Why is Google My Business so important?
Businesses of all sizes that serve customers at a specific location or designated service area can connect with existing and potential customers through a Business Profile on Google Search. A considered Google Business Profile allows potential customers or clients to get to know you using photos, products, offers, map locations and you can regularly add new content through posts. You can create and share announcements, special offers, new or popular items in stock, or event details directly with the community searching on Google.
How does Google My Business work?
When someone discovers your business on Google, they can see offers, news and events from your business posts that show on Google Search and Maps. You can use posts to tell customers about:
Events such as a cooking demonstration
Offers/specials such as sales and discounts on flowers
Announcements such as 'Open late this Saturday' or 'Special guests this week!' Posts can include text, photos or videos to promote your Business Profile. They’re visible to users through:
- The 'Updates' or 'Overview' tabs of the Business Profile on mobile on Google Search and Google Maps based on various signals
- The 'From the Owner' section of the Business Profile on your computer on Search and Maps
- On Google My Business websites
When you add photos to your Business Profile, they automatically show as posts on your Google profile. These posts cannot be edited and will show only to customers. If you remove a photo, it will no longer show as a post.
Each post type provides your audience with specific details and allows you to add an action button to your post like sign up, buy, book, learn more, to name a few. First, you need to select what type of post you want to create from the range available:
COVID-19 update: Lets customers know about changes to your business due to the Coronavirus. You can update your status and select an appropriate action button if you need one.
Offers: Provide promotional sales or offers from your business. Offers require a title, start/end dates and times. A "View offer" action button is automatically added to the post. You can also include a photo, video, description, coupon code, link and terms and conditions with the post. For example, a pizza delivery company may advertise 20% off large pizzas for a week. Offers appear near the top of the Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. They also appear with all other posts in the Updates tab.
What's new: Provide general information about your business. You can include a photo/video, description, and an action button. For example, a bike shop can make a post to promote a new range.
Event: Promote an event at your business. Events require a title, start/end dates and time. If there aren’t start or end times, then the system will default to 24 hours on the date that it's posted. These posts may also include a photo, video, description and an action button. For example, a Virtual Pilates instructor may want to advertise a new timetable or a special class. Events that meet certain criteria may also show on the Overview tab of the Business Profile to make them more prominent to customers.
Product: You can use the product posts to add products that will appear in your Product tab. You can manage the product entry in the Product Editor.
How to make great Google My Business posts?
A post to your customers on Google should be brief, useful and inspire action, and photos should be well-lit and in-focus. Here’s a sample post that’s effective:
Mother’s Day Special Cake Delivery
Spoil your mum with our unique gift: a special fixed-price £20 cake treat package – including our famous frosted cherry cupcakes – and a custom floral arrangement from Lisa's Florist. Book now as orders are limited!
Why does this Google My Business Post work well?
The photo is clear, well-lit and with good framing
The headline and writing inspire action: ‘Mother’s Day Special Cake Delivery', 'Spoil your mum'
The post is brief and includes only necessary details: 'special fixed-price £20 cake treat package’, famous frosted cherry cupcakes'
There’s a clear call to action: 'Book now'
My 5 top tips to creating a Google My Business Post
- Post type: Is your post about an event? An offer or a time-sensitive deal? Do you have news to share? Consider what you want your post to do – whether to encourage customers to visit your online shop, sell something or announce a new feature.
- Photos/videos: Take a high-resolution photo reinforcing your message so that your post stands out.
Photos: Photos should be simple, direct, in-focus and well-lit, with bright, vibrant colours. Photos should have a minimum resolution of 400 px wide by 300 px tall, in JPG or PNG format.
Videos: Acceptable file formats for video: AVI, MP4, MOV, FLV, WMV, MPG, M4V, MKV, M2TS and MTS. The maximum size for videos is 100 MB.
- Title: (if your post is an event): Describe your event in 4–5 words. You have 58 characters for your title.
- More details: Be clear about the offer/event. You have up to 1,500 characters for the details of your post, but the ideal length is between 150-300 characters.
- Call to action: Include instructions such as 'Buy', 'Book online', 'Learn more', 'Call' or 'Visit'. You don’t need to include your business name, as it already appears in the post. To keep within character limits, you can also abbreviate months, days and hours.
Merchant: SW London Studio
Call to action: 'Book now'
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And, if you want someone to manage your Google My Business for you?
You can add representatives to manage your presence on Google and set different permission levels for users:
- Managers: Create posts, change the account logo or image, and add or remove other users
- Contributors: Create posts only
To add representatives to your account, follow these steps:
1. Log into your Google My Business Account https://business.google.com/
2. In the top left of the authoring tool, click the menu.
3. Scroll vertically down the page and click Users.
4. Next, to manage permissions click the +symbol to add a new user and select Invite new users
5. Enter the Google email address of your new user.
6. Choose whether the user gets manager permissions.
7. When you add additional users, they get sent an email invitation to be a representative for you on the entity that you represent. They can then post as you on your behalf.
Like all the best marketing strategies, no one channel works effectively in isolation, so it is important to use a balanced mix of digital channels to develop your optimum online marketing campaign. Digital marketing can be turned on and off depending on the needs of a business however in order to gain momentum and make the best use of the many algorithmic optimisation tools at play it is best to tune your strategy rather than close your options down.
If you’d like to discuss your own digital marketing needs, please get in touch.