Don’t Let Someone Steal Your Auto Repair Shop’s Online Identity
January 31, 2020
By now you’ve probably heard about Google My Business and hopefully have set up and/or claimed the Google My Business profile for your auto repair shop. 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.
First, if you are unfamiliar with Google My Business, it is the big box that shows up on the right hand section of Google Results when you search for a business by name. As an example, Repair Shop Websites’ Google My Business profile is below.
This information serves as your online identity for anyone searching Google for your business name. 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 pop up on the right side of their screen. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a Google My Business profile, they probably aren’t 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 auto repair. When an 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 an owner puts shop hours into their GMB profile, Google knows if that shop is open when someone who needs auto help right away. When an owner puts the business’s current address into GMB, Google knows it isn’t going to accidentally send a Google user to that business’s old address, or an address that’s floating around online for the shop but is incorrect.
Simply put, if you don’t have a Google My Business profile, spending 15 minutes completing it will help you search far better than you currently do 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 way 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 shop, 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 shop 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 you manage your Google My Business profile, call us at 855-394-6397 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com