So you heard that listing your business with Google is the best thing you could do to boost your online presence. It’s true that creating a Google My Business site is one of the best marketing resources for local businesses. Of all the marketing techniques for local businesses, local search comes out ahead of them all in terms of ROI. However, if you created a Google My Business site but don’t go back to check it from time to time, you’ll be in for a rude shock. Here’s what you may not know about your Google listing:

Information Can Be Easily Manipulated

Did you know that your listing on Google My Business site can be easily manipulated without your knowledge? It’s so unfortunate that hackers – or should we say competitors – can destroy a business at will, simply by changing the information about a business. The following are the aspects of your listing that when changed could hurt your business big time:

  • Phone Number: Your phone number could be replaced with another. You would be wondering why your phone is no longer busy with enquiries, little did you know that the calls have been directed somewhere else.
  • Open Hours: The ‘Hours of Operation’ section is another crucial section that can be edited and cause your business great harm. Even if you are open 24-hours, customers who search for your business online may not come if your listing says that you are closed most of the time.
  • Website URL: Hackers could replace your website URL with that of a competitor to drive traffic away from your business.

You May Not Be Notified When Edits Are Suggested

Prior to September 2017, Google did not notify users by email about any edits suggested being made to their Google listings. Even though the search engine giant has made efforts to ensure that users are abreast of the happenings of their Google listings, not everyone gets those notifications. This means that without an effective managing system, you may miss out on the edit suggestions that might be made on your Google listing.

There’s No “Deny” or “Don’t Accept” Button

When edit suggestions are made, a notification appears on the Google My business dashboard as ‘Updates from Google’. You might be inclined to think that if you do not “accept” the edit suggestions made, the edits will not go live. The truth of the matter is that ignoring or not accepting those changes simply because there is no “deny” button does not necessarily mean that those edits won’t go live.

Conclusion

Not carefully monitoring your Google listing can hurt your business’ online presence, it’s important that you consider an effective system that will manage your Google listing. That system must prevent and track any changes that might occur in your Google listing. This is the only way you can keep hackers and malicious competitors from damaging your business for good.

Barbara-Anne is the owner of New Media Managers, a boutique digital agency in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  She founded New Media Managers to help overwhelmed local business owners, like you, protect and manage your online line presence so you can get more customers, serve your existing customers, and keep the customers you already have.