Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most valuable tools businesses can use to build their online presence and boost their local search engine optimization (SEO). A GMB profile provides Google search engine and Maps users with a snapshot overview of your company. And the best part is that it’s highly visible and free!
Through your Google My Business profile, prospective customers can see your business name, location, contact information, website, photos, reviews and more. It’s all right there in front of them… no click to your website necessary.
Just like social media profiles, a GMB profile should be as complete as possible. Blank fields are missed opportunities to provide valuable information to searchers. Here’s a look at the Google My Business profile for Adventure Marketing Solutions:
One of the newer features of Google My Business is posts. Made available to small businesses in 2017, GMB posts is a section of the profile for posting content that will display as part of the listing for a minimum of seven days. Once posts expire, they will no longer display on the profile, but they will be archived and can be viewed if someone clicks on your active post.
There are multiple post type options, so you create content that is promotional, informational, timely, etc.
If you aren’t currently using Google My Business posts, you should be! Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.
Grab Attention & Call to Action
The visibility of a Google My Business profile (and its post) make it a great medium for attracting eyeballs. It takes up a large portion of the screen, and there’s no need to navigate to another page to get additional information. It’s all right there.
While a large portion of the profile serves as a company overview, the post section is a great place to put some kind of relevant CTA. GMB posts allow you to be versatile with your messaging. Here are the types of posts you can create:
- What’s New
The type of post you choose depends on the goal you are trying to accomplish. Do you want to share information? Do you want to promote a sale or event? Or, do you want to move people down your sales funnel by getting them to immediately request additional information or, better yet, make a purchase?
We’ll dive deeper into the specifics of the post types later in this article.
We’re talking about Google so, of course, SEO is a consideration. Creating posts helps Google gain a better understanding of your website, which helps its algorithms in the ranking process.
Google My Business plays an integral role in local search ranking factors. According to research by Moz, GMB and its features like posts, Q&A and image uploads had a local ranking importance of 25% in 2018. This is the highest percentage of any factor and is up from 19% in 2017.
Optimizing your profile, frequently logging in and creating posts signals to Google that you’re engaged with your listing and keeping it fresh and relevant to users. This, combined with any engagement and backlinks you generate from users, provides ranking benefits.
Differentiate Your Business
All companies want to stand out from their competitors. Google My Business posts are a way to do just that.
Because GMB posts are longer than social media posts but shorter than a typical blog post, many businesses aren’t sure how to fit them into their marketing strategy. As a result, the posts feature is used infrequently or not at all, despite the benefits.
Google My Business Gold Product Expert Ben Fisher analyzed 2,000 GMB profiles that made up the top 20 results in the Local Finder in competitive industries in 10 major cities. He found that 59.6% of those businesses had posted at least once, including 17.5% who had an active post in the last seven days.
What do these numbers mean? First, that many top-ranking businesses have utilized GMB posts. However, there is still a large percentage of businesses who aren’t using the medium, so the arena isn’t crowded and it’s more likely that your business can come out at or near the top.
Here’s an exercise you can do right now. Google some of your competitors and look at their GMB profiles. Take note of whether or not they create posts. If not, you have validated that your business can differentiate itself by posting.
The short-term nature of Google My Business posts forces you to be timely with information… and that’s a good thing. It gives you a reason to maintain focus on your content creation and ensure you are providing relevant, valuable information that will resonate with someone online RIGHT NOW.
Another benefit of GMB posts being active for just seven days is that it’s an ideal medium to A/B test. You can use posts to try different images, copy and offers. A look at the analytics will give you an idea of which elements best drive response.
Creating a Google My Business post is easy. You can do it in a few simple steps.
First, log in to your GMB account and select Posts from the Menu.
Then, click “Write your post.”
Choose your post type, and add your content (photo, copy and button).
Click the “Preview” button to see how your finished post will display. If you don’t like the way it looks, adjust as necessary. When you’re happy with the post, click “Publish.” That’s all there is to it!
Here’s an example of how one of Adventure’s published posts displayed in our GMB profile:
Post Type: What’s New
If you are sharing information, this is the post type to use. You can provide an overview of the news item or blog post you want to share to build interest.
This type of post falls under the category of content marketing, which is a critical branch of marketing today. Marketers like content marketing because of its ROI. According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates approximately three times as many leads.
With “What’s New” posts, you have the option to add 1 of 6 buttons (CTAs):
- Order online
- Learn more
- Sign up
- Call now
If you are sharing a blog post or news article, the “Learn more” button is most appropriate. Use it to move the reader over to your website to get the complete content piece.
The other buttons are more “salesy” in nature.
The “Book” button is ideal for when you want the lead to request direct contact — an appointment, for example. Your post should explain what the appointment entails (phone call, lunch & learn, etc.) and what informational value will be gained.
The link should direct to the “Contact Us” page on your website or a dedicated appointment landing page.
Order online & Buy
Use the “Order online” or “Buy” buttons when you want the lead to purchase a product or service. Keep in mind that you will be reliant on a very specific viewer to take immediate action. Your conversion rates may be very low.
The CTA should direct visitors to your e-commerce or website page for the specific product or service featured so they can place an order online or get the contact information needed to order.
The “Sign up” button is a good way to build a newsletter or mailing list or get registrants for an event you are hosting. Your content should explain what the visitor will gain by signing up. The CTA, like the others previously mentioned, should take them to your site or landing page to complete the sign-up process.
Some people still like to speak directly to a sales rep or customer service person. If you know this is the case for your leads and customers, you may want to use this button. It allows someone to get in touch with you as soon as they finish reading your post.
Post Type: Event
Spread awareness for a company event with this type of post. Enter your start date, end date and the details of your event. You also have the same button options as a “What’s New” post.
Unlike a “What’s New” post, an “Event” post will stay live on your GMB listing until after the end date. You are not limited to a single week.
Post Type: Offer
You can create a post to promote a discount or coupon for one of your products or services. This type of post can direct visitors to the page where they can claim their offer.
Like an “Event” post, you can set a start and end date for your offer and keep the post live for the duration of the offer timeframe.
Post Type: Product
This is the post to use if you want to go right for the sale. It allows you to feature a product, list the price and include a CTA for people to make a purchase.
The 6 button options previously mentioned are available. “Product” posts are only live for a week.
To get the most out of your Google My Business posts, follow these best practices:
- Keep posts short and to the point – Posts can include 1,500 characters, or roughly 250 words. However, people viewing GMB profiles likely are looking for info they can absorb quickly. Avoid using hashtags (they won’t be indexed anyway) and filler words. Plus, depending on the device used, the entire post may not display without clicking to expand the post.
- Write with SEO best practices in mind – Use keywords in your posts, and put them near the front of the post along with your most important message.
- Use a high-quality image – Images help attract the eye and make posts more interesting, but only if they look good. Make sure your image isn’t pixelated and is sized correctly. The ideal size is 750 X 750. Also, ensure the focal point of your image is centered because it may get cropped. And always preview the post before publishing to verify the way everything will look when live.
- Be mindful of text on images – Depending on the user’s device, parts of the image may get cut off. Keep that in mind if your image has text on it.
For more information on Google My Business posts, click here. Or, if you are interested in getting assistance from a marketing agency with knowledge of Google My Business and a Crew of Experts to put together and execute a strategy for you, contact us.