You can build a free website with the Google Website builder, check your business performance with Google insights, publish posts on your listing and more. These are some very powerful tools available in your Google My Business Panel which I’m sure you’re already familiar with.
But there is another set of Google My Business tools equally powerful and rarely talked about all of you will need to use at some point. Here is the first one
Google My Business Contact Tool
I’m sure you’ve all wanted to pick up your phone at least once to call Google My Business directly so they could answer a question or solve a problem you had with your listing.
Sadly there is no direct line to get in touch with them but there is an alternative. A contact form. I know this is not ideal but it’s the only way and it’s simple to use.
You can access this tool here https://support.google.com/business/gethelp
and sign in using your Gmail account.
First, type a keyword related to your problem in the search box then click on “next step”. You should see a list of related common issues you can choose from. At this point you’ll be given the option to check some recommended resources you can read which can be useful.
If that doesn’t help just click on next step.
Depending on your query, you’ll be able to raise your issue via email or chat to an agent directly on line. Before you do, you’ll need to complete a form and provide further information. Try to be as detailed as possible and provide documentation when it applies before submitting your request.
A confirmation your issue has been raised will be displayed on your screen along with a case id number. Make a note of it.
Google will respond to you via email once your issue has been addressed.
You can find out what the status of your request is when you log back into the tool. Cases you have raised and are still pending will be listed there.
Let’s have a look at our second tool.
Google My Business Redressal form
More of a tool than a form, the Google My Business Redressal form
was launched by Google to combat Google map spammers at scale.
The idea is for Google to enable anyone to report fraudulent business listings on Google maps, and there are tons of them.
Just In case you didn’t know, it’s very easy to game the Google local algorithm. By simply adding a few keywords in your business name you will rank higher in Google maps in a matter of a few days.
And although it goes against Google’s guidelines
, many of your competitors will do this knowingly anyway because they know it will help them get more customers.
You are then left with 3 choices
- You do the same as them and your listing may get suspended if you get caught, (obviously I wouldn’t recommend that)
- You do nothing and let your competitors continue to cheat the system and scoop up customers you might have got.
- You report them using the redressal form.
I have covered this subject several times already and every time there’s always some people commenting they don’t want to snitch or be called a tell-tale. Fine, don’t report them. Let’s see how you feel when you see some of your competitors rank above you with fraudulent listings and get the lion share of customers when you are struggling to pay your bills at the end of the month.
To report a suspicious listing sign in to your google account and click on the redressal form
Add your name and email address which will be used to receive communication from Google. Add the name of the business you are flagging then select the type of content you think is fraudulent.
Include the public URL where the listing can be found, there is a short description on how to do that then provide a brief summary explaining why this listing is malicious.
Once you’re done click on submit. You will receive an email confirming you have raised a case and given a case id n#. You now need to wait. To track progress of your request and for more info on how to do this efficiently I suggest you watch my video 1 Dirty Google My Business Trick Your Competitors Are Using in 2021
Time to move on to our next tool
Review Removal management Tool
This tool is the new kid on the block as it was only released a couple of weeks before the making of this video.
You all know how important reviews are. They build trust with potential new customers, they help your listing rank in Google Maps, they can encourage visitors to click on your website and more.
But reviews are a double edge sword and despite your best efforts you will get some negative ones which can be very damaging to your reputation.
While getting negative reviews is never great, what’s worse is getting reviews you know are Fake or not genuine from customers you’ve never even done business with.
Up to now, all you could do was flag these reviews as inappropriate and to keep your fingers crossed for Google to remove them after which you wouldn’t hear anything back from them.
This time is now over. With this new tool
you can manage all your reviews in one place, report the ones you feel are not genuine to be removed and check their status.
To access the tool click here
and sign in with the Gmail address associated with your business. Select the Google My Business listing you want to access then click on continue. From there you can check the status of previously reported reviews or report new ones.
You can even submit an appeal if you removal request has been turned down which is a step in the right direction. For a more in depth tutorial about this tool check my video Google Review Removal Management Tool Now Available
Time to look at the next item on our list
Google my business reinstatement tool
For those of you who require the use of this tool
it’s generally synonym of bad news. Your business is in trouble because your listing has been suspended from Google results and Google Maps.
If this is the case You should see the following notification on your Google My Business Dashboard
And whenever that happens you will need to reach out to Google and use this tool so your listing can be reinstated.
There are two types of suspension, a soft one and a hard one . A soft suspension means your listing is still visible on search but you’ve lost control over it and can no longer edit it.
A hard suspension means it can no longer be found in Google.
In either case, before you jump on your keyboard to frantically submit your reinstatement request
, I suggest you take a deep breath and follow this process.
Since Google will not give you the exact reasons why your listing was suspended you should make sure it complies with the Google My Business guidelines
Not complying with the guidelines is in a lot of cases the reason why your listing was suspended in the first place.
Once you’ve done that I suggest you also reach out to one of the Google My Business product expert from the Google My business support community
to review your profile if they can.
After this you can start submitting your reinstatement request
using the tool.
You will be presented with a series of questions which will help determine why your listing has been suspended at the end of which you’ll be able to fill in a detailed form and provide information about your business. Each field is self-explanatory and the form is easy to complete.
Once you’re done click on submit. You will not receive a confirmation email but Google will send you one to let you know what decision they’ve made.
Moving on to our next tool.
Listing information checker
A very straight forward tool
that enables you to check the accuracy of your listing information and correct it if necessary so you can provide the most up to date information if your business is affected during the pandemic.
You can use this tool to change the open status of your business, create a post to update your customers, the services you currently offer and modify your hours of operation all in one go.
Click on this link
and sign in using the Gmail address associated with your business account then click on continue.
Confirm your email address then Select the appropriate listing and click on continue then start updating information when necessary. Review your changes then click on continue to complete the review.
Let’s finish off on an easy note with the
The verification status tool
This one is for business owner who have recently created a listing but are still unsure if it has been verified or not.
Since you can’t manage information of an unverified listing, it’s important to know where you stand, this is what this tool is for.
Click on this link
and sign in using the email address associated with your Google my business account.
Confirm your email address and select the business you want to check the status for in the list then click on continue.
On the next screen you should see the verification status of your listing
Make a list of these tools tucked away in a corner of your desktop as I am sure you will need some of them sooner rather than later to help you manage your Google My Business listing.