Creating and maintaining Google My Business accounts for Addiction Treatment Facilities is one of the most challenging aspects of Digital Marketing. The industry is full of spammers; the smallest update to your GMB in the medical niche will have you suspended in seconds. These suspensions could cost your client hundreds of lost leads per month.

The reinstatement steps below can be applied to other high-risk industry categories that have a higher level of scrutiny:

  • Lawyers
  • Locksmiths
  • HVAC/heating and cooling
  • Plumbing

Here is a checklist on how to create and maintain a healthy medical niche GMB:

  1. Search: and I mean search! You'd be surprised what you can find for some clients. Look for any GMBs with similar names and addresses. If the client has more than one GMB at a single location (or several listings around its business location), your listing will continually be suspended.
  2. Reputation: Look at the location on Google Maps street-view; make sure the listing is correct (and not showing a Popeyes chicken restaurant).
  3. Owners/Managers: It's a good idea to diversify your accounts, having separate email accounts for spam reporting, and managing client GMBs. Keep an eye on who you add to manage GMBs; a hard suspension will suspend every account they own. Google might start believing you are who you hang around with.
  4. Verification: Add as much information as you can BEFORE sending the postcard and creating a new GMB listing. Make sure the listing is trustworthy enough you'd send your grandmother. Spend the money and have proper photos taken. Trust is vital.
  5. Citations/NAP: Ensure consistency between your website's NAP (name, address, phone number), citations, and GMB.
  6. Changes: Do all of your changes to the GMB from the front end of Google using a personal Google account and approve the back-end changes using the business account. Do this until Google allows edits without suspending accounts for the tiniest changes.
  7. GMB optimization: Only optimize the URL listed in your GMB

Why only optimize the Website URL?

The Business Name, Category, Website, & Reviews are the only things that affect GMB rankings. We can't do much when it comes to the Name, Category, or Reviews. Your business name must read what it's legally registered as. Categories are straightforward. Reviews cannot be purchased or coxed. So we need to get the website URL to rank for keywords we want on the GMB map-pack.

e.g., "Sobriety House Inc" GMB would want the keyword "drug rehab Ottawa" to rank on the homepage of its website to push up its GMB listing.

What can get you suspended:

  • Incorrect business name
  • Multiple businesses under one address
  • Various listings for the same business
  • Keyword stuffing
  • You are an online store, not brick and mortar
  • P.O. Box, virtual address, FedEx/UPS Store boxes
  • The website doesn't match your GMB address
  • You forward your website URL
  • Citations are wrong (Yelp)
  • Incorrect Pin marker location
  • Your business hours are falsely listed as 24/7
  • Managers on your account had other listings suspended

Additional Reasons For Listing Suspension

  • Be misleading to users.
  • Offensive or inappropriate content
  • Content that contains private or confidential information
  • Illegal Activity
  • False Advertising

Checklist for reinstatement:

The first reinstatement request is the most important. The submission should look like a thesis for a doctorate. You have one chance to convince Google to reinstate your listing.

Be clear and concise. Tell Google what you have done to rectify the problem, and the proof of why your business is trustworthy and should be reinstated:

  1. Photos of physical address with signage (if storefront) - Street address of the building/suite numbers on the door. Business sign clearly visible.
  2. Video verification
  3. Proof you are not sharing office space with another business
  4. Photo of vehicle signage (if applicable)
  5. Proof of occupancy. A utility bill with the same billing address as the GMB.
  6. A copy of the business license certificate. Tax identification papers

Do NOT do the following:

  1. Remove the dashboard listing. You will lose all ranking history.
  2. Create a NEW listing, even if said so, by GMB support.
  3. Contact support multiple times if they are not replying. There is an unspoken two times, and you are out ruled.
  4. Submit multiple reinstatements. Resubmitting creates duplicate reinstatement requested and will delay your reinstatement.
  5. Submit a reinstatement without looking at the guidelines.

Google my Business: Reinstatement Form
Google My Business: Guidelines for representing your business on Google