Some business models operate on the information highways’ ditches and belong in local search results, but the official standards don’t address them. Charging stations for EVs are an illustration of this. They are everywhere in local packs, finders, and maps. Still, because of their unique business model, Google needs to properly update the instructions for representing them in Google My Business.
Based on Google’s guidelines for businesses like yours, we’ll put up our list of EV charging station best practices today and toss a few free local search marketing hints into the trunk.
How to handle your EV charging station Google My Business listings
Whether you’re an owner, in-house marketer or employee of an agency tasked with promoting a fleet of EV charging stations online, having a presence in Google’s local search results, including local packs, local finders, Google Business Profiles, and Google Maps, should be at the center of your digital strategy.
Although EV charging stations are not officially included in Google’s helpful guidelines, it is clear that they are acceptable for inclusion from the additional special features and categories the search engine has provided for these cars. In the local results, the screenshot displays the charger icons, type names, and wattage displays. Google provides live charger availability information for select US and UK networks for users’ benefit. Special EV charging station symbols are included in even the map pins.
Google wants this industry to be mentioned and is aware of them. While Google’s tools will guide you through filling up and approving a profile for a single site if you’ve never created a GMB listing before, EV charging station marketers are likely managing many locations simultaneously. Use Google’s bulk upload feature in its place if you need to list ten or more places. Additionally, it would help if you chose mass verification of these significant numbers of listings.
However, before you begin, please review the following instructions for managing key fields you will need to complete for any EV charging station you are selling.
Google requests that you enter the precise name of the company as it is known in the real world in this section. Most of the listings I examined in this industry had the phrase “charging station” after their brand name, which is technically against Google’s rules. EV charging stations that want to adhere strictly to the rules should only advertise themselves as “EVgo” or “ChargePoint,” just as petrol stations are required to list themselves as “Shell” or “Valero.” Google wouldn’t want entries for “Shell Gas Station” or “EVgo Charging Station,” for example, any more than they would want “McDonald’s Fast Food Restaurant” or “Macy’s Department Store,” per the criteria.
But here’s the reality: Google advises against using anything other than your actual brand name in these names, but they don’t do much to enforce this rule. Furthermore, it is widely thought that having keywords in the company title relevant to the search query can boost local ranks. Therefore, your results might drop if you follow the rules and remove “charging station” from your company name. It’s been a problem for a while now, but Google needs to fix the weighting of terms in the business title.
Since EV technology is still in its infancy, customers attempting to figure out where to charge up could benefit from seeing the words “charging station” in the listing title. However, Google’s restrictions sometimes go counter to my common sense.
Keep unnecessary details like location or qualifiers like “cheapest” or “best” out of your company name.
EV charging stations are frequently seen in the parking lots of major public places like train stations & business parks. Normally, a company must have its location to be eligible for a GMB listing. However, a peek at Google’s local search engine results (including Google Maps) reveals that charging stations are allowed to utilize the address of the public area. For instance, Target, the retail center’s anchor, uses the same address as an EV charging station at a strip mall close to me.
Additionally, companies that host charging stations can add a link promoting this feature on their listings. Many EV Charging stations will include information on their listings that designates them as “placed in” a public space, which is also tied to address. Look up the company on google.com/maps, click the “suggest an edit” option, and attempt to correct the information if the “located in” description is incorrect. Contact Google My Business support and describe the situation if, after a few weeks, there is still no improvement.
Here, we’ll take a cue from Google’s specifications for ATMs and kiosks. You must include a customer service phone number for the EV charging stations you are selling, as I previously discussed in my column on neighborhood product kiosks. One of those peculiar grey spots, once more. Typically, it’s recommended that each location of a firm have its phone number. But there are other options for EV charging stations. Instead, make sure your listings include your customer service hotline number.
A word of caution: Google occasionally tends to mix listings with too similar information. Multiple listings with the same brand AND phone number might unintentionally create duplicate listings if there are dozens, hundreds, or thousands of them. The automatic duplication identification and resolution services may be worth investigating for large, multi-listed businesses like EV charging companies so that nagging duplicates don’t interfere with listing maintenance, visibility objectives, and customer guidance.
The primary category for you should be “electric vehicle charging station.” After searching through listings and the GMB category databases, I only came across one other closely related category, “electric vehicle charging station contractor,” which may or may not be pertinent to the company you’re marketing.
Hours of operation
According to Google’s requirements, petrol stations must advertise the hours their pumps are open, which would likely be 24 hours a day for most EV charging stations. As previously said, you’ll likely submit your data to Google using a bulk upload spreadsheet. The ideal setup for the spreadsheet’s 24-hour-a-day indication is 12:00 AM–12:00 AM.
Each listing you produce will be able to contain a link to your website. When an EV recharge station listing includes a link to a landing page for the area, this offers the best user experience. However, as homepages normally have higher Page Authority than landing pages, linking to the brand’s main page may result in a ranking rise.
By including a few images of the charger’s location, you can help shoppers recognize each item. Try to get some images that show the connection between the station and the biggest anchor company nearby since so many chargers are in sizable parking lots. This will aid in client orientation. Additionally, providing a video demonstrating how to use each type of charger would be very beneficial for new electric car owners, considering recent EV technology.
Include a strong call to action and a link to write a review on Google on any landing pages you create for each charging station location on the brand’s website. For the text- or email-based review requests, you may utilize a free review link generator and shorten the URL using a site like bitly. Asking for reviews in bulk might cause Google to flag them as suspicious if you receive too many at once. And never use any incentive to encourage reviews; doing so can lead to review loss, fines, and legal proceedings.
Questions & Answers
Unsurprisingly, listings for EV charging stations reveal users are asking questions about prices and how to operate the kiosks using Google’s Q&A function. These are leads for the brand. Therefore, it should respond to them rather than leaving it to the general public to provide comments of variable caliber.
By publishing compelling information that displays on your listings, Google Posts are a fantastic way to set a company apart from less active rivals. However, this function is troublesome for the usual EV charging firm. Large chains are prohibited from posting to Google’s listings in bulk. For this circumstance, certain third-party services enable hackers.