As a leader in the industry, Google is constantly evolving.
One of those evolutions included introducing a new feature a few years ago called Google Posts. However, even as businesses are becoming more aware of their digital presence and how critical it is to have local visibility, many digital marketers still aren’t aware of how to successfully use this simple tool to their advantage.
In today’s post, we’ll explore all of the elements you need to order to achieve a high-ranking local position while still delivering an enjoyable Google business post.
What are Google Posts?
Google Posts are just that – posts on Google. According to the tech giant themselves, verified entities and businesses “can post timely texts, events, stories, images, polls, and videos directly on Google Search.” By utilizing this free marketing resource, businesses are able to engage with the users who are specifically interested in their industry or business.
Google My Business posts are created within the Google My Business dashboard or on the Google My Business mobile app. They appear directly on your business’s results page and help you keep an optimized digital presence while connecting with the consumers that you want the most.
These posts are targeted – meaning that you aren’t competing with the outside noise of a social media platform. The people who see these posts are the people who are looking for you.
We’ve told you previously about why it’s important to pay special attention to your Google business listing, but how exactly should you write these posts? What should be included? How can you tweak it to make sure it ranks high in the algorithm while still making sure that it’s entertaining and enjoyable for your audience? Let’s jump right in.
How to Post on Google My Business
While there are a lot of factors to consider, posting on Google My Business is fairly easy once you get the hang of it. Let’s break it down step-by-step.
Make sure you select the most relevant category and that all of your information is entered correctly. A mistake in this entry will affect which keywords will serve your business. Once all of your information is entered and verified, it’s time to decide what you’re going to post – and when.
Follow these steps to create the perfect Google My Business post:
- Establish Your Goal
- Select a Call to Action
- Include a Visual Piece
- Select a Category
- Publish Your Post
- Track Results
Craft the Perfect Google Post
Establish Your Goal
When crafting your first post, start by establishing the goal. What do you want this post to accomplish? Do you want to establish brand awareness? Promote an event? Drive traffic to your site? Whatever it is, you have 300 words to make it clear!
Keeping “short and sweet” in mind, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using the correct keywords in your Google post to help get your business noticed. Make sure to use keywords that will get picked up by the Google algorithm but will also flow well so your customers will enjoy your posts and are driven to see more of what you have to offer.
Select a Call to Action
Then select a call to action. What do you want your visitors to do? Visit your store? Call? Buy online? Whatever it is, make it very easy for them to take the next step by adding the appropriate call to action. Some posts that include a phone number may be rejected, however, you have the ability to add a “Call Now” button to your Google posts so utilize that if necessary!
Consider Using UTM Parameters
This one isn’t a requirement, but if you want to go above and beyond, consider adding UTM parameters to your links.
Doing so will allow you to track who’s coming to your site from your Google Posts, which will be invaluable in helping you evaluate how effective your Posts are.
For a full breakdown of how to set up and use UTM tracking, check out this article.
Choose Your Visual
People are very visual creatures, so including a well-lit and enticing photo or video will help capture your reader’s attention.
Google My Business has a carousel of six photos on each page. Just as you would perfectly curate an Instagram feed, you want to curate this carousel. Make the visuals eye-catching and informative.
Be mindful of Google’s minimum and maximum requirements for photos and videos. If a photo is too large, Google will crop it, which could impact your post’s vibe. Put your ideal visual in the center of your photo and that it has the minimum resolution of 400px wide by 300px tall. All photo files must be either JPG or PNG formats.
The maximum size for videos is 100 MB so keep it short and sweet. Videos can be AVI, MP4, MOV, FLV, WMV, MPG, M4V, MKV, M2TS, and MTS.
Select Your Category
Your post needs to be categorized by type. This helps Google know which search inquiries would benefit the most from seeing your posts. There are currently six categories that you can use.
Take a look at some of these Google My Business posts examples.
- COVID-19: Use this to update your customers about any changes that the pandemic has caused in your business. This could include a temporary closure, a mask requirement, the addition of no-contact delivery, online classes, or a variety of the other business pivots that COVID has normalized.
- Offers: This type requires a title and a timeline. Google will also automatically add a “View Offer” button to your post, making it easier for customers to purchase your offer.
- Products: This category is a great way to feature your products, but note that it does not create a shareable post. It gives searchers a taste of what they will find on your website or in your store.
- What’s New: This is where you can provide general information regarding your business. This is a great place to list how to book reservations or how to order delivery or service.
- Events: If you’re hosting a fun event, this is the type of post you’ll need to promote it. Be sure to include the timeline of the event so Google knows when this post needs to be active. This is the only post type that is not tied into the seven-day timeline. Since you select a beginning and end date for your event when you create this post, Google will keep this ad live until the end of your event.
- Hours Update: This is very important, especially since you’re targeting local customers. Ensure that your most recent hours are uploaded so that people know when they can come to visit you.
Publish Your Google Post
Once your post is well-crafted and ready to go, it’s time to publish. A published post will be live on the GMB Knowledge Graft for seven days. If you want to keep the post up longer, you’ll have to republish it after your initial one expires. The exception to this rule is any events that are published. Those posts will stay active until the event is over.
While your Google post is live, check-in periodically to see if it has gotten any engagement or if anyone has left reviews on your Google My Business profile. Reviews are a huge part of a business’s online presence and, when reviewing Google posts for businesses, customers tend to choose the ones that take the time to respond to their customers online.
While reviews are very important, it is also very important for those reviews to be organic. Never pay for fake reviews. Not only does this look bad to your potential customers but it could also get you banned from the platform.
Track Your Google My Business Posts
Just like any other marketing tool, you’ll want to check in to see what is working for your business and what isn’t.
Google makes it easy for you to track your analytics. All insights are logged in real-time so that you can see how your posts are performing at any given time.
Using the Google Insights Dashboard, you can see how many searches you are showing up in, whether it’s branded or unbranded, number of photo views, and which actions the users are taking after viewing your posts.
If you want a quick view of the post’s analytics, Google posts the numbers of views and amount of engagement each post receives directly on the posts themselves.
After tracking this information for a while, look at your data and analyze what is working. Capitalize on high-performing terms or visuals and ditch the undervalued ones.
Since real estate on your Google My Business profile is valuable, only use terms that are performing well. You’ll also probably notice that this information varies according to the season – for example, people aren’t going to be looking for pumpkin pie in the middle of summer – so adjust your posts accordingly.
The Best Time to Post on Google My Business
Another thing you should take into consideration when looking at your analytics is the time of day and day of the week when you were featured in the most searches. This will tell you when your ideal customers are online and looking for what you’re offering.
Adjust your posts to match those analytic results. Meeting your customers where they are is an excellent way to make a customer for life.
Are Google Business Posts Helpful for SEO?
The short answer? Yes!
When Google performed a local update in November of 2019, it impacted website traffic for some websites as much as 30-50%. This also impacts your Google business posts.
Search results on Google are dictated by three factors: distance, prominence, and relevance. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that your entire Google My Business profile is complete and that all directory listings are correct and consistent. The more accurate your Google My Business profile is, the more likely you’ll be to show up in local searches.
Should Your Business Utilize Google My Business Posts?
Again, the short answer? Yes!
If you are looking for a cost-efficient way to increase your local online presence, Google My Business is the way to go. It’s user-friendly in every sense of the word. Google makes it easy to both post a Google business post and analyze the results. It’s also heavily driven by finding local results so you’re almost guaranteed to get your business in front of local customers who are actively looking for your product or service.
With all of those great features, why wouldn’t you use it? If you want more personalized advice on how to use Google My Business posts to drive traffic to your business, reach out to us for a consultation.