Google My Business is a game changer for local search. It’s something all businesses should be utilizing. We have talked before about why Google My Business is a valuable (and free!) local search tool, and we’ve detailed what you need to do to claim your company’s Google My Business listing. Optimizing and updating your listing will make your company vastly more competitive within your local market. Updating your Google My Business listing with regular posts goes a step beyond and gives your business a valuable free marketing opportunity for the cost of your time.
Using Google My Business improves a company’s local search optimization. This is especially important if you have a small to mid-sized business in a competitive local market. Not every company knows about or uses Google My Business. Of the companies that have taken the opportunity to claim their listings and optimize them, only a minority regularly update them even though Google My Business offers a built in marketing opportunity with the Post option.
What Are Google My Business Posts?
Google My Business Posts are the online equivalent of the chalkboard announcements you see in restaurants. They give you the chance to announce your “Special of the Day” or highlight what is happening with your business right now. GMB allows users to add four different kinds of posts:
- What’s New
These options allow you to highlight a particular product or service temporarily. Google has a section to add textual information about the subject or product of your choice. Posts can use up to 1,500 characters, but only the first 100 characters will display on mobile, so it’s important to front load what you want to convey to your audience or they might not see it.
You can also add a photo or video to make your post stand out. Google does require that the image you select be large enough (400 pixels wide x 300 pixels tall) in order to display well. Once you’ve added text and an image, you can follow that up with a Call to Action. Google offers you the following CTA options:
- Order online
- Learn more
- Sign up
- Call now
Choose one and add a link to your website or any other site you’d like to call attention to. When you hit Publish, your post with its text, image, and CTA will display in your GMB profile when someone searches for your company’s name on Google or views your GMB profile on Google Maps.
Google also allows you to share your GMB posts on other social media profiles to amplify your message to your audience in other parts of the web.
How Long Do Google My Business Posts Last?
Posts are not like blogs. They don’t last forever and are not meant to. Unless you choose the Event option and set the start and end date, posts disappear after seven business days. Think of it like that chalkboard getting erased and new information about the “Special of the Day” overwriting the old.
There are plenty of creative ways businesses can use Google My Business posts to interact with your customers. They can be free advertising, spotlighting specific products or services. They can announce sales or events. They can be used to put out short bursts of news (or humor) you think your audience might enjoy or benefit from. There are limits to what a company can include in the GMB post, but the medium allows for plenty of customization. Are you using your GMB profile to advertise to your customers? If not, why not?