Local search SEO is the most important type of SEO that can be done today. Making sure your business can be found easily on mobile search apps such as Google Maps and Bing Maps is the biggest simple online action one can take to reach potential customers for your business.
But unforeseen problems can sometimes arise that take a bit of cunning to resolve.
A new building, built on new land with brand new address
One such circumstance occurred with a client of ours – an expanding dental practice. They were opening an office in another city and had built a new, state-of-the-art facility on the access road adjacent to the main highway. It was a totally new structure, built where nothing had existed before. So it had a totally new address.
Several weeks prior to the clinic’s opening, we were given the new postal address and went to add the location to the practice’s Google Places for Business account so that it would be listed on Google Maps in time for its grand opening a number of weeks down the road.
Setting up the new location on Maps
When you add a business to Google Places for Business, in order to verify that the business actually exists, Google sends out a verification card to the address. The card has a PIN code that needs to be inputted back into the online application before Google will fully list it. This card can take a week or so to get delivered but our experience was that it arrives pretty fast. You can also verify by phone but as no one was manning the new clinic’s phone, this method couldn’t be used. We had two or three weeks so we could afford to wait for the card.
The verification card never arrived, twice
We used the new postal address in the online setup and, low and behold, Maps apparently had it in its system. The street number was there with only a slight change of wording for the access road. No error messages that the address didn’t exist or anything. Happy day, smooth as silk!
Except the card never arrived. A week later, because the phone was still not manned, we had another card sent out.
It never arrived either.
We couldn’t understand what was going on. Google apparently had the address for the clinic but the card didn’t get there.
Oh, oh, the Maps address was wrong!
Then realization dawned – Google’s address, even though similar, wasn’t compatible with the postal address. So the post office couldn’t find the clinic. Agh!
Immediately, we called Google. Yes, you can call Google and it isn’t that hard. You just have to know your way around their Google Places for Business interface.
How to phone Google Help
This is how you do it (this assumes you already have a Google Places for Business account set up for your business.)
- Go to the Google My Business Help Center and logon to your Google account.
- Click “Contact Us” near the upper right. (see image below)
- Request a call and follow the instructions and fill out the form to leave your phone number. Google will ring you back almost instantly. Their staff are typically very helpful.
This was done for our client and we spent almost an hour on the phone getting it worked out. Actually, it took two phone calls and, as the new clinic’s phone was now manned, we were able to get the address verified without waiting for a card to be mailed.
Getting it right
In the end, the client’s new business had the proper address on Google and was finally set up on Google Maps to be found and is being found today.
All is happy!
It just shows that what you think should be a simple and straightforward matter can evolve into a problem of magnitude. Who would have ever thought that Google would have an address in their system that didn’t agree with the post office?
But the way things are going, perhaps in the near future, we’ll be phoning the post office to adjust their address because it doesn’t agree with Google!
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