google Maps anymore. If Google has in fact suspended your account, you will receive an email from Google to let you know.
Another way of knowing if your account has been suspended is by looking at your profile. If there is a red notification when logging in and you do not have access to your analytics and insights anymore, it means your account has been suspended. There are a number of possible reasons why Google would have suspended your listing and it is not always obvious.
Here are 10 common reasons for suspension by Google:
- Duplicate business listings exist for your business.
- An unauthorised person set up the Google My Business listing.
- Edits have been made to your business information that needs to be verified by Google.
- Your description is misleading, inaccurate or false.
- The description includes weak or irrelevant content, links or profanity.
- Your business listing includes a redirect link as the URL reference.
- Google believes there is keyword stuffing in your business listing.
- Your physical business address is inaccurate or not listed at all.
- There are more than one physical location listed for your business.
- You have not hid your street address from Google Maps if your business does not have a physical office.
So, if you have found that your business listing was suspended, you will need to identify why, make the required changes and get in contact with Google to ensure that your business gets listed again.
Reason 3: Your Business listing has no location authority
Google’s algorithm will always choose to show the more authoritative businesses over those with less location authority. But what is location authority? Location authority can be described as the power your business needs in order to rank in Google Maps. In addition to helping your business rank, it can also increase the radius for local users to find your business in Google Search.
In other words, if you have little to no location authority, your business will only be shown on Google Maps to users who are in very close proximity to your business. But with more location authority, your business will also be shown to people who are further away. This increases your reach and awareness about your business.
Four main factors affecting location authority:
- Reviews and ratings for your business.
- Keyword rankings on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS).
- Number of high authority links to your website.
- Overall Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on your website.
In order to improve your business’ location authority, you will need to optimise your business listing and improve the SEO on your website. One of the many benefits of SEO for a business is an increase in location authority.
Optimising Google My Business
In order to improve the location authority for your business, you will need to optimise your business listing. Firstly, make sure that you have added the most recent and relevant information and website links to your business profile. It is essential that your business information online matches the information on your Google My Business profile exactly. You will also need to ensure that your website is indexed and crawled by Google.
In addition to that, it is important to add as many high-quality photos of your business as possible. Another way of increasing your location authority is by getting more business reviews from customers. Online citations on third-party websites can also have a positive impact on your location authority. Business directories or industry-specific citations, for example, will lead to more brand awareness, which will increase location authority.
Contact us if you need further assistance
As you’ve probably seen, getting your business to show on Google can be a long and confusing process. We hope that this blog post answered your questions and helped with identifying the reasons why your business is not showing up on Google. If not, please feel free to get in touch with us at Launchsite Digital so that we can provide further assistance, specific to your situation.