Recently, I did a search for an apartment complex in Gaithersburg, Maryland. As Google often does in response to a local search, they presented me with a knowledge graph of the property as part of the search results. Rather than show me a photo of the apartments or the exterior, I was shown an overflowing dumpster with piles of trash, and review snippets like, “They want to be paid on time, but don’t want to provide service on time.” As those snippets can go, I’ve seen worse, but this certainly isn’t a good situation for that property.
It left a terrible impression, and anyone searching for that property or apartments in the area and came across this profile would certainly come to the conclusion that they need to look elsewhere. In the best case scenario, the searcher may notice the review scores from other sources and look further into whether this is a worthwhile place to live, but I think that’s unlikely. It’s too easy to move on to the next choice. Why take the risk that the reviewers in the snippets are experiencing the typical problems of living there, and that trash in the community is truly a problem as suggested by the photo?
Thankfully, this particular property has since claimed their Google My Business listing and has corrected this issue, eliminating the dumpster shot and replacing it with a more appealing photo. Below are before and after screenshots.
More About Google My Business
Google My Business is a service of Google that allows business owners to create a basic web presence with information, such as their type of business, hours, website URL, and photos. When someone performs what Google considers to be a “local search,” Google will select the most relevant Google My Business listings and display them in the local pack organic results. Google will also often display the best choice search result in the knowledge graph as it did in my unfortunate example above.
Many times, the information provided in the knowledge graph is the first and only impression of a business a would-be client, customer, or in this case, resident gets. A good impression here could result in many new inquiries. On the other hand, if the information is unfavorable, the effects could be far-reaching. This is why business owners need someone paying attention to their Google My Business listing.
Keeping Your Google My Business Listing Up-To-Date
Aside from providing basic data about your business, Google let’s owners expand the data with additional information, and photos. They also allow verified owners to respond to reviews, a very important aspect of maintaining a good profile. Data is showing that Google favors up-to-date Google My Business profiles with lots of reviews and recent photographs.
Millennium’s digital team can help you claim and maintain your Google My Business listing. As a Google Partner, we do this for many of our clients, along with taking care of other important local listings such as Bing Places, and social media. If you’d like to discuss your business with one of our marketing professionals, give us a call at 301.725.8000.