Google My Business—Dominating Local SEO Part 3

As with most things in this world, setting up a Google My Business page isn’t always flawless. There’s always the chance that you may run into a few headaches if your business has duplicate listings, someone else claimed your business or address, or any number of other technical issues that will make you want to rip your hair out.

With any luck, setting up a Google My Business page for your company will be smooth sailing. In case it isn’t, however, here are a few troubleshooting techniques to help you through a number of issues that you may come across:

My Business Is Listed, But Not Claimed

After you sign in to your Google account and decide whether your business is a store-front, service or brand account, you will be prompted to type in your business name to search for existing listings. Occasionally, you will find that businesses are already listed on Google, but not yet claimed by a user. If this is the case, do this:

  • Select the business listing that is an exact match to yours. If it isn’t exact, create a new listing.
  • Check the box that states, “I am authorized to manage this business and I agree to the Terms of Service.”

GMB Part 3 - check box

  • Choose to verify your code by mail or continue and verify later.
  • Optimize your page and get verified.

GMB Part 3 - Verify Your Business

It’s important to note that once you select a business listing, you won’t be able to edit the address or contact information until you verify the page. With that being the case, make sure that the address that you’re sending your verification code to is the business’s physical address (and be sure that someone will be able to receive the postcard there).

My Business Is Listed and Claimed By Someone Else

This is usually where the hair ripping out begins. Instead of just claiming a listing that already exists or creating a new one, you actually have to take this a step further and request admin rights from the current page owner. Here’s what to do:

After you check the “I am authorized to manage this business and I agree to the Terms of Service” box, you will be brought to a new window that says someone else has already verified the listing. Select “request admin rights.”

GMB Part 3 - request Admin Rights

  • If you know the contact of the current page owner, the obvious solution would be to contact them and ask them to transfer ownership.
  • If you have no idea who claimed the listing, select no to both questions and an automatic email template will form below.

GMB part 3 - who claimed my listing

  • If possible, provide an official business email address ( domain) as evidence of your ownership. If the current page owner can’t be reached, this will make it easier for the Google support team to recognize that you should have access to the page.
  • Select the access that you would like to the page.

GMB part 3 - select access

  • Leave your own message to the current owner and submit.

You may have to wait a while before a Google representative gets back to you about your request. If you don’t hear back in a week, call the support team.

There Are Duplicate Listings

Unfortunately you can’t verify your Google My Business page if duplicate pages exist. If you come across duplicate pages, it means that there are two local pages for the same business, and you need to delete the one that doesn’t show up in searches as often or isn’t used as frequently. Here’s how to delete the extra pages:

  • If another user claimed the duplicate, you need to start the claiming process and request admin rights as listed above.
  •  If the duplicates are listed under the same account, go to your Google+ homepage, select “Pages” from the drop-down on the left, and select “Manage this Page” for the duplicate you want to delete.

GMB Part 3 - Manage This Page

  • Select “Edit” on the top right, scroll to the bottom of the page, and select “Delete this Page.” Tick all of the boxes and delete the page.

GMB Part 3 - Delete page

  • You will be signed out, and when you sign back into your account there will be one last confirmation to delete your Page.
  • Delete the page and repeat the process for any other duplicates.

These are three of the most common and frustrating technical issues that you may run into, but Google does have support forums for most questions that you may have.  If your questions still are unanswered, a good old-fashioned phone call to the tech team should also take care of it. Now that you’ve sorted through the most painful part of the process, stay tuned for our final portion of this series: how to build up your circles and following.