Don’t Let Someone Steal Your Painting Business’s Online Identity
January 31, 2020
If you’ve ever searched on Google for a business, you’ve probably seen their business information show up to the right of the search results. As an example, searching for ProPainter Websites returns the box below.
This is the information in your Google My Business profile – and since so many people use Google, it serves as your online identity in many cases. It is often the first thing people will learn about you when they type your business’s name into Google. It has your business address, hours, and phone number, a link to your website, your Google Reviews, and a button to get directions to your business. If someone types your name into Google, they’re probably expecting to see this information on the right side of their screen. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a Google My Business profile, they probably aren’t to going to see it.
Having a completed Google My Business (GMB) profile also makes you more likely to show up for any searches related to house painting. When a business owner reaches out to Google and claims their Google My Business (GMB) profile, it gives Google more confidence about the information being provided for that business. When you put business hours into your GMB, Google can tell customers if you’re closed, and they’ll know not to expect a callback right away. When you select your business category as a Painter and not an Artist, Google will understand that you paint houses, not art. Google wants to return useful search results, so the more confidence they have in what you do, the more likely your business is to show up in the search results.
Simply put, if you don’t have a Google My Business profile for your painting company, spending 15 minutes completing it will provide a big boost to your search results over time. That’s why we reach out to every one of our customers and try to help them build or claim their Google My Business profile. It’s the easiest ways to improve your online presence, and we want to make sure our customers are taking advantage of it.
Unfortunately, GMB can hurt you, too. If you don’t reach out to Google and claim your GMB profile, anyone can add your business to GMB or make edits to the information Google has about your business. If Google doesn’t know very much about you, they’re only too happy to take information from strangers on where you are located, what you do, how to contact you, and when you’re open.
This means someone could request an edit and change your hours to “Closed” on Tuesdays. They could change your phone number to a competitor’s phone number. They can even change your website to somewhere unsafe, such as a phishing or ransomware website. All of this can do some serious damage to your business.
This is where the other important part of Google My Business comes in. Don’t let anyone walk away with your online identity. If an employee has your GMB login information, make sure you get that information from them. Whenever you cancel services with a vendor who manages your GMB profile, make sure you still have access to your profile. Losing your Google My Business login is a lot like losing your real identity; You won’t be in control of the information online about your business, and that information is likely to become less accurate over time.
There’s one other reason to keep up with this login. If you can’t locate it but need to update something on your profile, you may have to request that Google “reset” your profile so you can gain access. If you ever do need to do this, there’s a good chance Google will delete all of the information about the “old” business at that location. Google wants to make sure that a person starting a new business isn’t earning credit (or blame) associated with the last business at that address. That means that all of your business information, pictures, and even reviews – all things that help you search well – are subject to deletion, and you’ll be starting from scratch again. If you’ve accumulated dozens of great reviews, this is a disaster you shouldn’t have to experience.
To learn about how Repair Shop Websites can help your auto shop earn more business, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com