How to Google-Proof Your Business

Business owners always have their hands full managing any number of functions, simultaneously, to keep their goods and services in front of their target audience, keep their coffers flush, and keep their bottom line sustainable.

Yet, even among more-successful small business owners and entrepreneurs, one easy marketing advantage often overlooked these days is digital marketing.

What does that mean: digital marketing? It means a lot of things, a lot more than any single article like this can cover.

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Digital marketing can improve incrementally the health of your P&L spreadsheet, and increase the lifetime value of your best customers. (Lifetime value denotes how much money a single customer spends at your place of business for however many years s/he stays a customer.)

Take Advantage of Digital and Print Synergy

When done smartly—with the right creative and media placement—digital and print advertising can work extremely well together.

Print advertising—as in this weekly newspaper—excels at delivering impressions by exposing your brand in a friendly environment to a sizable readership. The lessons inherent in digital marketing can benefit your print media buys.

Get Started with Google My Business

Claiming and completing your Google My Business listing is a simple, effective way to connect with current and future customers, as well as respond to reviews.

It’s part of what’s known as organic search, meaning the person searching did not click on a listing that you paid for as an advertisement.

A logical place to dip your toe into digital marketing is a simple, and free, feature called Google My Business.

Think of Google My Business as a basic building block of your print and digital marketing plan.

• To get started, search for your business on Google. If your business is displayed with the question, “Are you the owner?” go ahead and claim your listing.

• If you don’t find your business by searching on Google, go to and search there for your business name. If you haven’t already set up a Google account for your business, here is where you’ll easily be able to create one, for free.

• When you take control of how your business appears in Google’s local search results, make sure your business name, address, and business category are accurate. You also can list your hours of operation, holidays when you are closed, and more helpful information.

• Once you’ve completed your business listing, submit it to Google, which will then send you a postcard (yes, even Google still sees value in snail mail). The card will have a verification code. Return to Google My Business and enter the code for Google to verify: You now “own” your business listing.

• Once you are verified by Google, you can further edit and embellish your listing with free features, such as adding photos of your place of business, and of your goods or services. Submitting your business information also ensures that your business is featured on Google Maps.

Bruce Apar is chief content officer of Pinpoint Marketing & Design, a Google Partner Agency. Follow him as Bruce the Blog on social media. Reach him at or 914-275-6887.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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