The Blog: Why Google My Business Is Out Front

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Eagle-eyed users of rankingCoach will have noticed that Google My Business is now accessible from the dashboard of the tool. 

Google My Business network began in June 2014, as a response to the growing importance of Local SEO as a vital marketing channel for SMEs. This rise was largely the result of Google's Venice update to its search engines in 2012. 

Google My Business is one of the major pillars of an effective local SEO strategy. Here are five good reasons it has been given such a prominent position. 

#1 A Cornerstone of Local SEO 

Google My Business is the company's key Local SEO platform. It has been designed to give business owners more control over how their information is displayed in search results.

Local SEO makes companies' information more visible and accessible to people in nearby areas. To make this possible, Google has gone beyond the standard listings found in search engine results.

You have probably noticed that when you click on a company on Google Maps, a profile is displayed that shows important information about the company such as opening times and contact information.

Having a Google My Business account is the best way to make sure that your business' information is displayed correctly on this listing and all the other Google listings.

#2 Another valuable channel of communication 

A Google My Business account provides an extra space for your business to tell its story on Google: Google My Business has a messaging feature; business owners posts appear in Google results on the knowledge graph to the right side of the desktop and smartphone searches.

These messages can include video and photos; they represent a great way of making sure your company's listing stands out.

These messages are very useful for enhancing SMEs promotional activities. For example, a restaurant launching a themed night or new dish could create messages promoting it alongside their listing on Google. These messages can also be used to tell customers about special offers. This represents another valuable chance to communicate with your customer before they even click on your website.

#3 It Prevents People from Getting The Wrong End Of The Stick

It's important to remember that even if you don't have a Google My Business profile, it is very likely that a profile for your company already exists. 

You can find many businesses in Google search results, especially on Google maps who have a company profile, including reviews, both good and bad, that the company has not set up themselves. 

This is important to take into consideration; the decision is not about having an additional SEO presence, it is between deciding to have some control over your profile or none at all. 

If you do not have a Google My Business profile, Google will use data on your website to fill out your profile.

This information will probably not be enough to fill out all the required information. In instances such as this Google will ask the searcher to fill in this missing information; next to the profile, it will say: Add missing information. This includes both written details and photos.

Now I must say it is very nice that these people are so willing to do a search engine's job for it, but from the perspective of the business owner, I think it's better if the person writing the company's profile doesn't need a search engine to find it. 

So, it seems only natural that you would want to set up a profile and use the shortcut on the rankingCoach dash to keep an eye on it.

In many cases, this profile will be the first impression that customers get of a company, so it is really important that the information is correct and that it presents your company in the best possible light. 

#4 It stops imposters from claiming your business

This next point is linked to the previous but is less likely, If you do not claim your Google business profile, someone else could. You can identify companies on Google maps who have a profile that they do not control by looking more closely at their Google My Business profile. Those not being managed have a text link with the words 'own this business?' written by them.

Anyone can click on this link and attempt to go through Google's validation process for claiming that business. This process is designed to ensure pretenders do not claim other people's businesses; the best way, to make sure this doesn't happen, is to get there first and claim it yourself.

#5 Online Reviews Are Make Or Break

The unfortunate truth that content about your business is there, whether you want it to be or not, is also the case for online reviews. People can post reviews on your Google Business profile without you having an account. This is another reason why tracking your Google My Business profile is so important.

There are many other review websites and local directories where people could be posting reviews and information about your website without your knowledge. 

If you own a business in the hospitality or beauty industry, it is almost certain that reviews have been posted about your business online.

A Good reviews profile will bring customers to your business and bad reviews will scare them off.  Research shows that two negative reviews on the first page of search results drive away 44% of potential customers.

Considering this information, we can see how important Google My Business is as a tool for managing your online presence. 

Manage your online profile with rankingCoach

We hope this article has given you useful insights into the world of Google My Business and online reviews. If you aren't already using rankingCoach to manage your online review and directory profile, there has never been a better time to try it out. 

The listingCoach tool in rankingCoach gives you the power to track your online reviews and respond to them in real-time, from one location. It makes sure your directory listings, including Google My Business, are always up to date with one-click synchronization:  Try it now

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