Google My Business (GMB) has never been more important – or more confusing – than it is right now.

Over the past year, GMB has added several new features that business owners should take advantage of.  Why? Because optimizing your Google My Business listing can help you show up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and more.

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, however, you have no idea what any of the new features are or how to use them. Or maybe you’ve never even had a Google My Business listing in the first place!

We’re going to remedy that situation today. Here’s how to make the most of your GMB:

Setting Up Your Google My Business Listing

First thing’s first: if you haven’t claimed your GMB listing yet, start there. You can do that here:

If you’ve been in business and had a website for a while, it’s likely that Google has already created a listing for you and you just need to optimize it.

There are a variety of questions that Google will ask you to fill about to complete your GMB profile. When you’ve finished, your listing will offer valuable information about your business (such as hours, location, services provided).

Just be aware: If you don’t fill out your information, someone else might. Many people don’t realize that anyone can suggest an edit to a GMB listing.

Optimizing Your Listing

Once you’ve filled out your basic information, it’s time to optimize! Here are just a few of the things you can do:

  • Google My Business posts: GMB posts are essentially mini social media posts that show up in your listing. You can talk about a promotion, share an image, or include a CTA. These posts show up prominently in your knowledge panel, so make good use of them!
  • Messaging: Did you know that you can allow people to send you a text message through GMB? It’s a great way to increase engagement and allow potential customers to ask questions. If you don’t want to provide your personal cell number, you can use Google’s Allo app.
  • Q&A: This is just what it sounds like! Q&A provides a way for your audience to ask questions and for you to answer them. It’s the perfect opportunity to hear directly from your potential customers!
  • Booking button: Google’s booking button feature allows customers to book appointments or reservations directly from your Google My Business page. This can make it even easier to get new customers since they don’t have to make a phone call or go to your website to get a reservation.

Bottom line? The more interaction you have on your GMB page, the better your chances of showing up in the Three Pack. Anything you can do to increase engagement is wonderful!