When you’re looking for a product, service or answer to a question, your first thought is usually, “Let me Google this.” That’s why your presence on Google is important and where having a consistent Google My Business presence is essential. *We’re going to refer to Google My Business as GMB in this article.* If you already know about GMB, click to jump to a different section: ContentsWhat is Google My Business?Why is Google My Business worth scheduling to?Google My Business FeaturesPostsInfoInsightsReviewsMessagingPhotos and VideosProducts and ServicesCreate an advertisementGoogle My Business Post Best PracticesHere is what you should doHere is what you shouldn’t doPost Specs and Recommended Sizing for Google My BusinessTitle and detailsPhotosVideosExample Google My Business PostsOffer postEvent postWhat’s New postIntegrating Google My Business with your Sked account What is Google My Business? Google My Business is a free tool for businesses and organizations to manage their presence on Google, including Search, Maps, Ads and more. GMB can help your customers find you and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. With GMB you can: Manage your information: Manage the information that Google users find when they search for your business, or the products and services that you offer. Businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers. When people find your business on Google Maps and Search, make sure they have access to information like your hours, website and street address. Interact with customers: Read and respond to reviews from your customers, and post photos that show off what you do. Businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t. Understand and expand your presence: Find insights on how customers searched for your business, and where those customers are coming from. You can also find information like how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Search and Maps. When you’re ready, you can create and track the performance of Smart campaigns to spread the word about your work. (from Google) Many people use Google search to find businesses, get information and contact them. Making sure you control your Google listing ensures that your customers have reliable information about your business straight from the source. Create a stunning Instagram feed your followers will love. Sked Social is your tool for designing your feed, growing your followers, and telling your brand story. Start your free trial Why is Google My Business worth scheduling to? We get it – it can feel like you have to schedule content across every platform imaginable. GMB can feel a bit like it’s yet another place that you need to post to. But here’s where GMB is most valuable: any business where people often search for you. In particular, we’ve seen this in retail, hospitality and tourism businesses. In those industries, the more control you have over the Google results page the better to avoid customers heading off to another website (like an aggregator or site like Yelp) instead, where they could end up purchasing from someone else. But featuring that promotion, event or some of your products visually in the Google sidebar, and perhaps most importantly, driving more traffic to your own website, helps you get more sales and enquiries. For Sked ourselves, we see a non-zero number of website clickthroughs from our GMB posts, which don’t take that much extra time to schedule alongside our other content. For businesses who use GMB (or agencies who want to offer it to their clients), Sked makes it really easy to schedule GMB posts. Like our support for other platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you can easily tailor the GMB content differently to the Instagram (or other social network) content to ensure that it’s relevant and your campaigns roll out across all social platforms. You can track the success of your GMB posts by adding UTM tags for your call to action URL, or using GMB’s “Insights” feature. You also get regular emails from Google telling you how your listing and GMB posts have performed. Google My Business Features Here’s a look at the GMB dashboard. There are tons of different features you have control over. Let’s walk through them together and discuss which features you’ll be able to use with Sked. Posts Posts are where you can share offers, updates, event information and other details with your customers. This is the feature that Sked now supports. We’ve made it easy to keep your posts timely and up to date. Make sure your potential customers can see your latest promotion or update. You can do that all from inside Sked. Yay! There are a few different kinds of posts you can add to your Google listing including: What’s New: general information about your business, COVID-19 updates Events: event posts have dates and times so you can promote upcoming events Offers: having a sale or promotion? This is where you’d share the information Products: adding product posts to your GMB will show customers your offerings (Sked doesn’t support this yet) Hours Update: make edits to your hours so your customers know when you’re open Customers will see your posts in these places: The ‘Updates’ or ‘Overview’ tabs of the Business Profile on mobile on Search and Maps based on various signals The ‘From the Owner’ section of the Business Profile on your computer on Search and Maps On Google My Business websites We’ll talk more about the different post types later in this article, or you can read more from Google. Posts will remain on your Google listing for 7 days unless you enter a specified date. Info Info is where you will add all of the details of your business for your Google My Business. This will contain your name, category of business, where you’re located, hours of operation and more. You can also add contact information here like address, phone number and email. This makes it easy for customers to get in touch with your business because they don’t have to go searching through your website to find it. It’s right on the Google search page. Insights Under Insights, you’ll get analytics like: How customers search for your business: people who directly searched for your business vs. people who found you by searching for a category Queries used to find your business: the most popular queries for your business by unique users Where customers view your search on Google: are people looking at your listing on Search or listing on Maps Customer actions: are people clicking your website or calling you? What buttons are they clicking on in your listing Phone calls: how many people are calling you directly from your Google listing Photo views: the number of times your photos have been viewed You can view your analytics over the past week, past month or past quarter. Reviews Exactly as is sounds, Reviews is where you can see and respond to customers who have given reviews of your business on Google. It’s important to read and respond to reviews (especially negative ones) to determine areas of improvement and confirm what’s working for your business. Engaging with your customer reviews also shows people that you care about the product or service that people are buying from you. It shows potential customers that you are willing to do what it takes to ensure a positive experience with your business. Messaging If you want, you can allow customers to message you straight from your listing on Google. This section is where you can see and respond to any messages received. Messaging makes it easy for you to answer questions, share information and quickly connect. Photos and Videos Here you can add photos and videos to your listing on Google. Photos can be beneficial for many reasons. They can help show people your location, your staff, what your products look like and more. Be sure to use high-quality images! We’ll talk about sizing recommendations below. You can also include videos in your GMB listing which is great for promotions, introducing your business or how-to videos that customers might find helpful. Products and Services Showcase your best selling products and let people know what they’re going to get from you. Add services you offer to your listing so people can easily tell what to expect from your business. Create an advertisement You can access your Google advertisements straight from GMB in this section. Google My Business Post Best Practices As we talked about before, there are a couple of different types of posts you can have on GMB. In order to use GMB posts, you need to have created your GMB location and verified your account. Also note that Google limits who can use Google My Business posts to only some businesses, so you should also check if you can create Google My Business posts in the Google Business Dashboard. According to Google, “A post to your customers on Google should be brief, useful and inspire action, and photos should be well-lit and in-focus.” Here is what you should do Be precise: What are the three things that your customer needs to know? What do you want them to remember, for how much and when? Be personal: Show what your business values Highlight: What makes your business, product or offer unique Be timely: Use a key selling point or popular item as the hook for your post Make sure that you include any redemption instructions, unique codes or restrictions on offers or sales Use common abbreviations: For days, months and hours to save space Here is what you shouldn’t do Don’t use commercial slang like “BOGO” Don’t use excessive exclamation marks or all caps Don’t include more than one theme or offer in one communication Don’t craft a deal with too many exclusions Post Specs and Recommended Sizing for Google My Business Google is a little vague with their recommendations for photo and video size. But here’s what we learned from research and personal trial and error. Title and details Describe your event or offer in 4–5 words. You have 58 characters for your title. For the written details of your post, you have up to 1,500 characters. The ideal length is between 150-300 characters. Photos Minimum Size: 400 px wide by 300 px tall Maximum Size: 2120 px wide by 1192 px tall Recommended Size: 1200 px wide by 900 px tall (or bigger) Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Formats: JPG or PNG Minimum File Size: 10kb Maximum File Size: 5mb Videos Formats: AVI, MP4, MOV, FLV, WMV, MPG, M4V, MKV, M2TS and MTS Max Duration: 30 seconds Max File size: 100 MB Min Resolution: 720p Example Google My Business Posts Google posts are a great way to inform your customers about offers, information and events. Keeping your Google listing up-to-date helps keep your customers in the loop. Here are some ways that you can use the different post types. Offer post Use an offer post to promote a sale or discount. Your title should tell viewers exactly what the offer is and the details should tell them how to get it. Be short and concise and add terms and conditions. Event post Invite people to an event that your business is hosting. Be sure to include details about what your event is all about and add the date, time and location. Adding a call to action is an easy way to get people registered for your event. Just select which call to action you want to include and input the link where they can sign up or get more info. What’s New post If you have a general announcement, use the What’s New post type. Maybe you now offer a new product or service, have updated your business hours or have a new location? Let your customers know with a post like this. Get more inspiration for your GMB posts from Google here. Integrating Google My Business with your Sked account We’re excited to launch GMB posting in Sked. GMB posts will appear alongside the search results for your business like this: With Sked’s GMB feature you can easily create and schedule your GMB Posts along with all of your other social media content. There are some known limitations of our integration with Google My Business posts which you can read about here. We will continue our work of cleaning up these limitations where we can. You can schedule your GMB posts for a specific date and time or save them as drafts. Note that at this time, carousel posts and video posts for GMB are only available through the GMB dashboard. Google My Business posts will correctly preview and be able to be approved as part of our external approval system if you use it (perfect for working with clients). To get all the information about how to start posting GMB posts on Sked click here. Happy scheduling!