A few months ago, Google introduced Google Business Listing Posts. These are featured messages, promotions, event flyers – really any message you want to tell your customers that display right on your Google Business Listing and Maps. As of right now, to access the posts feature you have to login to your listing or app. Soon, you’ll be able to make posts from the JJUMPP Springboard. For now, let’s dive into the functionality and some suggestions of using this new tool.
How it works
The Google Business Listing Posts have four parts: 1) A 100-300 Word Description 2) A Photo 3) An Event Date 4) A Call to Action. The only required field is the text description. The photo, event date, and call to action button are optional.
After filling out the desired fields, the post goes live for 7 days. After that, Google figures your offer, event, or new information is not as relevant, and the post is removed. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to see older posts in a backlog. If you’re hoping to utilize Google Business Listing Posts, we’d recommend posting something new every week.
Like all things Google, one of the best parts of the posts is the insights and analytics. Right now these are pretty basic. You’ll be able to see the number of views and number of engagements, meaning clicks on your call to action button. This way you can measure the effectiveness of the posts, especially after you’ve run several.
Chances are the number of views will be similar to the traffic you get to your Google Business listing. The posts aren’t a way to gather more traffic, they’re a way to engage and capture business from the traffic you already have. So with that in mind, and the functionality understood, let’s talk strategies.
When creating a post, it’s pretty clear the kinds of customer interaction Google has in mind. Your options are compelling but limited. The first thing to be aware of is the text description. 300 words can contain a lot of information. However, on the actual post, Google only shows the first 70 characters or about 12 words. To best capture the attention of the customers, your post should start with a great phrase or sentence. Let them know immediately what’s happening. Don’t worry about a build up. Make the announcement and then describe the details later on in the post. Those who are interested will click to see more.
If a customer does click the post, they’ll see a pop-up box with the full text, photo, dates, and the blue call to action button. While they could click the button without opening the pop-up screen, it’s more likely that they’ll wait until reading the full description and see a more prominent button to press.
Events and Buttons
Now let’s talk events. Events on the Google Business Listing Posts can target a specific event time or a longer event period. For example, I could post about an event that’s happening at our store tonight from 7pm to 9pm. Or, my event could be a weekend sale that spans over three days. In this case, the event is less about showing up on time and more about showing up in the period of time. Either way, make sure you use the “Event Title” field to help clarify the time. Google lets you set both a day and an hour for your events.
As far as the call to action goes, Google offers five buttons to choose from. They are, “Learn More”, “Reserve”, “Sign Up”, “Buy”, and “Get Offer”. So while you have a little flexibility, there are some specific actions to choose from. Each button lets you attach a website link. So using a button would only make sense if you’d like the users to navigate somewhere else. For example, we’re offering a 30 day trial of our software right now. Our Google Business Listing Post directs customers to a landing page where they can fill out a demo form.
The website doesn’t necessarily have to be your own. You could direct people to your social media pages like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You could send them to a news article about your business or the page of an event that your business will be attending. If you sell products or distribute coupons from your website, the buttons “Buy” or “Get Offer” will help you lead customers right to the product you’re sponsoring. If you’re advertising for an event, use the event times and a “Reserve” or “Sign Up” buttons to direct customers to your form where they can register.
When you’re all done with the post, Google lets you preview the final product. After approving your work, send it out. As far as we can tell (and we look at Google business Listings a lot) there are few businesses utilizing this tool right now. It’s a great way for you to stand out and capture the attention of your customers.
You’ll see the Google Business Listing posts coming to our software soon. We’re invested in giving you a leg up on the competition. If you haven’t seen our software, you can schedule a demo and try a 30 day trial. In the meantime, try creating your first post on the Google Business Listing!