This week there have been some great announcements from the internet monoliths who, up to now, have virtually ignored the needs of smaller business.

We are now entering a new and exciting phase in online marketing, with many recent developments that will help SMEs take advantage of everything the web offers – resources that their larger brand cousins have been leveraging for years.

Firstly, Google announced a much lauded relaunch of Google My Business, their local (think small, think plumbers and hairdressers) small business service this week. This comes at the same time as the other internet giants start providing services also aimed at helping this long under-served market which, in Australia, amounts to 90% of all businesses.

They’ve added a new dashboard to Google My Business that connects maps, search, Google+ and, of course, AdWords, along with some other cool new features. TechCrunch has already noted this will help all of those businesses that haven’t figured out how to get on Google do just that.

Over at Search Engine Land you can learn from a great visual step-by-step tour about the features and what’s involved in the setup.

Google+ Pages is improving its analytics package and according to The Social Strategist now has features previously only available to Google Local.

When it comes to small business, McKinsey Global have previously found that a strong web presence is critical to their growth. In fact a good web presence saw most businesses grow twice as fast as those with poor or no presence. And now Small Business Trends have pointed out how a well maintained Google My Business account can help you appear in the large and highly desirable display known as the ‘Knowledge Panel’.

The image below shows you the ‘Knowledge Panel’ result for Sovereign Hill.

 

Google Knowledge panel

 

You can access Google My Business on your desktop computer, tablet or any mobile device. Apps are coming soon.