If you’re a business owner looking to increase your online visibility, the latest news on Google Posts may be just what you need to step up your marketing game. But before you get all excited, it’s good to take a step back and look at what Google Posts have done for businesses already– and why you should take advantage of the recent changes. After all, they’re free ads that show up on Google, and turn searchers into customers.
A Little History about Google My Business
For years, entrepreneurs have claimed their business listings online through Google My Business (GMB). Setting up your business allowed anyone who searched for your company to discover the listing, along with contact information, list of services, and even the business’ website. You could look at images, read FAQs, check out events, and more.
Let’s say you were a scuba instructor in Boston and claimed your listing with GMB. Anyone who searched for “Scuba Instructor in Boston” may find your business on Google, along with the details you provide or content you create using Google Posts. It’s free publicity at its best, but only if you know how to use it.
In the past, you were allowed to post content that appeared under your listing, but only for up to seven days before “expiring.” And the only way you could see that is if you clicked the “View All” button. Google Posts were popular for announcing recent news, upcoming events, announcements, and sales. But evergreen content, content that doesn’t go out of date, wouldn’t appear on Google My Business for long, leaving entrepreneurs frustrated.
Changes in the Google Posts Policy
Google My Business has changed its policy, so what you post on GMB remains visible far longer than a week. The news couldn’t have come at a better time. More businesses are opening up, there’s a renewed optimism in the economy, and companies are eager promote their products and services. You also don’t have to be a GMB expert to know that Google posts are more search-friendly than ever, making what you post just as important as how long the post appears.
How to Make your Google Posts more Effective
Before you dash out and fill your content calendar with Google Posts, think about how to make them eye-catching and as relevant as possible. Anything you post can be discovered online 24/7, so treat each of your posts like it’s a first impression of your brand.
A Google Post can contain up to 300 words and an image, but only the first 100 characters will appear as well as a thumbnail under your GMB listing. Your post will appear condensed, so be sure to use a high-quality image, and research keywords that relate to your business. Going back the scuba instructor, post content with keyword phrases like “Boston scuba diving” or “scuba instructor in Boston,” and you’ll appear in more on-topic search results.
GMB even allows you to link an external website and CTA (call-to-action) in your Google Post, which helps drive traffic to your website, an appointment calendar or contact page. So, while you may have built a website just the way you want it, creating a dedicated landing page that advertises a specific product, event, or sale, can be helpful to use with Google Posts. And if you look at the analytics on your website, you can measure how effective your posts may be at driving traffic, revealing insight on how to optimize your Google Posts even better.
About those CTAs. Don’t be boring. Use a descriptive CTA, not just “Click Here”, and you’ll probably increase the time a visitor spends on your site or landing page. If you’re planning a sale, think about CTAs like “Get Offer Here” or “Save 50% Now” which encourages people to take action, while using “Learn More” or “See How” can be effective if you’re posting a link to show information or details about your business. This also moves the customer along in the buyer’s journey.
Take Advantage of Valuable Online Real Estate
Anyone who uses Google can see that GMB information takes up a lot of valuable real estate. Whether or not you’re using the platform now, or plan to, be sure to complete your profile with company details, vary the content, and post often. Think beyond just social media posts; add media releases, blogs, videos, podcasts – even write your own FAQs. Consistent posting is not only helpful for search results, but it’ll give people who find you a sense that new things are happening, and that after the pandemic, you’re alive and well and open for business!
Sharing the latest events or news on social media may only reach your followers. Posting regularly with Google Posts ensures that the next person searching for your business online can find just what they’re looking for. That would be you.
PS: Don’t forget about building a review strategy, too. Customize your Google My Business review link and send to customers systematically to increase reviews and testimonials. Think reviews don’t matter? Try looking up a company with 100 5-star reviews and compare it with their competition, with 30 3-star views. Who would you do business with?