How to Manage Google My Business Listings for Unstaffed Kiosks
For many people, managing citations for kiosks can be confusing, as the rules differ compared to other types of business. Fortunately, we’ve got a knowledgeable Google My Business Product Expert, Online Ownership’s Tim Capper, here to explain just how to manage GMB local listings for kiosks.
If you are trying unsuccessfully to get your Google My Business local listings for kiosks verified and correctly managed, it’s time to take a step back and look at your process of managing your kiosk pages.
Unmanned kiosks can either be in-store or have their own location. Here are some examples of what would be considered unmanned kiosks:
- Automated key-cutting machines
- Passport photo booths
- Van hire key pickup and drop-off
- Electric charging points for cars
- Click-and-collect booths
Basically, anything that is not staffed but that has a physical location.
The drawback to getting these unmanned kiosks listings verified in GMB is the ability (or lack thereof) to get a postcard or phone verification.
So, how do you get this done with the least possible amount of friction?
Setting up your account
Here, your options include:
You will need to use a domain email to create either account.
Once you have successfully uploaded and verified (more or less than 10) listings, future uploads should be verified within the account without having to resort to an individual verification. The verification of new uploads is usually completed within seven days.
It’s worth noting that, if you are using the organization account, you will need to download your verified listings, add your new locations to a spreadsheet, then re-upload, to take advantage of new verification of uploads.
As mentioned earlier, the main snagging point is getting a listing verified and then making any future uploads easy for GMB to verify the legitimacy of future listings.
What to include on your website
At the beginning of your kiosk GMB setup (or if your listings are flagged as spam) your website will be viewed as part of the decision process by Google to help determine this business’s eligibility. Putting your listings aside for the moment, you should also be thinking about your customers and what will make their use of your kiosks as easy as possible, especially if they have a problem with a kiosk and need to contact you.
Your website should have clear information about the kiosks and information on using the kiosks. You should also include clear help information if the kiosk is not working or the customer experienced a problem. Your signage should also direct them to the same help phone number listed on your website.
Your kiosk locations should also be listed on the website, especially for customers that came to your website first instead of locating it via the business listing. They should be able to locate a kiosk near them with all the relevant information available. You don’t need to specifically have individual landing pages for each kiosk location (these could be by town or area) but what you should include is:
- Name of the in-store location
- Address of the in-store location
- Hours of the in-store location
If the kiosk is not at an in-store location, include:
- The address of the kiosk’s location
- Any particular location instructions (if not in clear view)
Think about the customer and what information they need to find and use your kiosk. Of equal importance is if a manual reviewer from GMB was to look at the website — will they find all the information necessary information that a customer would require to use and find the kiosk?
What the kiosk needs
Signage, signage, signage!
Every kiosk must have clear visible signage, along with:
- The name of business: Make sure you match the name on the business listing
- Telephone number: Again, match the telephone number to what’s in your GMB listing
- Website address/URL
- Legal name (if different to the brand name)
There are also some things it may be nice to have, but these aren’t essential:
- Logo: Because why would you not brand your business?
- Operating instructions : r, tell your customers where operating instructions can be found (e.g. on your website).
- Reference number of location: Make life easier for yourself when a customer has a problem. You can also use this on your website location information.
Managing your GMB listing
All details in your GMB listing for unmanned kiosks should match the signage at the kiosk’s location.
I also recommend after every kiosk install to take a selection of images of the kiosk in situ to be uploaded to the relevant GMB listing. GMB photos can really help your listing get noticed. So, not only is this good for customers but equally good for GMB spot checks to see that your kiosk actually exists in the location you’ve said it does.
To provide customers with additional information on using or locating the kiosk, you can use the description field in GMB.
Verifying your first few listings
Verifying your first dozen kiosk listings in GMB is typically where most businesses hit some bumps.
If you are uploading via bulk management, you can expect a reply confirming verification within a week. That is, if you have followed the above advice and the GMB team is able to view all necessary information on the GMB listing, together with images of signage and images of the kiosk in location.
If you are uploading via an organization account, you will typically have to go down the “request postcard” route. If the in-store location does not receive mail at the location you will need to wait 14 days before being able to ask for help with verification.
Most times, if you have provided all the details above, both on-site and in the GMB listing, your listing will be verified without any further information being requested. If they do require further information, it is typically a request for images of the kiosk in location and some proof of signage.
Personally, I feel that these requests tend to come from people who have not properly checked that images already uploaded onto the listing.
You can contact business support for verification help either using the “get help” form, or the direct organization help form.
Once these initial listings have been assessed, the rest of your uploads should be an easy process.
That said, don’t become complacent with your kiosk images once they have been installed on future uploads. All you need is a few over-enthusiastic Local Guides or competitors marking your listing as spam to trigger a manual check.