Don’t Let Someone Steal Your Auto Parts Store’s Google My Business Identity
April 1, 2020
Have you set up and/or claimed the Google My Business profile for your auto parts store? If you haven’t, or if you are letting somebody else manage it for you, please read on for some very important words of warning.
The Google My Business Profile
First, if you are unfamiliar with the Google My Business (GMB) profile, or just aren’t sure what it is called, it is the big box that shows up most often on the right side of Google search results when you search for a business by name. As an example, Repair Shop Websites’ GMB profile is below.
The information in your GMB profile serves as your online identity for anyone searching Google for your business name. The way it is set up varies on mobile and desktop, but it has your business address, hours, phone number (with click-to-call on mobile), a link to your website, 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 pop up on the right side of their screen. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a GMB profile, they aren’t going to see it and may think you are out of business.
Having a completed GMB profile also makes you more likely to show up for any searches related to auto parts or auto parts stores. When a business owner reaches out to Google and claims their GMB profile, it gives Google more confidence about the information being provided for that business. When a parts store owner puts store hours into their GMB profile, it’s another indication to Google that the parts store is an active business. When an owner puts the parts store’s current address into GMB, Google knows it isn’t going to accidentally send a Google user to an old address, or an address that’s floating around online for the store but is incorrect.
Simply put, if you don’t have a GMB profile, spending 15 minutes completing it will significantly improve your web presence and increase the likelihood that auto repair shops and consumers in the area will find you when they are searching for auto parts. 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. We want to make sure our customers are taking advantage of this critical tool.
The Danger of Not Claiming Your Google My Business Profile
Unfortunately, GMB can hurt you, too. A serious word of warning – if you don’t reach out to Google and claim your GMB profile, anyone can add your business to GMB or make edits to your GMB profile. If Google doesn’t know very much about you, they will depend on crowdsourcing to find out where you are located, what products and services you provide, how to contact you, and when your store is open.
This means a Google user could request an edit and change your hours to “Closed” on Fridays. They could change your phone number to a competitor’s phone number. They could even redirect your website link to somewhere unsafe, like a phishing or ransomware website. All of this can do serious damage to your business.
Protect Your GMB Profile Credentials
Another critical word of warning – don’t let anyone walk away with your online identity. If an employee has your GMB login information, make sure you also have access to that information, in a secure place. If you cancel services with a vendor who manages your GMB profile, make sure they provide you with your login information and change the password when they are no longer serving you.
Losing your Google My Business login is a lot like losing your real identity. You will lose the ability to control the information online about your store, and that information is likely to become less accurate, and potentially damaging, over time.
There is another key reason to keep up with this login. If you can’t locate it but need to update something on your GMB profile, you may have to ask Google to “reset” your password so you can gain access. We’ve probably all had to do this with a lost password for an account. However, there’s a significant difference for GMB profiles.
If you do need a GMB profile login reset, there’s a good chance Google will delete all of the information about the “old store” at your location. Google wants to make sure that a person starting a new business isn’t earning credit (or blame) that was associated with the last business at that address. That means that all of your store’s information, pictures, and even reviews – all those things that help you solidify your web presence – are subject to deletion, and you’ll be starting from scratch again. If you’ve taken the time to build up a solid number of excellent reviews, this is a disaster you shouldn’t have to experience.
To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you manage your Google My Business profile, call us at 855-394-6397 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.