11 Common Google My Business Mistakes People Make

Google is the biggest search engine known to us. On average, Google handles more than two trillion searches in a year. More than half of these searches are of local intent. Hence, many business owners aim to solidify their local presence on Google.
Google My Business is a free service provided by Google to claim your business on Google Maps. Business owners are experimenting with different tactics to rank better and have a popular business profile on Google.
Read: FAQs on Google My Business Issues
This article will look at 11 tiny GMB mistakes that business owners are making and avoid them.

11 Subtle Google My Business Mistakes You’re Probably Making

1. A Dormant Google My Business Profile

Many business owners commit a basic yet costly mistake: making a GMB profile for their business and letting it be dormant. A dormant GMB profile can harm your online reputation and rankings in more ways than one.
Let’s have a look at how?

  • Your business's dormant Google My Business profile can mislead your potential visitors.
  • An inactive GMB profile can have a negative user experience for your business website.
  • A dormant GMB website can fetch you a Google penalty as suspension.
  • Google will rank your business lower due to an inactive Google My Business profile.

The solution?

  • Keep your GMB profile up-to-date with customer-relevant information on your business.
  • Give clear information about business details, contact information, and business hours.
  • Maintain the review section under your GMB profile.

Here’s a screenshot of a GMB profile that has new reviews:

2. Unclaimed Business Profile

Unclaimed business profiles are often rated as spam by Google’s search engine algorithm. Claiming your business profile would simplify the indexing process for Google. The search engine algorithm would rank your business on priority if it is well-categorized and claimed by you.
So how does not claiming your GMB listing impacts your business?

  • Unclaimed business listing/s on GMB are more often than not gets barred from being ranked by Google on the local SERPs.
  • Unclaimed business listing/s are often taken away by another rival company looking to make a mark in the market.
  • Unclaimed business listing(s) usually hurt the brand value, sales, and organic traffic.

So, what can you do to claim your business listing/s on Google My Business?

  • Claim your business profile after you list it under Google My Business.
  • Go to the Knowledge Panel on your GMB profile and Click on the ‘Own This Business’ option. Be sure to follow all the steps.

You can also claim your business from Google Maps:

3. An Irrelevant Business Name or Duplicate Listing

The business name plays a vital role in making or breaking a brand. A relevant business name is crucial for succeeding in these cut-throat competitive markets.
So what problems might your business face with an irrelevant business name or duplicate listing?

  • A generalized name for your business on the GMB profile might not fetch the desired results or rankings in the market.
  • Google search engine algorithm might index your GMB profile as spam and not rank it at all.
  • Irrelevant business names often mislead your target audience and fetch negative criticism around the brand.

So, what are the solutions?

  • Come up with a relevant and engaging name for your business to avoid duplicate listing/s.
  • Claim your business. Use your business name as a hashtag on your GMB profile and business website.

Here’s an example of duplicate listings in GMB:

4. Outdated and Missing Information

Outdated and missing information on a GMB profile is one of business owners' more common mistakes. Many amateur digital marketers will claim that outdated information on a GMB profile will not impact a business, but they are wrong.
Let's look at the impact of outdated and missing information on a business.

  • Outdated information on your GMB profile can fetch your business listing a suspension from Google.
  • Outdated or missing information can impact user search intent for your business and services.
  • Google will rank your business lower due to the missing and outdated information on your GMB profile.

Create a GMB profile, timely business information, business hours, and contact details. It will help your visitors with their queries. Google will rank a business with updated and streamlined information higher on the local SERPs.
Here’s an example of a GMB profile that has missing information:

5. Inconsistent NAP Details

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. NAP is the piece of information on your GMB profile that lets people reach you and do business with you. Inconsistent NAP details on your Google My Business profile can be misleading for both Google and your visitors. Let's look at the impact of inconsistent NAP details on your GMB profile.

  • Inconsistent or missing NAP details on your GMB profile can lower your rankings on the SERPs.
  • Inconsistent NAP details can hurt your customer outreach and sales.
  • Missing NAP details can lower your online reputation as a brand.

So, it is crucial to maintain an updated GMB profile with accurate NAP details. Proper NAP details on your GMB profile can help drive crowds to reach you for business. It will positively impact brand reputation, customer engagement, and sales.
Here’s an example of how customers feel about inconsistent NAP details:

6. Website Information is Missing or Incorrect Website Information

A proper mention of website information is a must-have on your GMB listing. GMB profile is a place for your audience to know more about your business and services.
If there were no information or incorrect information on your business website, visitors would not learn more about your brand.
Let’s look at the impact on your GMB profile due to missing website information.

  • Dip in audience engagement and lead conversion rate for the business website.
  • Lower sales figure and dip in brand value in the market.
  • Lower local SERP rankings due to less crowd drive.

So, what are the solutions?

  • Put a link to your business website right below your NAP information on the Google My Business listing for your business.
  • Hyperlink your business name to redirect your visitors to your business website.

Here’s a screenshot of a business with missing website information:

7. Business is Listed but Uncategorized or Under Multiple Categories

Category plays a massive role in the ranking of a business by Google. When Google’s search engine algorithm goes through a business listing, it searches for categories of the same. If your business is not categorized or categorized under irrelevant categories, then google index that listing as spam.
So, what happens if your GMB listing is not listed under a category or listed under multiple categories?

  • Google may categorize your business listing as spam or under uncategorized businesses.
  • Your business listing may not be ranked by Google at all.
  • Uncategorized or categorized under multiple categories might mislead your potential prospects.

What are the solutions to this?

  • Categorize your business listing after claiming your GMB listing
  • Categorize your business under relevant business categories. For example, if you are a medicine shop, categorize your business listing under a pharmacy rather than a hospital.

Here’s a screenshot of the GMB page in which you can specify the category of your business:

8. Inconsistent Location Information or Missing Location Information

If you want your GMB profile visitors to do business with you, provide them with your business location details. Missing or inconsistent location details can cost your business a hefty sales and customer engagement price.
Google’s search engine algorithm often compares the location of a business across different platforms before indexing them for ranking.
So, what happens when your GMB profile has inconsistent or missing location information?

  • Google’s search engine algorithm can penalize the listing on the GMB by not ranking it.
  • People wouldn’t reach your business store. Hence, less customer drive and lesser sales.

How can we drive more potential prospects to the physical location and virtual business website?

  • Hyperlink your address with a Google map link of the location.
  • Provide easy-to-follow instructions under the location column on your GMB profile.

You can get the Google map link of a location by clicking on the share button:

9. Unattended Customer Reviews on the GMB Listing

Yes, unattended reviews on your GMB listing should be a genuine concern for business owners. Many business owners and amateur digital marketers neglect unattended reviews, but they must attend.
So, what are the impacts of unattended reviews on your GMB listing?

  • Unattended reviews draw a negative impression about the brand and its reputation
  • Unattended reviews suggest poor customer care service
  • Google could rank your business lower on the local SERPs due to unattended or negative reviews

The solutions to these?

  • Prompt response to customer queries and negative reviews suggests that the brand cares about the customers.
  • Visitors and potential prospects will have transparency regarding your business and services from a well-maintained review section.
  • Google will rank a business better on local SERPs due to its updated and maintained review section under GMB listing.

Here’s an example of a business owner promptly responding to a customer review:

10. No Photos or Any Other Visual Information On Your GMB Listing

Many business owners often neglect the visual appeal of a GMB listing. Photos, YouTube videos, and other relevant visual information about your business on your GMB listing are essential. Many customers would not bat an eye for your business without visual proof.
So, let’s have a look at the downside of not posting pictures under your GMB listing/s.

  • Google can pull out an irrelevant picture from random sources to represent your business.
  • Businesses with only a street view often drive less crowd and lesser conversion rate.

What can you do to better your GMB profile?

  • Post five to six exterior photos and the same number of interior photos of your business place.
  • Post photos and short videos while your staff is on duty.
  • Post a 360ᵒ view tour of your business place.

Here’s an example of a business with a 360-degree view of its establishment:

11. Irrelevant and Unnecessary Information On Your GMB Listing

If you are categorized under a pharmacy, provide pharmacy-relevant information on your GMB listing/s. Irrelevant and unnecessary information on your GMB profile is a common mistake every business owner makes.
When customers search for your business, they hope to find relevant information on your GMB listing. Keep your GMB listing up-to-date with F&B industry-relevant information if you are a restaurant.
Mentioning your dog's name or last night’s soccer score on your restaurant’s GMB profile might land your business on spam index by search engine algorithm.
So, what are the critical details for a GMB profile?

  • An updated NAP, Business Hours, and Location details are important
  • Posting relevant workplace pictures for reference is vital for a business's GMB profile.
  • Maintaining a streamlined reviews section is important for a GMB profile.

Here’s a screenshot of how you can update your NAP details in your GMB profile:

Key Takeaways

  • Update your Google My Business Profile to stay relevant on the market.
  • Claim your business on GMB after it gets listed.
  • Come up with a relevant and engaging name for your business.
  • Provide correct information on the business, such as business hours, NAP, and location.
  • Categorize your business under a relevant business category to drive organic crowds.
  • Provide photos and video of the business location for reference on your GMB listing.
  • Provide information as per your user search intent to convert more organic leads.

Rank Your Website

Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years strategizing and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested in writing Digital-marketing, PPC, and Social Media Marketing related topics.


Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years strategizing and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested in writing Digital-marketing, PPC, and Social Media Marketing related topics.