Pop quiz, small biz owners – are you effectively managing your Google My Business tool and putting the new Google Posts feature to work? If you’re secretly wondering what Google My Business even is, well, there’s your answer. Read on for a quick-and-dirty review of this handy tool and its latest feature – and how to make them work for your small business.

jessica-timmons-writing-editing-renoGoogle my business

The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but we can overlook that, right? What we’re talking about is the Google listing that appears anytime people search your business or – and this is key – businesses like yours. When you claim and verify this page, as you absolutely should, you’re given access to modifying your listing.

That means you can provide all the necessary details about your biz – location, hours, phone number, website address – and upload things like your logo, pictures and even virtual tours.

Check out this lovely little listing for Dr. Lynelle McSweeney, complete with current info, useful photos and recent posts. Looks nicely maintained, right?

This is also where reviews are posted, and by claiming your page, you have the ability to actually respond to reviews, which can be a very valuable thing at times.

Maintaining your Google My Business page is in line with that whole first impressions thing, and it really does go some distance in setting the right tone from the start.

so what happens if you don’t claim your listing?

When you fail to claim and verify your listing, it will still appear. But because you, the business owner, haven’t managed it in any way, it’s basically a hodge podge of information gathered by Google through suggested revisions from any Tom, Dick or Harry with a device and an Internet connection. Pair this lacking info with whatever reviews and uploaded images people have cared to share about your business, and your Google listing probably sucks.

here’s how to change that

Claim your listing! And then follow the easy-peasy directions for verifying your business and completing your profile. And then, put the (relatively) new Google Posts feature to work.

This free tool lets you do everything from promote events and sales to highlight important information – basically, to share the kind of content with which your target audience is most likely to engage.

Google Posts is a super simple way to increase your website’s visibility on those search engine results page while also engaging with your target market. And when you’re regularly creating content for posts, your chances of more visibility increase. It’s like a mini blog, really, with a much more limited format:

  • 100 to 300 words in length, with only the first 100 words appearing in the sidebar
  • CTA options that include: Learn More, Reserve, Sign Up, Buy and Get Offer
  • A photo cropped to a square

here’s the catch

Google Posts only appear for branded search queries. That means someone has to be actively searching for your business (or stumbling across it when they search for something similar) to see these posts. Still, Google Posts are a great way to support events or sales that you’re promoting elsewhere. The real beauty is in their ability to share highly specific information. Since people already know about your business, you don’t need to waste space on any kind of introduction.

And one more thing – Google Posts last just seven days. All the more reason to be blogging regularly!

post ideas

Events, sales and promo codes are all great content ideas for Google Posts. But you can also use this feature to increase traffic to your latest blog post. Promoting your blog in tandem with social shares can result in more traffic to your site, and that’s what we want, right?

I highly encourage you to shore up this part of your online presence if it’s lacking in any way. And if you’d rather pass this chore along to someone else, I’d be happy to help.