Marketers are always looking for creative ways to take their business to the next level, so it’s refreshing when a new tool comes along that can actually have a positive impact. Such is the case with Google My Business, a one-stop shop for small business owners who want to increase visibility and connect with customers through Google search, Google+ and Google Maps. Users can also access all Google applications in one place. Not bad for a free Google tool.

Here are just a few of the ways that you can use Google My Business to take your company to a new level.

  • Make it easy for customers to connect with your business

  • Get your business found on all devices

  • Start conversations with your audience

  • Respond to customer feedback

  • Share photos and company information

  • Build a loyal fan base through reviews and +1s

So how exactly does Google My Business work?

The app is available on both Android and iOS devices. Simply click the “Get on Google” button at the top of the page and fill out your company’s information. You must verify your business before changes are made. Google does a nice job of instructing users how to use the platform, so follow along and play around with the features.

A huge benefit is that you can manage all Google apps from one screen, including:

  • Google+

  • Insights

  • Reviews

  • Analytics

  • Start a Hangout

The primary goals of Google My Business are to increase visibility and connect with your audience, and the platform does a nice job at both. Say you have a small printing shop and you verify your company on Google My Business. Prospective customers can easily search for your business and find store hours, contact information and directions within a few clicks. Your verified business will show up on Google Maps, and customers can submit a review using Google+.

The communication continues, as Google My Business allows you to share important information about your business, such as changing store hours or a new website. You may also start a face-to-face Hangout, upload photos or respond to customer feedback. Customers will also find the same reliable data whether they’re searching for your business on a smartphone or tablet.

Google My Business is mostly geared toward small business owners, but it’s available to all page owners. What are you most excited about?