Just last year, Google released a new feature for Google My Business where you could add posts to your listings. These posts can be up to 300 words, can include a photo and a call to action, and they appear right in the center of your Knowledge Panel in the search results page.
Since it is still new, a lot of businesses either don’t know about it or don’t think that it’s important since it’s not a typical social media platform. This isn’t true! If you want to appear in the top 3 results of the SERP, you need to be making posts on your GMB. There have been several case studies testing this, and all have found that Google posts increase your business ranking.
So what exactly should you be doing with your posts? After reading Google’s guide, doing outside research, and using our experience with Google My Business, we came up with six key things to do that will get the most out of your GMB Posts.
- Post Every Seven Days
Just like any other social media, if you want to succeed, you are going to have to post regularly. This isn’t just important for GMB posts, it’s crucial, because Google removes posts from your Knowledge Panel after only seven days. After that, they do still remain on your page under “Posts,” but not on the main screen anymore.
Use this as an opportunity to make a new post every week so that something is constantly there, which will simultaneously increase your chances of being higher up in search results.
2. Use the Call to Action Button
Google My Business posts stand out from other social media platforms because they include an option for a call-to-action button. This is an awesome feature added by Google and should be used in every post! Why? Because when someone is interested in your business, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to buy from you. If someone has to click on multiple links/spend a lot of time searching on how to buy from you, they’re way more likely to give up. Make it easy for them!
A call to action is perfect for leading potential customers to the exact place that you want them to go- with just one click. This is why you should always add one to your GMB posts! The options Google gives you for these buttons are: “Book,” “Order Online,” “Buy,” “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” and “Get Offer.” Keep these in mind when making your posts.
You never know who is going to come across your posts, so make sure that you have a call to action button there to increase your chances on getting new impulse sales.
3. Make a Good First Impression
Like we stated earlier, Google currently allows 300 words in each post. Like most platforms, Google will show just a small snippet of your post to people on the main page in hopes that they will click on it. We found that the “sweet spot” amount of text that is shown on the Knowledge Panel is just 80 characters. So to make the best impression, make sure that the first 80 characters are well-written and interesting enough to grab someone’s attention. We even recommend making your entire post 80–100 characters in total to keep it short, sweet, and simple for readers.
In addition to this, you want to make sure that you add a clear, well-cropped photo to every post. Google tends to crop your image slightly when it is in the knowledge panel so you want to make sure that the photo you use won’t be awkwardly cropped to cut off someone’s head, for example.
The first section of text and the photo have a powerful first impression on people, so you want to make sure that these factors are prioritized when making your posts.
4. Use Analytics to Constantly Improve
If you’re in digital marketing, you probably don’t post anything without thinking about how it will affect the analytic results. Google My Business is no exception to this, and we place high importance on monitoring your results to see what is working and what isn’t in order to grow.
Google provides insights on your GMB so that you can easily view the number of views and button clicks that you are getting. While this is a helpful tool, we recommend taking it a step further and tracking all of your links with UTM codes. For whatever reason, people have found that Google’s GMB insights were not tracking as accurately as their UTM code analytics were. Just to be safe, we always suggest you add UTM codes to your URL’s to ensure that you’re getting the most accurate insights on your posts.
5. Connect to your other Platforms
A lot of businesses struggle with what they should be posting on GMB, or are discouraged to post because they are already putting so much effort in other digital platforms. This actually isn’t a problem at all, it’s an awesome opportunity!
While we definitely don’t recommend copying posts straight from your other social medias (this can look automated and turn people away), we do encourage you to occasionally link to these posts using Google My Business. For example, if you have a blog or YouTube, use GMB to post about your new content. Or if you are having a Facebook contest, link to it in a GMB post with a catchy photo and title to attract more people.
Google My Business is a great way to grow and strengthen your digital presence in all platforms, so be sure to use it to its full potential!
6. Get Creative
This is true for any platform of digital marketing, not just Google My Business, but we found it worth noting. The more interesting and intriguing that your posts are, the more likely you are to gain a new customer right then and there. Nearly 80% of people used Google as their search engine in 2017, and Google My Business is becoming more and more important in these searches. By thinking of new and exciting posts, you’re attracting people to look at your GMB listing, click on your call-to-action, and hopefully buy your product or service- all while significantly strengthening your SEO.
So stand out from your competitors and think of new and exciting things to post about on your GMB! Ask your company’s graphic designer to spare 10 minutes and create a cool graphic, highlight new products/sales/employees, talk about something that is happening in the community… the opportunities are endless. By putting a little time and effort into Google posts, you can yield big results for your business.
ASAPmaps was born from the offices of Epic Web Studios, a Certified Google Partner that started as a small business in Erie, PA, who has 10+ years of experience in search engine optimization. We understand the journey of transforming from a small business with a single client to a full-service digital marketing firm. Our mission is to cement the foundation of sustainable economic growth by helping small businesses just like us. Learn more at ASAPmaps.com.