Google Listing Best PracticesGoogle Listing Best Practices

Whether your business has a visitor-friendly location or you strictly go to the client’s location – you are eligible to create a Google listing business profile. That is so long as the information you submit follows Google Listing Best Practices, including whether the business has a walk-in location or NOT. If all information complies with standard Google policies then the listing is going to remain live. Where a Google listing sits in the pack is going to depend on a number of different signals. Unlike most other listings, a Google listing has a number of different active content input options including posts, images upload, Q & A, and reviews.

Google recommends that the information (name, address, phone, hours, etc.) be consistent across other branded entities. In other words, assume that Google will cross-reference it all against other representations online. If the information is NOT consistent with a website, other prominent listings, and/or social media accounts, it is likely that the Google listing will suffer in competitive search results.

  • Always use an accurate address and/or ‘service area’ (e.g. when ‘go to the client’). Note that P.O. boxes or mailboxes in remote locations are prohibited.
  • Also, use the fewest number of category choices possible. Often people choose so many categories for a Google listing that the competitive relevance for any single category is undermined. Fear not, the description and service areas will make it up to you.
  • Never create more than one listing per location because it will force the algorithm to minimize any competitive relevance.
  • And then a brand (i.e. Snicker Bar), a rental or for-sale property, a Sales associate that is NOT an individual practitioner, a lead generation company, and/or an artist, unless there is a storefront location, is NOT eligible for a Google listing.

Only the business owner can verify and then manage a Google business listing or profile. That owner may THEN share access with others for editing and management, but must first invite the individual or individuals in order to be verified as ‘authorized representative’ or manager.

Google Listing: Location, Service Area or Hybrid Business

You can establish a 1) visitor-friendly location, a 2) ‘go to the client service area’, or a 3) hybrid of the two ‘business profile listing’. When setting up a listing this will become evident by how you enter information. For instance, a ‘go-to client-only service area business’ will want to establish its’ service area or the geographic area where products and services are provided, but NO address. In this case, leave the “business location” entry field blank. If the business has signage, offers both on location and ‘service area’ support then it is hybrid. If so, then both an address and services area will be the way to go. For a service area, the boundaries should not go farther than approximately 2 hours driving time from where the business is based.

Listings & Social Media Account Services

If you are looking for support with setup or the ongoing management of your Google listing, various other listings, and/or social media accounts, including posting-management service – let us know. We are versed and offer flexible options, including:


Getting Control Of Your Google Listing!Google Listing Setup - Small Business SEO NJ

If your web marketing strategy includes being found locally, then a NECESSARY tool is going to be your Google My Business (GMB) listing. If you have been in business a while, then the chances are it already exists and you are going to want to get into your Google listing setup.

If you don’t already control it, go here: to verify and gain control of your ‘Google My Business’ account & listing. Once there, type your business name into the search bar and then click what should be a matching name & location for your enterprise. From here Google will present steps for how to fill out the information needed to claim control over the listing. If somebody else has already claimed your listing, Google will offer an abbreviated version of what email address has control. If it’s your email, then log in using account info … like maybe a Gmail account. If the email is not familiar to you, you will be able to make a request for ownership to that email present. If so and there is no response from that email owner, then Google will require a step-by-step verification process before they will grant you rightful access.

Google Listing Setup

To execute your Google listing setup there are a series of processes starting with basic NAP info and optimization. While it is a relatively straightforward process, here are a few important tips.

It’s always best to start by minimizing the number of business categories you choose. While it is not always possible, one category is the best-case scenario. You can make up for what other categories you are tempted to add further in when you reach ‘Services’, where you can list them all, and then ‘Description’, where you describe the business in detail. Do this right using keywords and you are going to help Google pinpoint what you should be showing up for in local searches.

If you have a store or an office where folks can visit, you’ll enter the address. IF NOT, and you normally visit the customers’ location then you will have the option to add a radius of operation. In each case, you will be able to add the towns, counties, and states you target for new business. And be certain to sync your Business Name, Address, Phone, Website, and Hours of Operation with what shows on your website and any other important listings or citations in your control.

Note: the Google algorithm cross-references information in this listing, on the website, and from other trusted listings & citations in order to discern how serious a business is about accurate consistent information. Again, accuracy and consistency is a competitive signal! Before loading image and logo files, be sure to name them including with geographic reference (i.e. Audrey Tanz Guttenberg NJ Real Estate Agent).

Google Listing Setup – Active Posting

google listing posts

Get into the habit of posting! Unlike other listings, your Google listing also offers a posting capability. Plan a posting routine where, like with social networks, you post about the things going on related to your business and what you offer. Posts can reinforce all the core information you are asking Google to recognize you for in the above and expand upon it too.


Google Listing Setup – Reviews – What To Know

Get into the habit of asking for reviews! Be prepared, give folks the link which is available in your Google My Business listing dashboard. NOTE: Many will say that a business should ‘automate getting reviews’ or that ‘the sheer number is all that matters’ and we’d argue they are wrong and only have something convenient to sell. Convenience, while it sounds great, is not the correct stance with reviews.

Reviews are personal and not everyone you work with is a person you’d ask to review. Worse, why ask someone who was unreasonable anyway? They’re the most prone to a negative review, so why pursue it. What’s more, the numbers are low in weight compared to what’s said. In fact, it’s for this reason Google is asking reviewers for more specific information. More and more, reviews are used for their keyword specifics when listings are presented in search results.

And last, be sure to respond to a review. Demonstrate professionalism & gratitude for the humans, but also use keyword targets where possible for algorithms. Careful here, it’s a fine line and humans are the end game. If anything looks hyped it may discourage people. And if you ever get a negative Google review, click this blue link for how to deal with it!


Google Listing Setup – Performance Analysis

In your Google My Business account dashboard, left drop down, look for ‘Insights’. It’s here where you are going to see what all of the above is and also ‘is not delivering’ for your business. It’s going to show how often your Google Listing was present for local searches, also for how many and what searches. It will offer traffic timing, day over day. It counts click-to-call, click-to-map-directions, and click-to-website count information. It shows how often images are showing for local searches too. There is the insight for a footprint of your listing’s activity in Google Maps, dependent both on your and the searcher’s location.


About Kinetic Knowledge

Based in Monmouth County NJ, Kinetic Knowledge is a full-service digital marketing firm offering Local NJ SEOwebsite design & managed host service, social media, graphic design, content, and more.

Ever feel like your business needs better web presence support? Need a web consultation or do you simply have a question? We’re interested in solving web marketing problems for our clients; we believe good support and ‘NOT selling’ all the time sets the tone for a long-term relationship.

Dealing With Negative Reviews | Kinetic KnowledgeDealing With A Negative Review, Getting Proactive!


While good reviews are some of the best organic advertising a business can have, the fact is web-based reviews are NOT completely in a business owner’s control! And because there are literally hundreds of listing directory websites with ‘for public use review options’ we’re going to focus some here on what is the most visible directory listing – Google.

Reviews posted to random search or directory website listings are a reality. It is also content that consumers seek when they wish to know more about other people’s experiences. It’s why the chance of a negative review both scares and frustrates all business owners, but there is also a BIG opportunity here! All business owners should choose a simple, but pro-active “build reviews plan” that not only pursues good reviews but in doing so also serves to protect against a negative review. This plan MUST become standard operating procedure (SOP) for your business! Here is the summarized plan and why it’s so important:

1) ADVERTISING: a good Google listing review is some of the best FREE advertising a business can ever have, BUT
2) PURSUIT: 9 of 10 people won’t get around to giving a review proactively, so to build reviews a business must consistently request & pursue AND
3) POSITIVE OVERWHELMS NEGATIVE: by building a lot of good reviews your business will serve to overwhelm a bad review, for if it ever comes! When that unreasonable unfair client comes along, their comments can be buried in all the good reviews you have accumulated.

Google Listing & Reviews Management, How To Do It

Google Listing reviews are the most visible by far, so it is necessary for your business to get control of and manage that listing. If not already, here is the link to gain control of and verify a ‘Google My Business’ account listing: . Once there, type the business name into the search bar and click on the matching name & location as it appears. From there Google will direct on how to fill out the information necessary to claim control over the listing. If circumstances are that somebody else has already claimed the listing, Google will present an abbreviated version of the email address that currently has control. If it is not someone else’s and, better yet it is yours, then log in using your account info. Often, that is a Gmail account. If the email is not familiar, a request for ownership to the email present will be a necessary first step. If there is no response from that email owner, then Google will require a step-by-step verification process in order to grant rightful access.

Once access is achieved, there are options to flag an “inappropriate” review, including specific choices for what rule the review breaks. Once submitted, Google will look into it. However frustrating it may be, it is important to understand that there is no guarantee Google will do anything. If the reviewer account is not faked and their comments do not break any ‘review rules’ then Google policy is to do nothing. Granted this has changed over the years quite a few times, there is a ‘Google My Business’ support phone number at 844-491-9665. By talking to a live Google support person, there may be an opportunity to explain and raise the odds for having a false review removed.

Direction For How To Address A Negative Review


In circumstances where a negative review is going to remain, the Google My Business account dashboard offers a means for responding to it. In doing so, never react! It’s so important to understand how to respond and also what’s at stake. What follows will help a great deal when responding to a negative review: 

1. Go Direct!

Respond privately to the individual before responding publicly, if possible. Apologize and acknowledge a mistake or a misunderstanding. Maybe there is an opportunity to meet half way or to make an exchange for taking the negative review down. Better yet, an exchange for an updated good review. Online reviews are not set in stone, they can always be updated by the reviewer.


2. When Responding Live, Present a Positive Position

  • Never react, and never make excuses in a public response.
  • Prepare a response to amicably resolve the situation, but always have others review it first – before going live. 
  • Identify yourself as the business owner, explain customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance and that given a chance to speak directly you are certain you can resolve the situation. 
  • Restate their issue because that person is likely annoyed, they want to know they were heard.
  • Do not motivate or engage in a back and forth battle online for the entire world to see. Arguments or trying to explain how events didn’t occur in the fashion reviewed is not going to help! CONSUMERS reading it will lean toward other consumers when they see it. We must understand WE are speaking to the public and the prospective consumer too!
  • Acknowledge a mistake — even if you’re not sure you have made one — apologize and again offer to proactively fix the situation.
  • If an agreement can be reached the person will often take the review down, but if not you will have demonstrated goodwill and the way you conduct business … for everyone to see!


3. Manage Consumer Expectations

Do your very best NEVER to be caught off guard! How? Be a thorough communicator from the very start. This is about prevention: a company should carefully manage expectations about what is and what is not being sold. Leave nothing to chance! Some might call it making sure buyers are not set up for confusion or the disappointment that can motivate a bad review in the first place. And folks, drop the ego – be sure to give them the best support you’ve got!


4. Look For Directory Review Policies, Prohibited and Restricted Review Content 

Going back to how to flag an unfair review or getting a review removed depends on the listing companies’ documented policies and whether or not you can prove they were violated, but it is always worth a careful look. Yelp, for instance, doesn’t support reviews from a competitor. No directory will support false user accounts, so be sure the individual is legitimate or you should be able to have it taken down. And most offer a way to FLAG a false review in the account dashboard calling the directory out to review it with your reasons for why it should be taken down. To get acquainted with Google’s Review Policies, go here: 


Unfair Or Negative Reviews Happen, A Pro-Active Plan Must Be S.O.P.


The negative side of the review coin is you CANNOT CONTROL all the listings out there with your company’s information and ‘for public use review options’, nor the chance anyone will post a review. If the possibility of getting a negative review makes you hesitant, remember that sooner or later almost every business will get one. There are those rare individuals out there who may NOT be fair. Worse, there are even ‘reputation management agencies’ for hire out there that will use nefarious tactics on behalf of a client in order to disparage the competition. No matter, it’s why all business owners must have a proactive plan at the ready. Getting reviews MUST be seen as a standard operating procedure (SOP)!

And by the way, having nothing but glowing comments can make some readers wonder about whether or not your reviews are even legitimate. Your plan for managing that bad review will speak volumes with potential customers (including the unhappy customer) and can have a far greater effect than the bad review itself.


About Kinetic Knowledge | Local SEO NJ

Based in Monmouth County, NJ, Kinetic Knowledge is a full-service digital marketing agency offering custom website design, website troubleshoot & fix, website host management, Small Business SEOsocial media advertising/account management, and more.




Google My Business leadsDoes Your Business Use The Google My Business Tools?

If your business marketing strategy includes being found locally by qualified consumers, then a CRUCIAL tool is going to be Google My Business (GMB). Particularly its local map & search listing tools. Access to your account will be here:

It’s important to note that Google My Business can never replace a website for its depth of specific information, its presentation of a unique brand or it’s broader than hyper-local potential for search visibility; however, it will certainly detail your most fundamentally important information in parallel with, as well as compliment, your website. It is a visible hyper-local citation that can include reviews and also active posts. And, by the way, the entire set of Google My Business tools are FREE.

Google Produces The Majority Of Searching

After all, the majority (near 90 percent?) of organic searches occur at Google. And Google’s Knowledge Graph uses verified ‘Google My Business’ information (hopefully including yours) to support its database of businesses for locally targeted searches. Let’s face it- when someone Googles “Security Installations Company Elizabeth NJ” and you happen to own a security installations business in Elizabeth NJ … you certainly want to be up top of those search results. 

And folks, this is not something to set up and forget. To be the lead driver it can become for your business, Google My Business needs to be tended to! So let’s look at how Google My Business will help your business capture local leads.

Google My Business (GMB) Listings… And More

Typical search results include a stack of information including a) advertisements up top, b) a local Map Pack of GMB listings, and then c) the organic search results. With GMB you are shooting to be in that local Map Pack of listings, just beneath the ads. Pay attention to these details in order to maximize visibility in those highly qualified local search results!

1. Listings

If you haven’t used this tool, the chances are your business is already listed … but you will need to claim your listing! To control your Google My Business listing you, as business owner or authorized representative, must be able to verify the business either has a physical location that customers can visit, OR, at least, that it exists. In the latter, a business must demonstrate that it will travel to where customers are located. Be sure that your Google listing offers a) accurate business name, b) location address (or visit area radius), c) phone number and/or website address, d) business hours, e) the best business categories possible (chosen from list, only) and a f) detailed description. And there are more options for detail added, so keep a close eye on your account dashboard for those. Once a new listing is created & verified, a Google Maps location listing is also generated – both consumed into the Google Search index for local search visibility.

2. Posts

Like with a social network account, a Google My Business listing offers posting. It’s for sharing announcements, offers & sales, new products, and events via posts – standard with the listing. It includes the ability to add pictures & graphics. To ignore posts is a LOST opportunity! It’s not only timely information about your business, but it can provide trusted backlinks to website pages and blog posts where a greater depth of information can be found. It is also a chance to reinforce the keywords your business targets in search. Recommendation: post to your Google listing every week, the potential is enormous!

3. Reviews

While no one can control who gives them a review, the public review profile that listings offer compliment a web presence. A listing with reviews & consistent (to website) information offers a public and, thereby, trusted local identity. Be sure to ask customers that you know are happy to write review so that a history can form. Furthermore, respond to people who have taken the time to post a review to demonstrate that you are paying attention. If someone ever leaves a bad review – do NOT react, but take the time to answer in a way that demonstrates professionalism and genuine concern to the public. 

4. Photos 

GMB offers the addition of photos. Some potential clients wish to see you, your work and even your place of work. Listings with more photos attract more attention!

5. Insights

GMB knows that you cannot grow what you do not measure. It provides data & analysis in order to show what these tools, as well as the effort involved, are bringing. They may also shed light on what the listing is not bringing and why. Knowing more about how to get a leg up with folks that were looking for what your business offers can only help to capture them going forward.

Local Visibility Drives Leads & New Business

What it boils down to is local information matters to consumers AND what people want locally matters to Google, so it had better matter to you! These details affect your business visibility when it comes to hyper-local search results and the map pack area consisting solely of Google My Business listings. So get verified, plug in your data, post, and pay attention to your GMB account. If you can’t do it, get someone in the know on Local SEO involved. We’d love to help you!

We can also help with the proper setup & management of your YouTube Channel, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics.