Use Google My Business to update your Google Maps and Google Search Listings at any time and for free.
Have you ever wished you had a quick way to update your Google listings with new or timely news about your business? ?Google has rolled out a useful feature for all business users that can help grant your wish. ?You can create Google Posts from within your free Google My Business account to offer various kinds of updates that will automatically show up on your listings in Google Maps and Google Search.
According to?Search Engine Land, political accounts have had this feature since early in 2016. Back then, they called this feature?Candidate Cards. ?After that, Google rolled it out to a few business accounts. ?Every business now has a chance to let customers know about upcoming events, special promotions, and other timely news. ?Take a moment to learn to create Google Posts and how they can benefit your company.
How to Add Updated Google Posts to Google Maps and Google Search
Adding live updates to your Google Maps and search results is pretty simple:
Create a Google My Business Account
If you don?t already have an account with?Google My Business, you need to create one for your company. ?Google does not charge for this tool, and it allows you to manage your business presence all across the network. ?In addition to managing your listings, you can also use My Business to interact with customers and gain insights about your digital presence. ?Even if you?re not interested in creating live updates with Google Posts, you should consider signing up and exploring various features of Google My Business.
Create Google Posts From Within My Business
From within your account, you can find ?Posts? on the left-side menu. ?Alternatively, you can click the link to go directly to the?Google Posts section?inside of your account.
This list highlights some of the different features that you can use to create your post:
- Text:? You can add a maximum of 300 words to describe your update.
- Events: If you want to update customers about a limited-time event, you can add an event title with start and end times.
- Images: Google allows you to add an image to make your post stand out more.
Add a Call to Action
Besides the basic options for your Google Post, Google also lets you choose a call-to-action button to add to your post. ?Some of your options for button text will include?Reserve, Buy, Sign Up, and?Get Offer. ?You link this button to pages on your website that could allow customers to make reservations, get more information, join your email newsletter, obtain a promotional code or coupon, or even make a purchase.
Keep Track of Post Expiration Dates
Remember, Google means for these posts to emphasize short-term updates and not to serve as permanent parts of your listing. ?Your posts will expire after seven days. ?The system helpfully alerts you on the sixth day that your current post is about ready to expire. ?Right now, there doesn?t seem to be any way to renew the same post.
If your previous post performed well for you, you can simply create a similar one. ?If you didn?t enjoy much response, you might test some different approaches. ?Either way, keep in mind that these are meant to help offer updated information and not to last forever.
How Can Your Business Use Google Posts to Enhance Your Listings?
Most of you can probably think of several ways that Google Posts could enhance your search or Google Maps listings. ?You might even experiment with a few different formats until you learn what works best for your unique kind of business.
These are some examples:
- Post events:? If you run a local restaurant, you may run a special menu for Valentine?s Day, Thanksgiving, or another holiday. Your bar might feature live shows that you schedule on certain nights. ?Either way, you could use your post to highlight your special events and allow customers to book reservations with a couple of clicks.
- Gain subscribers: If you hope to build your email list, you might offer a subscribers-only giveaway or discount.? Offer news about this promotion and then let searchers directly signup and take advantage of the offer. ?Even if some people aren?t ready to buy, you can still add them to your list of prospects this way.
- New products: Your retail store may have fielded a number of requests for a hard-to-find or specialized item. ?Let searchers know that you have it in stock. ?You can link your call-to-action button to an informational page with text, graphics, or videos that will help you close more sales. Alternatively, you might route searchers directly to a buy-it-now page for online sales.
Why Keep Your Listings Updated With Google Posts?
Most marketers would be happy to find ways to add more content to their listings and to keep potential customers informed about upcoming events and other news. ?Since Google also lets you add a call-to-action button, Google Posts can serve as a powerful marketing tool that you may begin to rely upon frequently. ?Even if you don?t decide to make use of Google Posts, it?s a good idea to learn about other helpful features you can access within your Google My Business Account.