Google My Business (GMB) is a very important tool every business owner should use as the foundation of an online marketing strategy. All businesses can especially benefit from claiming their free Google listing.
Among the many tools GMB offers to enhance your listing, Google Posts are one of the most important. Not only do they signal to the Google Search Algorithm that your business is active online, but they also communicate with customers in an ad-like snippet about one of your products, services, special offers or upcoming events.
National Sales Manager Diana Park-Alford sees Google Posts as “a snapshot into your business without going to your website. Think of it like your department store window that a customer sees before they walk in.”
As a business owner, you’ll want to understand how others in your industry are utilizing these digital storefronts. In this blog, we’re going to discuss some tips and tricks you can apply!
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has created a specific COVID-19 post option for businesses to relay any important information relating to the virus.
Note: if you haven’t created or claimed your GMB listing yet, make sure to do that first.
Be aware that certain industries have posting restrictions. Content such as weapons, alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals and tobacco can be rejected and will not show on your profile in searches.
While this may seem discouraging, there are several other digital marketing strategies that regulated industries can benefit from. Contact the RevLocal team to discuss some other digital marketing tactics!
Posting Best Practices
Before we begin, here are some best practices any business should follow for Google Posts:
- Consider character count. While there is no character limit, only the first 100 characters will be shown until a customer clicks to learn more. Make your point quickly and use as few words as possible.
- Avoid stock photos. Due to a recent Google update, stock photos are prohibited. Strive for authenticity by uploading photos of your team, office space or a product.
- Include a CTA. The goal is for your audience to call or click on your link and learn more about your business, so be clear by giving them a simple call-to-action (CTA). You can choose from Book, Order online, Buy, Learn more, Sign up and Call now.
- Omit hashtags. Hashtags don’t work on GMB like they do on Twitter or Instagram. Including them just clutters your post.
- Time Limit. Unless you’re posting an event with a specified date, Google only features posts for seven days. Ensure that your content will remain relevant for a week.
Your online presence is vital in today’s digital world, which is why we can’t stress enough the importance of Google Posts.
Here’s what Lara Kongi, one of our Regional Sales Managers, had to say, “People are making decisions without even going to a client's website simply because of how Google My Business has adapted.”
Now that we’ve defined general best practices for Google Posts, let’s go over some industry-specific examples you can apply to your business.
Home (Includes plumbers, roofers, cleaners)
Digital marketing for home service providers should focus on building trust. Featuring awards, qualifications and reviews establishes you as the expert. And posting about a unique product or service that you offer is a great way to ramp up sales.
When customers are looking for home services, it’s most likely a time-sensitive issue. So, if your business is going to be open on a holiday, post about it! It might just be what makes that customer book you over the competition.
Food (Includes restaurants, bars, catering)
A common Google Post strategy for restaurants and bars is to feature their food and drink specials like kids eat free on Friday or happy hour deals. Google Posts make it easy to feature coupons that get people in your store.
Customers also want to know about non-traditional operating hours, including holiday hours and takeout or delivery times. If a potential customer searches directly for your name, a simple Google Post tells them you are open. We recommend linking to your online menu.
Some bars and restaurants host social events like karaoke, trivia or dart tournaments. Promoting these events online gives life to your business’s profile.
You can also share the opening of a new location. If existing customers already love your business and see this, they will be more likely to support your new location as well!
Medical (includes doctors, dentists, chiropractors)
When someone is searching for a medical professional on Google, they are probably looking for a long-term provider they can trust. They will look at your reviews, awards, education and areas of expertise. These happen to be great options for a Google Post as well!
Consider introducing your team members to discuss their background and to personalize your marketing. Additionally, you can advertise free teeth cleaning for the month and link to a coupon.
If you specialize in one type of medicine, the most important thing you can do is educate people about why they need what you offer. For example, if your dermatology office focuses on treating skin cancer with a certain product, posts can clear up any confusion easily.
Health & Beauty (Includes salons, spas, clothing stores, gyms)
When it comes to health and beauty, a common Google Post trend is to feature hair care products, haircuts and color, spa packages or other retail items. But you can switch up your messaging with unique CTAs. Drive traffic to your social media, share a recent blog, sign up for a class or encourage online sales.
Ask yourself what makes your business unique — delivery options, curbside pickup or even dumbbells for rent. There is a lot you can do in this industry to set yourself apart from businesses that don’t take the time to define their brand.
Diana Park-Alford, our National Sales Manager, told us, “When your business posts these updates, it shows me, as a consumer, that you care about your brand and customers. It makes me want to pick you out of all the others.”
Travel (Includes travel agents, event planning, venues)
The travel industry has a huge opportunity in the graphics department. People love looking at beautiful images, whether it be European cities, poolside experiences or wedding venues. The trick is having enough relevant content to accompany it.
Many in the travel industry feature upcoming trips or event packages. You can also share travel tips or create educational videos on how to plan a wedding. Writing blog posts is common and sharing them in Google Posts is a great way to drive traffic to your site or social media accounts.
Google Posts: Drive Traffic, Humanize Yourself and Build Trust
In this ever-changing digital world, businesses need to be innovative, finding ways to build trust with customers and humanize themselves online. Google Posts are just one great way to do this.
Want to learn more about internet searches or other Google My Business features? Request a demo online to get started!
This post was created in collaboration with Lauren Snyder, RevLocal's Content Marketing Specialist.