Check your online identity - tip


Search google your business

Running a retail business in 2024 means having an online presence even though you have little control over that presence. It's important to regularly check what information comes up because potential customers often search for your business online. 

Search Engine Results

Go to your browser eg Chrome and enter its private browsing mode, it's called incognito in Chrome and in Edge InPrivate. This is because your account and previous search history may affect your searches. Now in the private mode check the major search engine - Google. Google dominates search in Australia with a 95% market share.

For these do a search for your business name, address, and any common search terms customers might use to find you. For example, "lotto  Richmond" or "stationery near me."

Focus on the first page of the results. Anything on page 1 is what most people will see. Page 2 and beyond generally get little attention.

Now do not do this search with an ad blocker in place as you want to see both organic results and paid ads. A competitor buying ads in your name is something to watch out for.  This happened to us when our biggest competitor made what I consider a dishonest ad that pretended to be us and gave their telephone number as our number in the hope that our customers would ring them. 

I would suggest also after looking in Google that you look up the search engine Bing - it holds most of the remaining 5% of the market.

What To Watch For

  • Incorrect business information - If an old address, phone number, or other outdated info shows up, take steps to update or remove it.

  • Negative reviews - Even if you can't remove them, you can respond professionally with your side of the story.

  • Competitor ads - Consider complaining if a competitor buys ads on your brand name. Google and Bing in my experience will put a stop to it in some circumstances.

  • What people are getting - This is the information that the public looking for your products is getting. You can only address it if you know what it is. 

  • Local SEO optimization - I will discuss this in detail soon, but just get a feel of what people in your local feeder area are finding out about you. 

Reputation management

  • Responding to negative feedback - Answering by responding with your point of view politely can help. Offer online to fix the problem eg "Hey Frank, I am extremely sorry to hear about this poor experience. We would like to be able to help you with this........." 

  • Encourage positive reviews - Ask good customers to write a nice review of your business.

  • Claim business listings - Register your Google My Business and Bing Places profiles, this is free and lets Google and Bing know you exist.

  • Report issues - Use Google and Bing tools to report inaccurate, outdated, or harmful content related to your business.

Checking your online identity regularly is key for today's retailers. 

Monitor search engine results to know what customers see and take action to improve it. A small time investment here can pay off in spades through better connections with customers.


This is a huge topic with much importance to retail in 2024. If you feel the need please call me and I can help answer your questions. If I cannot help, I can certainly put you in touch with people who may be able to help.