Hey, Nick Ponte here. I run a digital marketing agency here in Maui, and we love helping small businesses improve all aspects of their marketing strategies. Lately, I’ve shared some strategies for improving eCommerce. Some of this is done through business websites, but sometimes other tools can help businesses improve traffic for sales.

When we work with clients to build effective marketing strategies, we aim to help them use available tools to their full potential, so they can maximize the benefits. One of these tools, Google My Business (GMB), offers a huge amount of free resources and pathways to increase leads through Google search engines. Not only is it easy to use, Google regularly releases updates to improve the service to its users. They also provide support through tutorials and instructional articles, so business owners can make the most of their experience.

Unfortunately, most businesses underuse GMB’s most beneficial features. This opens up the opportunity for you to jump ahead of your competition when it comes to ranking, gaining leads, and growing your traffic volumes.

So, how can you make sure you get the most benefits out of using this great tool?

Also Read: The Benefits of Google My Business and How to Set One Up

Benefits of GMB

Google My Business gives you the best chance at a web presence when users search for your business. When someone enters your business name into Google’s search engine, a box pops up on the right with your basic information. There, the user sees location, hours, ratings, reviews, service options, and more.

Having one also gives you a “verified” status with Google, adding a level of authority to your brand.

Best of all… Google My Business costs you NOTHING. That’s right—it’s free. You get all the benefits and resources from Google without having to allocate any part of your financial budget to it. If you haven’t yet created an account with Google My Business, make sure to join and set up your business profile as soon as possible. In this day and age, you really can’t afford to miss out on the advantages you’ll gain by maintaining this profile.

And once you have it set up, how can you be sure you squeeze all the possible benefits out of it?

Also Read: The Definitive Guide to Pay-Per-Click

3 Ways to Optimize Google My Business

Use these three tips to make sure you experience great benefits from your GMB profile:

  • Maintain Accurate Information in Business Profile

If you want to rank higher in local search results (and you should!), make sure your complete business information is accurate in the Google Business Profile. You may need to set a reminder to double-check the information, periodically. It won’t take long to maintain, but if the information gets outdated, you could lose business and frustrate customers.

Your profile is where you get to customize the information that shows up in that side profile that users see when they search for your business. Your best bet when setting up the profile is to go through every category listed and enter as much information as possible, and then regularly do a little maintenance. You especially want to make sure your location, hours of operation, and contact information stay consistently updated. (If you have multiple locations, you can upload a spreadsheet with current addresses and phone numbers for each.) 

  • Add In-Store Products to Your Business Profile

Businesses have had the ability to add products and services to their side panel in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Now, you can integrate your Point-of-Sale with Google Marketplace by adding direct inventory. Previously, this had no effect on rankings, but Google now lists visible inventory as a major factor in improved rankings.

Some customers buy directly from the GMB panel or from marketplace search results, so when implemented correctly, the feature can establish a stream of revenue derived straight from the search engines. Take advantage of this update to increase revenue and make sure you always pop up at the top of local searches.

  • Track Leads with Google My Business Insights

GMB Insights gives you the visible results of your leads, including searches for categories, products, or services, direct listing searches, and brand searches based on the products you sell. You can observe trends in the number of views your GMB profile receives as well as see the results of various customer actions, including clicks to CTAs, phone calls, or directions.

With all of these free tools at your fingertips, and the incredible impact they can have on your business, you’d be ill-advised to not learn about all the features you can use and adapt. Granted, taking the time to learn about what will help you the most can seem daunting. We optimize GMB for businesses every day, and we’d love to help you figure out the next steps you need to take. If you want to learn more or want help, reach out to us today!

Further Reading: 3 Ways to Optimize Your Website and Google My Business to Drive Leads

Photo Courtesy of Alexandra Tran

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