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Up to 97 per cent of users search for local products on Google
Up to 97 per cent of users search for local products on Google

Does Google know you're in business?

It’s critical for any small business that you ensure customers can find you online and in person. This simple online tool makes it easier than ever. KATIE BUNCH explains how.

Are you looking for digital marketing success? Google My Business (GMB) is a tool that can help prospective customers find you online and in person.

One of the best things about GMB is that it is free to set up and maintain, and helps you manage your online presence while allowing you to seek greater exposure in your local area.

Read on to find out how it works, and why it can help you grow your business.

The fundamentals

Whether you are a bit of a digital marketing pro or if this is your first foray into online marketing, it’s important to go over the basics of GMB.

GMB is a free listing that provides you with a public identity and presence in Google’s search results.

The information you provide about your business will appear in both Google Search and as a local listing on Google Maps.

Google reports that up to 97 per cent of users search for local products and services, but only 37 per cent of businesses have claimed a GMB local business listing.

Getting started with GMB is straightforward and simple; you can simply search on Google to see if your business is listed already.

If your business has been around for a few years, it is likely that you have a GMB listing — all you need to do is claim it.

Set up your listing

If you’re not sure if you have a GMB listing, visit and enter your business information. If you have a listing, you will be notified of this.

“Encourage your users to review your business and respond to their feedback online – don’t just “set and forget” your listing!”

If you need to set up a new business listing, then you can go through the steps to fill out your details. Choose the right category for your business and select whether you offer goods or services to customers in your local area.

If you are serving customers in local areas, choose “yes” next to the “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their locations” option. Select the box next to “I serve customers at my business address” to ensure that your complete address appears on Google.

It’s also important to make sure your business’ stated hours are correct and that your business location is staffed and able to receive customers during those times. Once you have submitted your business information, you will need to verify your listing.

Verify your listing

It is simple to verify your Google listing by using your mailing address. Google will send you a postcard to the address you supplied with a code on it. Use this code to confirm your listing and get your listing live! It’s likely that you will have verified your business within a week.

Improving your Google ranking

Several factors determine where you rank online – but some of the most important include the proximity of your business to the person searching, the relevance of your ad and the prominence of your listing.

"Encourage your users to review your business and respond to their feedback online – don’t just “set and forget” your listing!"

Proximity is key because you want to appear in the searches people are doing in their local area.

While Google’s exact algorithms are still a bit of a mystery, it’s fair to say that if you are located in a certain area, are creating local content, and getting reviews from people in that area, Google will display your listing higher.

Keeping your listing relevant means displaying clear, correct and specific information; your business description should be up to date.

This is pretty straightforward and ensures that when people click on your listing that they get the right information.

Finally, prominence is about ensuring that you have customer reviews, local events, local content and information that shows you are committed to being a business in your local area.

It’s always possible to improve your ranking and listing; as anyone who has done some SEO or digital marketing before will know, the process is one of continual improvement. Use details and keywords in your business description like the suburb or area you service, and ensure that your phone number and opening hours are accurate!

Next, add some great high-quality photos of your business; images should look professional and show up clearly on all devices, from desktop computers to iPads and mobiles.

Finally, encourage your users to review your business and respond to their feedback online – don’t just “set and forget” your listing!

Katie Bunch

Katie Bunch is a digital marketing specialist and Google AdWords team leader at Kymodo Digital Marketing.

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