At first glance, the Google My Business platform may just seem like another way for your business to gain some “real estate” in local searches. Even though that’s one of the main reasons you should create a Google My Business listing, it can also serve as a powerful, free advertising tool with the potential to funnel customers to your website and store.
First launched back in 2016 to add more substance to the Google My Business platform, posting allows you to share valuable information with your audience without having to enter a bidding war for ad space. Active posting on Google is a powerful way to promote your business in interesting new ways.
How to create effective Google My Business posts
Google now lets you add free posts directly to your business listing on Google Search and Google Maps. You can use the posts in many ways—to announce upcoming events, highlight new products and services, share interesting news, or communicate your special offers. It’s free, easy, and a highly visible way to show off all the great things happening with your business.
Before you start posting to Google
Before you start focusing on effective Google My Business posts, make sure you first have a solid profile to start. An optimized Google My Business listing will increase your visibility, getting your posts in front of more relevant searchers.
Types of Google My Business posts
The first step to creating a great Google My Business post is selecting the right format for the information you want to deliver. Google allows you to choose from 4 different post types depending on what your goal is, and multiple posts can be live at the same time. Here are the four different types of posts you can publish on Google:
What’s New – Use this type of post to highlight anything that’s new with your business. Or use it to give prospective customers more info about what makes your business so unique. You cannot set a time frame for news posts, and they will automatically expire after seven days. Regular posts about your business will make your listing much more interesting to prospective customers.
Events – Now you can promote your upcoming and current events directly on your Google listing in Search and on Maps. It’s a great way to let your customers and potential customers know what’s happening at your business and gain their interest. Similar to offers, you’ll need to set the timeframe for your event, which may be a day, a month or even longer.
Offer – Offers should be used for limited-time promotions. Upload a photo or video to support your message and draw attention to it. You’ll have the options to set up your offers for online redemption or with a coupon code for in-store visits. You’ll need to specify the time frame for your offer, which is the time the offer post will be live on Google.
Product – Want to broadcast any new products or services you are offering? Start a buzz by showing a picture of what you offer, as well as a description and price range. Product posts expire after 7 days.
The right type of Google My Business post will vary depending on what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re launching a new product or running a special promotion, the “Offer” post would fit the context of the information best. On the other hand, if you’re simply looking to increase brand awareness and share general information, the “What’s New” post type can help you get the job done. Because the content covered in each post will most likely be different, it’s a good idea to spend some time studying and testing the different post types so you have a better understanding of how they’ll look and which ones can help you reach your goals fastest.
Tips for effective Google My Business posting
Use high-quality pictures and videos – Being visual creatures, it’s no secret that a flashy video or cool looking picture is usually the best way to grab the attention of chronic feed-scrollers on social media, so it’s only natural that it works in a search engine setting as well. Not only will picture and video help draw the eyes of users as they scan the results, but they can also reinforce the information being delivered.
Coming up with custom, high-quality pictures and videos for each post can be a time-consuming task on its own, especially if you’re a small to medium-sized business. So, why not let Google offer a helping hand? Using their free Small Thanks With Google program, you can turn those wonderful 5-star reviews from your favorite customers into all kinds of marketing material for use digitally or even in print format.
Keep it short – One of the biggest mistakes Google My Business posters make is trying to use ALL of the allotted characters, which is a staggering 1,500. Even though it’s nice of Google to give so much space to work with, the ideal length for any given post falls between 150-300 characters. Not only does this help hold the attention of viewers as opposed to a wall of block text, but it also increases the likelihood that all of the vital information will be shown in the post preview without needing to click the “Learn more” button.
While that may not seem like a lot of space to work with, when talking about marketing posts, short and sweet almost always beats long and winded. If you’re not quite sure what to write, put yourself in the shoes of a consumer and consider what words and phrasing would best grab their attention. Once you know the target audience you’re trying to attract, include keywords that would appeal to them at the start to increase relevancy. For the best results, it never hurts to come up with a few different variations and take a group vote before publishing the post.
Optimize your CTA and landing page – Depending on the post type you select, you’ll have the option to add a nice, clickable call to action button to your Google My Business post. As obvious as it may sound, you want to pick the CTA that best communicates the action you want users to take. Even though you’re not able to create custom CTA buttons (yet), Google gives you a fair number of options to work with.
Once your post is polished and ready for publishing, the next step you need to take is making sure the landing page is optimized for visitors. Whether simply linking to a recent blog post, funneling users to a lead capture page, or even driving traffic to a new product, your landing page should be clean and aligned with the Google post. Lastly, make sure the action you want users to take is clearly communicated and easy to find.
Final tips for a solid Google My Business post
Keep it professional – As with any social media platform — but especially with Google My Business — you’ll want to avoid getting too personal with your posts. You might even have a little more leeway on Facebook and Instagram, where you can share information that relates to your values and causes you care about. Google My Business is particularly focused on the business side of things.
Proofread and polish up – Google requires that all of your posts be honest and upfront with no intention of trying to mislead or scam information out of users. The most common reason businesses get dinged for this one is due to misspellings or poor-quality content.
Obey Google posting rules – Naturally, Google also takes a strong stance against content that is either deemed offensive or in violation of another person or location’s privacy. While this is pretty self-explanatory, you can check out Google’s list of content that would fall into this category here.