Yes, it is now possible to schedule, automate, set recurrence and batch import your Google My Business posts and images. Gimby, a totally Free Google My Business Post Scheduler, offers you to do just that. Amazing right?
Now, why should you use Google My Business Posts and Gimby to automate and schedule your posts?
I will tell you just that in this article. Google Posts were first introduced in January 2016 for U.S. presidential candidates looking to gain visibility.
Soon after, a few small businesses were able to access the feature. And today, Google Posts are available to everyone. For those who don’t know Google My Business (GMB) yet, with this free tool, small businesses manage their “physical” presence in Google searches.
Digital marketing experts call it Local SEO. Google My Business gives you the ability to stipulate your brand name, business address, hours of operation, and even engage with customers who leave you feedback.
With Google Posts, Google My Business has a new feature for businesses to draw more attention to their establishment(s) with an additional way to make them more visible on search results pages. Google Posts are therefore an additional string to your bow to win new customers.
How Google My Business Posts work and why it’s a good idea to use Gimby
A Google Post is simply an article. A bit like the ones you write on your company’s website if it has a blog or a “news” section. However, creating a post on Google My Business is simple. From your computer or smartphone, log into your Google My Business dashboard, then head to the left side of the screen to access the “Posts” area. From there, you can add a new post, which can take a variety of formats.
Here are some examples of Google Posts:
- Announce sale periods or other daily promotions,
- Promote your upcoming events,
- Promote your new products or your best sales,
- Take reservations for a restaurant, for example,
- Recruit subscribers for your newsletter,
- Contact you by phone,
- And even sell a product.
Pretty complete, right?
A pixel size of 750 x 750 is recommended with a minimum of 300x 200 required. Google My Business automatically crops the image into a square to ensure good visibility. Note: animated gifs and video are not supported.
The post must be between 100 and 1500 words.
Note: only the first 100 characters are displayed in the carousel visible to Internet users.
Make sure that the first 100 characters encourage users to click on your article and discover all its content. I advise you to reread my recommendations on meta descriptions which are also valid for your first 100 characters of your Google Posts.
A call to action button
And above all, a call to action button (CTA) that you can choose among :
- “Learn More”,
You can’t change the text of these buttons at the moment, but the main thing is there.
Google lets you choose to associate the URL of the destination page of your choice to the button. So to your site, your Facebook page or other pages of your choice. Google Posts expire 7 days after their publication. But Google does it right. It warns you via email the day before the expiration.
My tip: consider planning your Google Posts in advance. There are several tools for this, in particular, One Up which I recommend.
Note: a post can also be declared as an event with a title, a start date and an end date. And, from what I’ve read, events are displayed as long as they last.
Where are Google Posts displayed?
Google Posts are displayed in the “map” of your business:
In Google search results pages and on Google Maps, On PC and smartphone, And, of course, depending on the content of the user’s query and the subject of your post. And your Google posts can be shared by users on Facebook, Twitter, via e-mail…
Here is an example of the Odoxo company in Grenoble which promotes its expertise in the field of image for the communication of companies and institutions. For example, on PC and in Google results pages, their articles are displayed in the right column.
Why use Google Posts?
As always in Digital Marketing, the right products give you access to your statistics. And this is obviously the case for Google My Business.
To see the visibility of your Google Posts, click on the article for which you want to see its statistics. There you will see the number of views and clicks on a call to action button for the post in question.
Digital marketing experts will tell you that this is very limited!
For my part, I would say that if you look at this data on a daily basis, analyze how to improve, it’s perfect to start. There will always be time to link your Google My Business to a Google Analytics account, if you enjoy doing this analysis.
The potential of Google Posts is very high. And on top of that, it takes almost no effort to create a post and it’s free.
So, if you have a news to announce, or an event to promote, I can only advise you to publish it on your Google My Business.
Best practices for Google Posts
As always, Google recommends some best practices to follow for your Google Posts.
Obviously, there are the usual precautions like not including hateful content, adult content, fake ads or content unrelated to your business.
But in addition, you must respect the following 4 points.
Do not use slogans that are too commercial
Google explicitly prohibits the use of overly aggressive language such as “FAST 50% off!!! ” Google Posts are not the place to spam with ads. And if Google spots you, your post will likely be removed.
Instead, use Google Posts to regularly inform your customers about the latest happenings in your business. A bit like Laurent and Mathieu advise you to write an article on your blog or a post on your social networks.
Include as much information as possible for each post
For each post, you have many fields to fill in. As always when given the opportunity in Digital Marketing, try to fill them all in:
- A clear and focused image to make you stand out,
- A complete descriptive content for the message.
Even though Google doesn’t specify it, I assume that it analyzes all these texts to judge the relevance of your article to the keyword queries of Internet users.
Be timely and personal
Google encourages businesses to use Google Posts to announce time-limited information such as:
- Temporary offers,
- Upcoming events,
- Or seasonal promotions.
Obviously, you can edit or delete your posts at any time if any content ceases to be relevant to your audience.
Obviously, a question arises: how will Google’s algorithms deal with undesirable content?
In my opinion, I don’t think this is a problem:
- If it doesn’t remove spam,
- Or if it deletes legitimate publications that are incorrectly identified as spam.
Indeed, given the 7 days lifetime, you won’t have time to ask for explanations. On the other hand, Twitter risks being flooded by people wondering why their post is no longer visible.
Share your customer reviews in your Google Posts
Google My Business automatically suggests positive reviews to share as customer testimonials via Google Posts.
In other words, your customers’ positive reviews are now used as content to publish new Google Posts on your Google My Business page on a regular basis.
My advice: read the reviews you receive at least once a week to engage the authors in conversation. Then, select the best customer reviews to publish as Google Posts. Remember, Google Posts are a great way to give your My Business listing more visibility in Google Maps and Google Search.
Don’t neglect your local SEO plan
Again, Google doesn’t specify this either, but my assumption is that the ranking of each of your Google Posts is correlated with your local SEO. As a result, if you want your posts to be visible, continually improve your local SEO.
To do this, here’s what you need to do:
- Get links that point to your Google My Business. This is similar to backlinks for your website,
- Produce high quality content,
- And, of course, collect positive reviews from your customers.
Without a doubt, Google Posts are a substantial benefit for local businesses looking to promote events, offers and/or news.
Conclusion on Google Posts from Google My Business
The product is easy to use and, more importantly, easy to understand.
These posts are a few hundred words long, require little to no optimization and cost nothing to create, just a few minutes. Just think about it.
In fact, Google Posts bypass the complexity of local search with a simple and functional product. Google Posts provide free visibility, unlike Facebook which is increasingly trying to keep you away from your fans. The most important thing to remember is not the potential benefit, but rather the minimal investment. For this reason alone, Google Posts have a decent potential to get a positive return on investment and are worth considering if you are the owner of a business that is well known.
In any case, Google is generous. Google Posts are a kind of free advertising! The only downside I see is that your Google Posts are only visible to consumers who have somehow already chosen your business. Nonetheless, when used properly, Google Posts are the perfect tool to stand out from your competition in a given area. You think Google is too hegemonic? Then devote your efforts with the yellow pages tools … But I doubt that the result will be as convincing. If you use Google Posts or see a business that uses them in a particularly creative and/or successful way, please share them in the comments below.