As SEO specialists, we often make use of the services Google provides to better understand SEO for therapists, and how client sites are performing.
Two of the tools we use the most are Google My Business (GMB) and Google Analytics (GA). The first allows you to optimize your business profile on Google and improve local SEO, while the latter allows you to track website analytics for your private practice website. Both have their uses in improving SEO for therapists. But, each can also experience many issues that can be difficult to address without understanding what they mean. So, today we are going to cover a few of the most common problems for each, and how to resolve them!
Google My Business: Suspended Listings
To start, I should first mention that while suspended listings can be scary to deal with, they are manageable. There are many reasons as to why your listing might have been suspended. But, Google will not tell you as to why your listing is suspended. It is up to you to investigate your listing to better understand what Google might be taking issue with. When it comes to Google My Business in counseling and any other profession, it is important you have accurate info on your listing. It should also be noted that if a user’s Google Account is suspended, all listings owned by the user will also be suspended.
Reasons for Suspending your Listing
Google wants to ensure that the GMB profiles on their service adhere to their guidelines. As a result, it is important that your listing be accurate and trustworthy. Some of the most common reasons listings get suspended include:
- Another business has the same address as your practice
- The address on your listing is different from the listing on your website
- The information on directory listings doesn’t match your website
- Any recent changes made to your primary address, name, or phone number
- Multiple listings for the same business or location
Luckily, suspensions are just that, suspensions
They can negatively affect SEO for counselors but are not permanent. Depending on your situation, your listing should be straightforward to fix, given you have identified the issue at hand. Yet, in the event that you can’t, contacting Google Support can help you better understand what the issue might be, and give you a chance to then correct the problem.
Fixing your Suspended GMB Listing
In order to fix your GMB profile, you must ask Google to reinstate your listing. This can be done by completing their support form and providing evidence to resolve the issue at hand. This will be different for each case, but often require images of important documents to prove the validity of your claim.
For example, you may have changed your business address recently. As a result, Google suspended your listing in order to avoid spreading inaccurate info about your practice. In this case, you may be required to send them proof of your address. This may include submitting your business license or providing an image of your building along with signage. Other instances may instead require you to verify the address by sending a postcard.
This postcard often arrives within 5 days of it being requested and will have a code for you to use on your GMB listing. By doing so, you can easily reinstate your listing without having to contact any support.
Google My Business: Account Suspensions
As mentioned earlier in this blog, if a user’s Google account has been suspended, all their listings will also be suspended as a result. Issues like these may occur when a person makes a number of changes to their business information over a shorter period of time. Practice owners may also find their reviews have disappeared, along with all their profile listings on the Google search engine.
This result may occur when more serious violations are at hand, or if issues occur within GMB itself. As a result, practice owners should take care to understand what they are putting on their profiles matters. If Google believes something on your account is violating their guidelines for representing your business on GMB, they will have to ensure you will adhere to them before you can request to reinstate your account.
Practice owners should also be careful of creating too many accounts on GMB. If you switch between many accounts over a short period of time, Google may grow suspicious of your actions. It is a similar process to reinstating a suspending listing. But, you may have to provide documentation of some kind to prove you are the owner of the practice for security reasons.
This may verification by providing:
- A utility bill with the same billing address as the Google My Business profile
- Legal documentation. A business license or tax form, either of which must list the same address listed in your Google My Business profile
- Proof of physical address. A storefront image showing both signage and address, including a suite number if your business has a Suite # attached to it.
- Proof you are not sharing office space with another business
- Your GMB listing’s dashboard URL to confirm the business profile
If this happens, Do Not Make Another Listing
It is vital to also understand that if you experience this, you should not try to create a new listing. Google can still recover your removed listing if it is lost. But, they can’t do so if you overwrite it with a new, fresh listing of your practice. If this happens, your only option is to ask Google to reinstate it.
Dealing with these issues may be annoying at times. But, it is a good effort of Google to protect the security of their many users. Understanding how to deal with these issues can help you better manage your Google My Business Account. Plus, doing so helps support SEO for therapists. Google My Business in counseling can be a very beneficial tool for any practice owner, regardless of the size of the practice!
Begin SEO Services with Simplified SEO Consulting
Our team of SEO specialists can offer support in managing and solving Google My Business issues. We are happy to also help improve SEO for therapists nationwide, and internationally! To start improving your SEO with Simplified SEO Consulting, please follow these simple steps:
- Book a free 30-minute consultation call.
- Meet with an SEO specialist.
- Start improving Google’s rankings and meet your practice’s goals!
Other Services Offered with Simplified SEO Consulting
Our team at Simplified SEO Consulting is happy to offer support in a number of ways. We can offer support in improving local SEO for therapists as well as DIY Online SEO Courses. In addition, we also offer Done For You SEO services, and a Done With You 12-week Intensive SEO program. Feel free to visit our blog to learn more today!
About the Author
Sterling Humburg-Cage graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Psychology in 2020. He integrates what he learned in school into his work as an SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting. Sterling prides himself on helping current clients & alumni problems solve difficult SEO issues. He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation and responding quickly to client concerns. Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them extra problem-solving support, often going the extra mile to do outside research and make sure private practice owners have everything they need to rank well on search engines long term for the keywords their ideal clients are using!