Earlier this year Google launched a new ‘posts’ feature within their Google My Business service. This enables small businesses to post updates to appear alongside their My Business listing.
East post will be displayed on your listing for seven days, at which point it it is archived, so you can still see it in your account information, but it no longer shows on your public listing.
What’s the benefit?
Google is the most popular search engine in the world with over 85% of the internet search market*. In 2016 3,293,250,000,000 searches were carried out on Google, that’s an average of 9,022,000,000 each day**. So it’s fair to say that Google is the place for your business to be seen.
A Google My Business listing will support this objective by giving you increased visibility when people search for you on Google.
Adding posts to your listing will increase the visual impact of your listing (particularly if you include an image with each update), it gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that your business is active and you can put your most important messages in front of customers to increase awareness and click throughs.
Basically, Google are giving you a bit of extra, free advertising space. So why wouldn’t you?!
What do Google posts look like?
The posts you add to your My Business listing will appear in both the Google search results and in Google map results.
How do I set them up?
When you log into your Google My Business interface (selecting the location you want to post about if you have more than one), you’ll find the new Posts option in the left hand navigation options. Clicking on this will display any existing posts and present an empty post for you to add your content to.
In the phone app you can go to your posts using the ‘hamburger’ three-line menu icon at the top left then selecting ‘Posts’ from the menu. Click on the post icon at the bottom right of the screen to start a new post.
The content entry window is nice and simple, just put in your image (highly recommended, otherwise your update will be a bit lost in your listing) and 100 to 300 words of description.
You then have the option of adding a button such as ‘Learn more’ or ‘Buy’, with a link through to a specified website page.
If you’re running an event, you can add a title for your event and the dates/times the event starts and finishes.
When you’re done, click on Preview at the top right to check your post then click on Publish to post it. It should appear immediately on your Google listing (both search and map listings).
To change a post just click on the post in question and select ‘Edit’. When you’re done you can preview and publish the post.
Click on the post and select ‘Delete’ to remove it.
On the phone app tap on the ‘kebab’ three-dot menu icon at the top right, this will then give you the options to edit or delete the post.
Google also provides management information on the number of views your post has had any the number of clicks if you’ve added a button to it.
Simply click on the post in question to view this information.
It can take two to three days for the insights to be produced.
What to post about
This is a great opportunity to put the latest news about your business in the best possible spot – Google’s first page.
Here are a few ideas for your posts:
- New product/service launches (using the ‘Learn more’ or ‘Buy’ buttons).
- Show an example of your latest work (using the ‘Learn more’ button).
- Promotional offers such as discounts (using the ‘Get offer’ button).
- Events you’re running or attending (making sure you use the event options). Don’t forget to post a photo of what happened afterwards.
- Milestones your business has reached (eg 10 years in business, 1,000th sale).
- Publicise your newsletter and get new sign ups (using the ‘Sign up’ button).
- Creating a direct link for people to make reservations (using the ‘Reserve’ button).
- Promote your latest blog post (using the ‘Learn more’ button).
Always try to include an image with your post as it will make it really stand out.
What not to post
Google want your post content to be “upfront and honest” and, with this in mind, they have a pretty long list of things they don’t want you to post about.
As you’d expect there are restrictions on adult content, publishing confidential information, harassing content, etc.
However there are also restrictions on repetitive content, misspellings, gimmicky character use, gibberish and images/videos/links which “negatively distract user attention”.
Basically, keep it to relevant and professional business updates.
Need help setting up your Google My Business listing? Find out how we can help.