In the competitive world of local search results, clawing your way to the top of page one on Google can feel impossible. So how does a business stand out from the pack? Great SEO and a solid digital marketing strategy that takes full advantage of a free secret weapon: Google My Business posts. Here’s what you should know about these posts and how they can drive traffic to your company’s website.
What are Google My Business posts?
Google My Business posts appear directly below the basic business information in your optimized Google Business listing. You can share updates about what’s new for your business, as well as:
Once created, these posts can also be shared via social media, further increasing your reach.
Why are Google posts important for my business?
If the Google Business directory is the yellow pages of the 21st century, then Google My Business posts are the online equivalent of the town crier.
Instead of a basic post that lists the address and contact information of your business, business posts in Google give an additional layer of information about your business. When it comes to converting searchers to website visitors to customers, Google posts can increase your reach for little effort.
- They add value to your listing: Potential customers can learn more of what your company is about, what types of services you offer, and a general feeling for your brand’s personality
- They encourage action: A well-written Google My Business post has a built-in call-to-action
- They increase your visibility: According to Moz, Google My Business posts is the single most important ranking factor for local pack ranking (these are the local ads customers see when they search “near me” or “nearby”)
- Other companies aren’t using them: Stand out from the pack by using this tool that few other companies are using
Google My Business posts are a relative newcomer to the digital marketing scene, only appearing in their first iteration in 2016. As of February 2019, over 40% of businesses had never used this service. Less than 18% had at least one active Google My Business post.
The same research found that the customer click rate on Google My Business posts was much higher than expected. Google My Business posts are a virtual untapped well with huge potential returns. Let’s look into some of the most frequently-asked questions about them.
Are Google business posts free?
Business posts on Google are 100% free. They’re also easy to put together, taking less than two minutes to set up. Even more reason to use them!
How long does a Google My Business post last?
Google My Business posts last for seven days. If you have overlapping posts, Google places them in a carousel with the newest posts first. You can have up to ten separate posts in your carousel (and Google will display two of them in their search results).
After seven days, Google automatically deletes the post. The only exception to this are events posts, which stay live from the start date until the event is over.
How to use Google My Business post
The steps to create a Google My Business post are slightly different for desktop and mobile.
- Sign in to Google My Business and select your location
- Click “Create post” (or go to the Posts menu and click “Create post” from there)
- Choose the type of post you are making, then click the proper buttons to add photos, videos, text, and event
- Reminder: Uploaded media has size requirements. Minimum images are 400×300 pixels and a 10KB limit, and the maximum is 10000×10000 pixels with a 25MB limit
- Add a call-to-action button: Choose from a few, including “Book,” “Learn More,” or “Call Now”
- “Preview” your post (if you want to make changes, click the back arrow on the top left of your screen)
- When you are ready, click “Publish” on the top right of your screen
- Open the Google My Business app and click “Home”
- On the bottom right corner, click “Plus”
- Click “Create post”
- Create your post just as you would on the desktop; the same size requirements apply in the app
- Preview, edit, and publish just as you would with the desktop version
Once you verify your business listing, Google Business offers direct scheduling of posts and the possibility of analyzing them once you create a URL for your Google My Business posts. Right now, this is the only way to get detailed analytics on which posts work best, so it’s worth the time it takes. You can also use a third party platform to schedule Google My Business posts in advance (Google does not allow that directly).
Best practices for Google My Business posts
For the best Google My Business posts, keep the following tips in mind.
Tip #1: Start with great images
We are still image-oriented people, so great photography that meets Google’s guidelines makes your Google My Business post stand out.
Tip #2: Watch your words
Sometimes we get carried away with too many words. You get 1,500 characters for your post, but Google selects the first 80 for the search results.
Make the first sentence count with a clear call-to-action (e.g. “Call our office today!”), and keep posts between 150 and 300 characters.
Tip #3: Keep the offer simple
Don’t add so many exclusions and conditions that people have to speak another language to translate the post. Only one offer or promotion per post for best results.
Tip #4: No slang
Sure, there are restrictions on the number of characters you use, but don’t waste them on slang that your customers might not understand.
Tip #5: Lay off the all-caps
In Internet speak, all-caps reads as yelling. Make your offer, event, or promotion so exciting that you don’t need to yell. Ditto with excessive exclamation points.
Google My Business post examples
Not sure what to write about? There’s always plenty. Great Google My Business posts examples include:
- Offers, sales, promotions, and specials
- Updates on new services or merchandise
- Announcements or changes
- Last-minute closures or holiday hours
- New hours or locations
- Examples of how your business engages with the community and local charities
- Job openings
- Customer reviews
You can also use Google My Business posts to introduce new staff, share photos from events, and point customers towards recent blog posts on your site.
If you are looking to get started with Google My Business posts but just don’t know where to begin, Boost can help. Get in touch today!