One of the greatest challenges of local and small businesses is getting their products and services seen by consumers online. In nearly every industry, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses that are vying for the attention of the same target audience. One way to improve a business's online exposure is to use Google My Business. Google My Business has been a useful way for business owners to showcase their company for years, and soon, the platform could let companies list their products on the platform.

Last week, some Google My Business users began seeing a product listing feature on their accounts that replaced the services category. For each product, businesses can display the name of the product, a 1,000 character description, the price, and a photo.

In a Tweet, Nate Schoell, one of the people who got to test the feature wrote, "Been playing with new GMB beta feature, Products (Beta) Looks to be replacement for Services menu located in Info tab. Set up collections with products in each collection. I am putting service items in as well."

There are several benefits for business that are able to list products on their website. At the very least, it makes it easier for people browsing the Google My Business page to understand exactly what they can purchase from a particular business. If online consumers had to look at the Google My Business page, then go to the website to learn about the actual products, there was a chance for the consumer wouldn't go to the website. Product listings on Google My Business would put all of the most important information in one place. This is especially helpful for businesses whose low prices are the best selling point.

This change would also make Google My Business more useful for retailers who sell products rather than provide services. It may be the case that when the feature is fully rolled out, it will only be available to certain business categories. There are a lot of things Google can do with this feature, so business owners should be on the lookout for more information when it becomes available.

While this product listing feature may still be in the testing phase, there are other new features on Google My Business that business owners can take advantage of now. The Google My Business Insights tool now let's business owners filter through their traffic and analytics data to see how many people found the business in Google local and maps through branded searches.

The new chart shows the percentage of people who find a business via Google Maps or by performing local search for the company name, company brands and generic keywords such as categories, products or services. Having this extra bit of information can help business owners better tailor their SEO and marketing campaigns.  

Another good thing about this report is that it confirms what most people have suspected since Google announce the planned shutdown of Google Plus. Even though Google Plus is going away, Google is still investing and improving its other platforms. Google My Business has been one of the most useful Google services for small business owners, and it's good to know that it will still be around and that it will be getting even better with time.   

For more recent news about changes at Google, read this article to learn more about the end of Google Plus to come in 2019.