Do you use Google Business Profile posts to market your organization?
If not, you’re missing out on a great (and free) way to promote your business to people interested in the goods and services you offer.
This article explains what you need to know to craft Google Business Profile posts that will get results, including what to post, how to post, and common mistakes to avoid.
Google Business Profile Posts: The Basics
A Google Business Profile post (GBP post) is an update that’s added to a company’s Google Business Profile. It can include:
Text with up to 1,500 characters
Links to content and information on your website or a landing page
Google Business Profile posts show up with all your other profile information in Google search results and on Google Maps.
Google Business Profiles allow six types of posts for all businesses:
Three additional types of post are available for specific categories of businesses:
Menus, for restaurants
Services, for service providers such as hair salons and chiropractors
Products, for e-commerce businesses
Google Business Profile posts are free, and based on our experience, most businesses can benefit from using them. They provide added ways to make your business listing stand out on Google. All things being equal, a restaurant listing with a post featuring a photo of a delicious-looking cheeseburger will likely get more clicks than one that does not.
Think about it: according to Google, 88 percent of people who search for a local business will visit one within a week. Doesn’t it make sense to do everything possible to optimize your listing?
Use Images to Make Your Google Posts Stand Out
It’s critical to feature attractive images in your GBP posts. People are very visual, especially when they’re online.
Your photos must be formatted appropriately so that they represent your brand well. Google often crops and compresses images that are too big in ways that make them look unattractive.
Google will allow you to post any size photo or video, but it recommends using 750px by 750px. Keep your main subject centered, so it doesn’t get cropped out. Also, avoid excessive use of filters.
It’s best to keep photos under 1200px by 1200px. Google compresses larger images, resulting in fuzzy pictures. (Be aware that this may change with future Google Business Profile updates.) The minimum photo size for the platform is 250px by 250px. Keep them under 5mb each. Images should be formatted as JPG or PNG.
Videos should have a minimum 720px resolution, be under 30 seconds long, and max out at 75mb per video.
Create Google Business Profile Posts that Get Results
Here are steps you need to take to create world-class posts.
Step 1: Select your post type
Do you want to post a business update, video, updated menu, new service, or offer?
To see available options, log in to your Google Business Profile dashboard and click Posts in the navigation.
Have a clear objective and purpose for each post. Searchers will ignore posts without explicit purposes and calls to action. Even worse, they could turn people off. Use these questions to determine the reasons for your posts:
Is the post promoting a new product or service?
Do you want to find new customers or get current ones to return?
Would you like to give people a sense of what your business is like?
Would you like to introduce the people on your team to prospective customers?
Do you want to show off excellent examples of your work?
Would you like to present a special offer?
Do you want to promote an event?
How will you capture your ideal customer’s attention?
Stick to one clear idea per post. People on smartphones aren’t able to understand complex concepts.
If you’re unsure of what to post, Google’s free marketing kit could help.
Step 2: Develop your post
You’re probably not a writer or social media expert. That doesn’t mean you can’t create Google posts that get people to take action. Here are some tips:
Keep posts short. You have a 1,500-character limit for Google Business Profile posts, but never get close to it. Searchers are looking for quick answers or info on Google, not a think piece.
Include a clear and compelling visual. Stick to photos or videos of your location, products, or examples of your work. Keep them clear and straightforward. Remember: most people will be viewing them on small smartphone screens.
Customize your call-to-action (CTA) buttons. Google allows you to include a link to a landing page, appointment-booking widget, coupon code, website, or product page in your post. Google CTA buttons default to “Learn more.” However, it’s a best practice to use a button aligned with the action you want people to take, such as “Sign up,” “Order now,” or “Book.”
Track your offers with UTM links. Adding UTM codes to your offer links makes it possible to track campaign performance. This allows you to figure out what’s working and what’s not so you can optimize future posts.
Never use hashtags. Google doesn’t recognize them. They just add clutter to your posts.
Don’t make Google angry. Google Business Profile posts must stay focused on your business. Google will take down anything that expresses personal opinions, disparages competitors, or shows customers.
Following these guidelines will help ensure that customers act on your posts.
Step 3: Publish your posts
All you need to do is hit Publish, and your post goes live! (Make sure you proof it and maybe have someone else take a look at it to make sure it’s correct and that it communicates what you intend.)
Google Business Profile posts are visible for seven days. After that, Google automatically removes them from your profile. This is done to ensure posts are fresh and to encourage businesses to post regularly.
Step 4: Engage with the people who respond to your posts
Not every response to a post will happen through your website. Some people may leave a comment or question on the post. You or someone who works for you must respond. Otherwise, it might suggest that your business isn’t responsive and doesn’t care about customer service. Make it a point to check your Google Business Profile dashboard at least daily and respond to customer queries and comments. If you don’t, prospective customers may choose to do business with a competitor that gets back to them more quickly.
Final Word: GBP Posts can Drive Business Results
Posting on Google can be a great way to stay connected with customers and bring in new business. Leverage the tips in this piece to create posts people will respond to. Remember:
Offers are always a good idea. Having an active offer posted on your Google Business Profile makes it more likely people will choose to try out your business rather than a competitor without an offer.
Show off your space. People like to know what they’re getting into before visiting a business location. This is especially true for salons, gyms, restaurants, and other businesses where cleanliness is vital.
Be thankful. Regularly use posts to demonstrate gratitude to your customers and staff. It makes them feel like a part of your business and your success.
Regularly post about events. Events make it easier for people to try out a new business. Coming into something as part of a group is more comfortable for many than walking into a new situation solo.
Don’t say it. Show it. When it comes to Google Business Profile posts, a picture is always worth a thousand words. Make it a point to use imagery to draw people in.
Now that you know how to post like a pro, it’s time to go out and conquer your Google Business Profile.