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Google My Business is a crucial marketing tool for most small businesses, and if it’s not working you’re losing customers.
If you’ve received an email or discovered that your account is suspended, getting it resolved quickly is a top priority. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get your listing turned back on so businesses can resume as normal.
While you’ll get a notification that your listing is currently suspended when you try to log on, Google generally doesn’t tell you exactly why. Most of the reasons have to do with problematic redirects, spammy content, or bad behaviour. If you haven’t done anything wrong, you may have been hacked.
Unfortunately, hackers like to redirect traffic from legitimate websites, like your business, to spam or adult content. If you don’t notice and fix the problem before Google does, they may suspend your listing and penalize your website.
Someone may have also reported your business using the Google My Business Redressal Form.
You’ll want to review the Google My Business guidelines to ensure that your business didn’t do anything that broke the rules. You may have also made a change that Google considers suspicious, such as removing a physical address in favour of a postal box. Some business categories are regarded as having a high risk of having a fraudulent listing, including local businesses like plumbers, locksmiths, and more.
If you haven’t done anything wrong, it’s time to contact Google to appeal the suspension.
Before you fill out the reinstatement form, carefully review your listing for common problems. If these problems are not fixed, your request for reinstatement will be denied.
Start by reviewing every field in your listing. Is there any keyword stuffing? Is your address correct? Is there another company with the same address, and you haven’t clarified that with Google?
Make sure the website that you list on Google My Business is a regular website, not a social media page. Finally, ensure that you haven’t created multiple business listings using the same address, even if you run multiple businesses from your home.
Whatever you do, don’t just try to create a new Google My Business profile to circumvent the suspension. This will only make the issue worse and make it much harder to get reinstated.
As a final step, you can ask the volunteers on the Google Help Forum about what may have caused your suspension. Give them the details of your situation and see what they have to say.
Google’s strict rules are designed to maintain a high level of quality in their listings. As a result, they will need information about your business and verifying documentation. You may have to send in a copy of a utility bill with your business address or other documents that show you have the proper address and aren’t sharing space with another business. If you are in the same building as other businesses, a picture of the business directory can resolve the issue.
Once you have your documentation ready, fill out the request for reinstatement. It will ask you a series of questions, each based on your previous answers. You’ll also upload your documents, which can be PDFs, videos, or images.
Once you submit your request, Google will review the information and determine if your listing can be reinstated. They may also email you asking for additional information if needed.
While it’s frustrating, it’s important to be patient. Filling out multiple requests or asking for help several times will make the process slower.
It usually takes about two weeks for Google to review your request. If it’s been longer and you haven’t heard, consider contacting Google Business support on Facebook, Twitter, or through email to get an update.
Once your business is reinstated, don’t be alarmed if you don’t see your reviews immediately. It can take a few extra weeks for them to reappear.
Think about ways to diversify your marketing so that you don’t have to rely entirely on Google My Business for new leads. Are there ways to work with a digital marketing professional to boost your search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and more?
While you’ll never stop using Google My Business, it’s helpful to diversify your marketing efforts. The more you have going on, the better you’ll be as you recover from potential suspensions.
Suspensions of Google My Business accounts can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s as simple as you making a lot of updates to your listing in one sitting. Perhaps someone reported you, or a competitor or hacker suggested edits or redirected your website.
Knowing how to review your listing and apply for reinstatement will get you on the road to recovery, but so will having a variety of marketing outreaches. If you’re relying only on Google My Business, and haven’t put any effort into SEO, social media, email marketing, online ads, or other marketing tools, we can help.
There’s no time like now to start building your diversified marketing approach. As a business owner, you might feel that you don’t have the time or resources to put a strategy into action, but with our help, you can. Let us take care of your marketing while you focus on what you do best – serving your customers!
To get started with effective small business marketing, contact us today!