Maintaining a completely accurate listing of your business on Google can be difficult as there are multiple factors that contribute to the accuracy and completeness of your Google Business Profile, formerly called Google My Business or GMB. If you’ve seen a drop in your rankings and visibility on local searches this could be due to inconsistencies in your business details across platforms. We’ve listed factors that influence your data getting mixed up and why you need to be constantly monitoring your business details on search.
Why do these changes happen?
Broadly there are 4 reasons why changes to your Google Business Profile occur:
- Business website
Your website is one of the first places that Google looks to gather Business Information if it is not updated on your Google Business Profile. When Google adds new fields for business information data it turns to your business website to source data for these fields. For example, if Google expands its services offered fields in Google Business Profile it will look at your business website to update the new fields and will sometimes publish these new fields to your Google Business Profile automatically.
- Public user suggestions
Google allows users to suggest edits to business information on their Google Business Profile and most of the time you will be prompted to accept or decline the suggestion. But in some cases, if Google considers the source highly trustworthy it will publish these suggestions to the Google Business Profile automatically.
- Other sources used by Google
Google Local Search Ecosystem uses data aggregators and trusted websites to update business information. If your business information on these trusted sites and with data aggregators differs from what is on your Google Business Profile, it is possible that your Google Business Profile will not show up for relevant searches. Ensuring that business information is consistent across channels ensures that your business is indexed for relevant searches.
You can check this by doing a Google search for your business and seeing which are the top results that appear. Here you might find out that directory sites have different information to what is on your Google Business Profile.
- Apps that have access to the Google Business Profile
Third-Party apps can be used to update your Google Business Profile across channels. These third-party apps use centralized data fed to them to publish across channels including your Google Business Profile. If this information is incorrect the Google Business Profile will also be updated incorrectly. Check which applications have access to your Google Business Profile from the ‘Security’ section of your Google Business Profile.
Why do you need to ensure your Google Business Profile is up to date?
- Customer Engagement
Since most people looking for products or services are turning to search engines to find local businesses, it is important for businesses to provide accurate business information to their customers. Approximately 88%1 of mobile users that search for local businesses visit the business location within 24 hours, this makes the address on the Google Business Profile especially important to improving footfall. 46%2 of all Google searches are looking for local business information, making your business details and service offerings crucial to a customer decision.
Ensuring that the business categories on your Google Business Profile are accurate is important because it relates to user intent and keywords. Google allows a single business to select up to 10 business categories, that is 1 primary category and 9 secondary categories. Google uses these business categories on the Google Business Profile to deliver relevant results for local business searches. If the business has been incorrectly categorized it will not show up for relevant local searches and this can adversely affect local traffic to a business.
Businesses are usually registered across multiple search platforms and channels to ensure maximum reach; therefore, it is important that the information present on your Google Business Profile tallies with the information provided across all other platforms. If the business information does not match across channels this can create a disjointed local presence that can lead to lowered trust among search engines and customers.
How Milestone Local ensures your business data is consistent across platforms
- Maintain consistency of business information across channels
Milestone Local provides users with an Accuracy Score, this allows you to see how accurate your business information like UNAP, business categories, business hours, attributes, amenities, etc., are across channels.
If you have multiple business locations, you can view the accuracy score by location and by source, allowing you to get a bird’s eye view of your business information across channels. The ‘activity’ log on Milestone Local lets you view all the changes made to your business listings across channels, allowing you to view any external updates made to your listings.
- User public suggestions to manage business information
Google allows users to suggest edits to businesses’ Google Business Profile and businesses can approve or decline these suggestions. These suggestions are a great way to see any inconsistencies in business information that users have noticed, or any other errors or updates suggested by them. Milestone Local collates user suggestions from Google and allows you to manage these suggestions in one place.
- Enhance your listing by providing detailed business information across channels
The Profile Completeness screen in Milestone Local provides an overview of the business information present across channels and prompts users to add business information that will improve their visibility across channels.
- Analyze customer actions on search
Milestone Local’s Google Insights provides users with an overview of the rich results being generated via information on the Google Business Profile and actions taken by customers. Data like driving direction requests, phones calls, website visits, etc., are segregated to show users what customers are looking for when they search for a business.
Milestone Local provides solutions for local listings across multiple locations and channels. This allows you to manage all your business listings from a single dashboard and ensure that all your business information is consistent across channels and locations – giving you the opportunity to control your visibility, ranking on search and engagement with customers.