Google continues to be the overwhelming winner when it comes to internet searches, accounting for over 90% of all searches worldwide. What this means for business owners is that your Google business profile is the first thing most people will see when searching for your business online. We’ve discussed previously on this blog that it’s important to claim your Google business profile so you can keep your business information up-to-date and respond to customer reviews, but there’s one additional perk most people don’t know about—you can also create Google My Business posts. These posts are free and, unlike social media business post which only show up for some of your followers, they appear on your Google business profile every time someone finds your business listing through a Google Search or Google Maps search.
Before you can reap the benefits of posting updates on your Google business page, you first need to claim your business profile on Google, if you haven't already. (Make sure to download our free guide on claiming your business page here, if you need help.) Once you’ve claimed your page, you are then able to create four different types of posts on Google My Business:
- What’s New
These options give you a great framework to actively engage people who Googles your business. Have a seasonal event coming up? Now that can be the first thing people see online. Have a new online ordering page for your restaurant or a new online appointment booking page for clients? Now you can create a call to action (CTA) right there on your Google profile that sends customers to the correct URL.
Your strategy in using these types of posts should align with your marketing calendar and overall social media strategy. In short, take a mixed approach where the majority of your posts are about forging connections with your customers and a smaller portion are focused on selling your products or services. To that end, you’ll want to utilize the “What’s New” and “Events” post most often. Here a couple of additional strategies to help you get started.
Tell Your Ongoing Business Story with “What’s New” Posts
This is broadest post category that Google offers, so take advantage of it and really highlight to customers what your business is all about and what makes you unique.
- Start with a post on what inspired you to start your business in the first place
- Tell customers what your mission or motto is
- Humanize your business by giving short profiles of your employee of the month
- Share video of some behind-the-scenes action with all the hard work and care you put into your products or services
- Be sure to share the news about any new improvements or features you’ve added to your business
Limit “Product” Posts to Seasonal Items and Exciting New Additions
Don’t overdo it with Product posts. Your Google business profile isn’t an online store. Instead, only use this feature when you have seasonal items to announce, holiday-related product releases, and any other enticing new product releases.
Post Offers During Lulls
Offering discounts and deals is a proven way to both attract new customers and prompt your regulars to visit again. That being the case, use the “Offers” post feature whenever you don’t have any upcoming events or new products. This will help keep your business top-of-mind with customers even during slow times of the year.
Keep it Professional
It’s important to remember that Google My Business posts are one of the first things most people see when they Google your business, so make sure your posts are professional looking. If you wouldn’t put something on a print ad or your business’s website, then don’t put it on your Google business profile. As a general rule of thumb, follow these guidelines:
- Keep your text short and to the point
- Incorporate photos and video, and make sure they are high-quality
- Utilize the CTA feature to make sure you send web visitors to the appropriate link, whether it’s your website homepage, a dedicated landing page on your site, your online store, Facebook event page, etc.
- Proofread everything before posting to make sure it looks great
By doing all these things and mixing it up with different post types, you’ll be getting the equivalent of free online advertising any time someone searches for your business on Google. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming, either. Most of the post types will remain on your profile for seven days or more, so a post a week is all it takes to steer customers wherever you want them.
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