If you’ve ever Google-searched a small business, you’ve probably seen an informational sidebar like this:
It's likely you've never thought twice about it. But did you know you can create one of these sidebars for your own business, using Google My Business (GMB)? It’s quick and easy to do—and it makes your business more accessible while adding legitimacy.
If you’re interested in having your business listed this way, Google has a handy help article that will walk you through the process.
But we want to dive in a little bit deeper. In the last month, Google rolled out a new feature for GMB called “Posts”. It allows you to share time-sensitive information with people that look up your business on Google or Google Maps. These posts look like this:
Google My Business Posts can contain the following:
- A text description (100-300 words)
- An image
- A start and end date and time (for events)
- A button (Learn more, Reserve, Sign up, Buy, or Get offer)
They expire automatically 7 days after being posted, but they can also be deleted at any time.
How to drive results using Google My Business Posts
Now that you know the technical possibilities and limitations with these posts, you may be wondering how to best make use of them.
Ideas for always-on Google My Business Posts
One way you could make use of GMB Posts is by keeping one specific message up all the time. This post would have important information about your business, or a pitch that you know works well.
Keep in mind that these posts expire in 7 days, so you will need to constantly refresh it.
- Create a post with the “Sign up” button pitching your newsletter.
- List one of your top-performing products along with the “Buy” or “Get offer” button.
- Give the user some interesting information about your business or your industry, along with a “Learn more” button. If your business was leather craftsmanship, for example, you could make a post that tells the user that most companies cut corners when making leather bags—then encourage them to read about the tricks those companies use. This is engaging and could drive traffic to your content.
Ideas for limited-time Google My Business Posts
This is where GMB Posts really shine. It’s clear that Google meant for these posts to be used primarily for limited-time offers or events because they expire in a week.
Here are some examples of what you could do:
- Announce an event using the event date and time feature. If the event requires signing up, you can use a button to encourage the user to do so. Or you could use the “Learn More” button to give them more details.
- Announcing a new sale or the end of a sale. This is likely what many businesses will use posts for, and for good reason. When someone is searching your business, they likely have a high intent-to-purchase. The more urgent the sale, the more likely this will work.
- If you have reason to believe that many people search your business on Google Maps, you may consider a post that is targeted to this use-case. Offer something that will make them want to come into your store—now. It’s likely they already want to go to your store location if they are looking it up on Maps, but they may be deciding if it’s too far away. If your business is mostly brick and mortar, this could be a great use for posts.
How to create a Google My Business Post
If you don’t already have a GMB account with your business listed, you’ll want to make that first. Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and click Sign in or Start now on the top right.
If you are starting an account for the first time, you’ll be presented with the following form:
Fill in the details and click continue. You’ll be asked to verify your business by mail (Google will mail you a code to input online). You can choose to verify later for now, but you won’t be able to make changes until your business is verified, and you won’t see the option to add a post.
Once your business is verified, you can move forward with making a post.
You’ll see Posts on the left sidebar. Click that and you can create a new post.
Download the Google My Business mobile app.
Once it’s open, tap on the bright pink circle on the bottom right. Then tap “Create a post” in the resulting pop-up. It’s straightforward from there. [IMAGE HERE]
Google is giving you prime real estate for free. The sidebar on the desktop, or top of the results on mobile. Take control of your company’s image, or drive results by taking advantage of this free, simple feature from Google.
How do you plan to use Google Posts for your business? Leave a comment below and let us know!