If you have ever wondered why Google business listings are important, let’s take a closer look at some of the key reasons.

Claiming and fully optimising your Google My Business (GMB) listing is one of the best and most efficient ways to secure a strong position in local rankings. Additionally, when your business name is searched, Google will typically display a knowledge panel that will contain key details about your business. This information will be pulled directly from your GMB page and several other sources, including user-generated content, such as user-suggested information and reviews.

In recent years, Google has introduced a variety of new features within GMB that can be used to optimise and enhance listings. As well as providing new and exciting opportunities that businesses should certainly be taking advantage of, there is a certain amount of confusion as to recommended best practices.

Other people can make changes to your Google My Business listing

Although this might not seem particularly fair, absolutely anyone can edit or suggest a change to your listing. Yes, this includes your competition. User-generated alterations can be set live on your listing and you won’t always receive a notification that anything has changed. As this even includes things like the location of your business, you should sign into your dashboard on a regular basis to ensure that everything is accurate and up to date.

Using hashtags in your Google My Business posts isn’t recommended

Although you have up to 1,500 characters to play with, the most effective posts range between 150 and 300 characters. With such little space, using every character as wisely as possible is crucial. As they won’t help with rankings, integrating hashtags, no matter how relevant they might appear, is essentially a waste of space. Instead, you should aim to only include information that you think your audience will find particularly valuable, which might include anything from news and events, to special offers. Respond to your audience’s needs, demonstrate that you’re listening, and try to exceed their expectations.

Google can remove fake reviews

If you have received a review that you believe is fake, you should respond to it using a polite and factual tone. This will demonstrate to your audience that you care enough about your customers and their experiences to address the situation at hand, even if it isn’t real. You should then log into your GMB dashboard and flag the review as inappropriate. Although it is possible to flag reviews via your browser, doing so through your GMB is typically more effective.

The Google My Business forum answers an array of questions

If you have any questions or queries, the Google My Business forum is likely to contain the answers you need. Here, you can connect with industry experts and contributors who can connect with Google directly and expedite any issues that need to be addressed.

You can reclaim your GMB listing

If you don’t have access to the login information for your listing, there are steps you can take to reclaim access. After entering your business name into GMB Create, you will have the opportunity to click a “request access” button. The listing owner will have 7 days to transfer ownership. If they don’t respond, you should be given the chance to claim the listing for yourself.