How NOT to claim your G+ Local listing. Avoid duplicate listings and stupid delays.

4 replies
Hey all,

Here's a little tidbit to help you do a better job claiming G+ local listings for clients.

First rule: never let the client do it.

Step 1: visit the listing while logged into the Google account you want to use to manage the listing. I advise using a fresh Google account that isn't used for business correspondence or anything else other than managing online profiles and the G+ Local listing.

Step 2: Click on "manage this listing" found along the right, beneath the main image under the heading: "IS THIS YOUR BUSINESS?"

Step 3: If the listing is NOT already claimed, you'll be given 3 options:

- Edit my business information.
- Suspend this listing.
- This isn't my listing.

If you're prompted to enter a phone number, then the listing in question is already claimed and you should go back to the client to get the login details. If they don't have it... well... solving that is for another post.

moving on...

Obviously, you'll want to select "EDIT my business information." BUT WAIT!!!

Here's where 99% of people will mess it up. They will click EDIT and then they will proceed to edit everything before clicking submit.


Instead, (as long as the address and/or phone number is correct) immediately go down and click submit. Don't change a thing. Just click submit.

The system will prompt you to select a category if none are selected. Just select one and then submit the edit.

Quite often, I will get a phone verification option when doing this. Do this during the day so you can immediately get the business owner on the horn and verify by phone.

Now, as if winning the coveted phone verification wasn't reason enough to follow the flow above, doing anything else... changing phone / address / name, adding pictures, etc... can sometimes cause Google to create a duplicate listing - a dupe that you likely will not ever see, but it will screw with your rankings by causing an on-going merging of your "real" listing and the strangely-invisible dupe. You'll have invisible photos, reviews... you name it.

If the business name or address isn't quite right... fix it later. As long as you're able to get the listing verified, do it without changing any of that.

Once verified, there could be a couple things you need to deal with:

1) You want to replace the phone number with a tracking number.
2) The address is incorrect or "off" a little and you need to change it.
3) The business name is "off" and you need to change it.

Don't do ANY of this yet. Focus on the little stuff.

That brings us to

Step 4: Verify the listing and add information.

This is when you'll want to add images, add your videos, add all categories, description and even links to other profiles in the "more details" section at the bottom.

Do this in bits and pieces, submitting the changes after each part - images (submit) videos (submit) more details (submit)

After you have everything done, go to your dashboard and write a generic update there in the update box (the one where the update expires in 28 days) or add a coupon / offer.

Once that's done, you can go to...

Step 5: Changing business name, address or phone number.

There are little tricks to changing minor variations in business name or address that can sometimes avoid a postcard, but I can't get into that now. In a nutshell, you want to change 1 or 2 characters at a time in the business name. As long as the name and address aren't so different that you can avoid sweeping changes, you can sometimes get away with it.

However, if the address or business name is completely wrong you should wait a couple of days, make the change and order the postcard. Because you filled out all the info before, and the listing already existed, the listing may stay live and allow all the other additions you made to the listing work in your SEO efforts.

You may even consider creating your citations and really optimizing your site for the correct name and address and just submitting a support request to Google to ask them to change it for you. I've had this done and it can save time. Simply point out to the Google staff that the name on your contact page and other profiles is correct while the name on your G+ local listing is incorrect. Ask them to manually change it to avoid downtime and confusing your customers. You may even mention that you have offline initiatives going on that are driving people to G+ and using the local listings, so time is important. Google wants people to use G+, so they may be pretty accommodating. I have certainly found them to be.

Do you have to change the phone number to a new / tracking number?

you may as well make all the changes and get them done in one go. I've had Google support change alter name and address slightly, but not both AND the phone number. They're going to want you to re-verify the slow way.

Do you have to make big changes to address / business name?

again... may as well just make ALL NAP (name, address, phone) changes at once, order the postcard, and get it over with.

Anyway, long-winded, I'm sure, but I hope this helps some people better understand the claiming and verification process. And I REALLY hope the helps some of you avoid duplicate listing hell.

#avoid #claim #duplicates #listing #local #sneaky
  • Profile picture of the author apprillove
    Google plus listing is now more preferred by business and more SEO specialist. Google+ local offer what two websites can give you.
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  • Profile picture of the author maricelu
    A video demonstration of all this stuff will be highly appreciated.
    Thank you!

    I have no signature.

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  • Profile picture of the author philboy uk
    When you add a tracking number, do you use the same phone number in the citation sites , which sort of defeats the object of using a tracking number ?

    Most google plus local reports I have read, recommend keeping the phone number consistant across all the major directory and social media platforms.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kung Fu Backlinks
    Video demo? I'll see if I can put something together. Great suggestion.

    RE: Tracking number... yes, you need it across all properties. Not sure why that defeats the purpose. If you're doing the work for the client, you'd want to show that everything you do (business listings included) offer value and a chance to get business, not just the G+ Local listing.

    If you're choosing good directories, you should get some business from the directory listings, too. I'd want credit for that!
    G+ LOCAL SETUP ___and____ Custom WordPress - Genesis Child Themes (see portfolio here)

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