A Google Business Profile is a hidden gem that many small businesses can use to their advantage. You already know how valuable it is to show up high in Google search results, especially locally. Today we’re going to show you how to create Google Posts to help make your business stand out and help to promote offers, events, products, and much more.
Welcome to Marketing and a Mic. We’re here to give you a variety of digital marketing tips, trends, and useful guides to help your business get results. Google Posts allow you to share all kinds of information right from the search results page or directly from your listing. To ensure you set yourself up for success, let’s walk through some tips to help you maximize the effectiveness of each post.
TYPES OF GOOGLE POSTS YOU CAN SHARE
You can use these posts in many ways – announcements, new product or service highlights, special offers, and the list goes on. But you can’t just share any type of content on Google Posts, and they make this very clear in their guidelines. The idea behind these is to promote and inform. With that, Google allows four types of posts.
Posts that provide general information about your business. You can include a photo/video, link, CTA button, and other information. For example, a restaurant could make a post to promote a new menu item.
What’s New can also be used to share new product posts. If you want to advertise your products for your business, you create a post and add a CTA button to take them directly to your site.
Posts that promote an event your business is involved with or supports. Event posts require a title, start/end dates, and time and may include a photo/video, a CTA button, and other information. For example, a bookstore may advertise a local author’s book signing or a book club meeting.
These are posts that provide promotional sales or offers from your business. They require a title and start/end dates and times. A “View offer” CTA button is automatically added to the post. You can also include a photo/video, coupon code, link, and terms and conditions with the post. For example, a pizza place may advertise 20 percent off large pizzas for a week.” Offer posts perform very well because they display differently than the other post types.
On the Google Maps app, the offer posts layout is more appealing, and it comes with tags, making it more visible. Even if you don’t have an “offer” per se, you can still add a creative touch to your post that’s interesting to them.
Posts that provide an update about changes related to COVID-19, which can include hours of operation or temporary closures, changes to how the business operates…updates to how the location manages safety and hygiene and requests for support. Even if you don’t have a COVID-specific message, you can still use this text-only post to get information out urgently, such as office closures, short-term discounts, etc.
COVID-19 posts may be modified or removed soon; however, they are a great option if you need to communicate something immediately. Thanks to the Knowledge panel (the box on the right side of the screen in the search results), a COVID-19 post gets priority placement.
CATCH THE READER’S EYE WITH YOUR GOOGLE POST
Include a Title
Make sure you always include a catchy Title. Even though it’s an optional field, posts with titles get more clicks.
According to a research article published by Sage Journals, when emojis are used in a positive context, they increase engagement. Using 1-2 emojis help sell the tone of the ad and catch people’s eye.
Before and After Images
These types of images are not only visually appealing but provide instant social proof of your results, which is a trust signal to prospects.
Include Target Keywords
Although GBP posts don’t directly help you rank for keywords, they will help you show in the search results for related keywords. Find and use the keywords that are working best for your Google Post. Google may even pull a little snippet from your post and include it in the search results.
Treat Your Posts Like Social Media Ads
Users turn to Google to get an answer. They are looking for something they need, which is exactly how you should treat your Google Post. For example, if you’re a car repair shop and someone is searching for a place to get new tires, having a Google Post with an offer of “Get $200 4 new Tires” could get a better response than a competitor with no visible offer on Google.
Include a Visual
Stick to images and videos that directly correlate to your business. Keep the infographics and tips for other social media platforms. If you don’t have actual images or it’s hard to come by with your line of work, stick to photos that are the most authentic and attention-grabbing as possible.
WHAT TO AVOID WHEN YOU CREATE GOOGLE POSTS
It’s important to note that Google Posts go through a review process before being published. If anything is found that doesn’t meet their guidelines, your post will be rejected. For a complete list, check out Google’s Business Profiles Content Policy.
Here are the main points to pay attention to:
Off-Topic or Irrelevant Content
Your Google Posts need to relate to your business and be informative and relevant to your customers. If not, it will get flagged.
Your content cannot be misleading, poor quality, or lead the user to malware, viruses, or other harmful software.
Posting Inappropriate Content
You would think this goes without saying, but you’re Google Posts cannot contain anything explicit, hateful, obscene; the list goes on.
Sharing Private or Confidential Information
Anything type of exploitation or prohibited content by law will be rejected.
If you continue to reuse the same images or if the images appear to be unauthentic, they will also be flagged. Google wants to promote original content, so make sure your change up your images and text each time.
Using Phone Numbers, Links, and Hashtags in your Post
Google Posts all come with CTA buttons that enable you to drop in your URL links. They also have a click-to-call-now button which pulls from the phone number listed on your GBP to call your business directly. Because of this, they do not want links or phone numbers added to the post itself. And they will reject your post if you include it.
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR YOUR GOOGLE POSTS
Use Your CTA Button Options
There are 6 available:
- Order Online
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Call now
Do some A/B tests with your CTA buttons. Try swapping out some CTA buttons with your posts to see which is the most effective at getting your audience to react.
Create Google Posts with Location-Specific Content
The best way to target your local audience is by having a specific solution to a specific local problem. Adding your location within your text copy adds another signal to Google to help connect you with local users.
Keep Your Text Short
This is a common mistake. Google allots 1,500 characters – which is a lot. Even though it’s a generous amount, the ideal length for any given post is between 150-300. Keep it short and straight to the point.
Optimize Your Landing Page
If you have a great post, make sure you carry it all the way through to your landing page. The ideal is to funnel your users to convert. If you’re point is to drive users to a specific product you want them to buy, make sure your landing page takes them to that specific area.
Posts without an assigned date range are automatically archived by Google after 7 days. As a best practice, make sure you schedule a post at least once a week to keep your Google Post section current.
Consider Tracking Your Offers with UTM Links
Adding parameters to your offer links tracks campaign performance so you can optimize future offers and test how well your current offers are doing.
Use the Correct Image Sizes
The recommended image resolution is 720 px x 540 px, or 4:3 ratio. Videos can be up to 30 seconds long, 720p resolution or higher and up to 75MB in size.
That’s it for us today. Setting up your Google Business Profile and taking the time to create Google Posts is just another successful way for you to get in front of your audience and turn them into customers. We hope we’ve given you some great tools today to get started.
If you need any help with setting up your GBP, would like more tips on how to create Google Posts, or if you just want more traffic to your business, we would love to talk to you. Don’t forget that our podcast also goes live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and you can catch the replay on Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more resources to help your digital marketing plan.