Often you’ll hear or read about people saying you need more reviews, they’ll help you appear on the Google My Business ‘3 pack’. Have you noticed though, often when doing a search, there are businesses listed in the 3 pack with no reviews or even poor reviews, and other highly rated businesses appear in the see more/view all? We know reviews are in the algorithm, but it’s clearly not the only driver, or even a high one. This blog/video is about a lesser known and yet highly effective tactic – how to optimise Google My Business using posts and photos.
UPDATE – 12 November 2021 – Google My Business is now Google Business Profile
Google have yet again changed the product name and access. Google My Business is now Google Business Profile and is now accessible directly from Google Search and Google Maps. The web Google My Business and phone app will remain in action until some time in 2022.
At this stage as far as we know this strategy is still just as valid, it’s just there are some changes to how you do it.
Refer this quick update video as some of the information contained below will be superseded (though it can still be used as is now). We will eventually replace this entire blog article.
How to optimise Google My Business Video
Please watch the video below. If you watch on YouTube you can easily navigate through the time stamps, or find the times from the transcription below. Note there is some guidance on how to get into Google My Business if you have forgotten. But if you have more issues please check out the video on YouTube: How to login to Google My Business.
Video transcription (time stamps noted)
00:00 Intro to the Google My Business listing
Let’s show you some great tips to optimise your Google My Business listing. So for those of you that don’t know, this is Google My Business, and this happens to be my Google My Business listing for FAQ Business Training and FAQ Business Consulting. Just kind of a double double-barrelled business, if you’d like. So what I’ve got here is my business listing. It has things like health and safety and hours and things. These are things that you can upload in your information section of your Google My Business listing.
But today I want to emphasise how we get these posts to appear and what these mean, and what impact they have, and also the photos. So somebody can click on the ‘see photos’. So you’ll see them down the side here, so people can scroll through, have a look at the different photos. I can put things up like, quote, posts and all sorts of things on here. OK, so this is quite useful. But today, what we really want to focus on is why we do this and how we do this.
01:05 Easiest way to access Google My Business
The first thing that we need to do to be able to update this, is to go into Google My Business. So if you don’t have automatic access into Google My Business, which you may do through the dot, dot, dots directly from here. So the dot, dot, dot, dots ‘My Business’. That’s the easy way to get in. If you have that. If you don’t have that, then and you can’t remember how to get in. The easiest way to do it is to type Google My Business into just your Chrome toolbar.
01:35 Select your Google Account
Click on Google My Business. And then what we’re going to do here is you’ll see it’s going to say Sign In. Now, what you will notice is that when I go Sign In, it will now bring me up a Google account on the side here. Now just be very careful not to click the one up the top. The one at the top controls different things. And I know for one of my poor clients, it caused them a bit of a nightmare.
So don’t change that one. Make sure you’re changing this one [the lower one]. So click on the Google account and click on the name of the account that you wish to use which connects to my Google My Business listing. So you’ll see here that is telling me find or manage a business. It doesn’t really look like it’s there. So rather than typing anything here, all you need to do is to go over here to where it says Google My Business and click on the words ‘My Business’.
02:21 Open Google My Business and the info section
It will automatically take you to Google My Business page [if it is activated for that Google account. If it’s not there check your emails for which email/Google account is being used]. What we have now, is we have our business listing on Google My Business. We have all the tabs we can go into. So things like all the information stuff is in here. This is where you can claim things like your short name, which you can use for your Google reviews. You can put your hours, your localities, all that type of information goes in here. But today we want to concentrate on two areas, which is posts and photos.
02:50 Type of posts to upload to Google My Business
So in the post section, what we want to do is create a new post and we can use this to update information about our businesses. Now, think about this for your business. Google my business is primarily going to appeal to people that have typed in for like a service or something like that. So unlike social media, we’re trying to be informational and helpful. Think of Google My Business as more showcasing your products. It’s more about giving people that stuff that will help them buy.
So maybe you want to put case studies in here from clients. Maybe you want to put, you know, new products that you have or that sort of thing. That can be a great thing to stick into your Google My Business account. You can also connect it to blog posts and things, but you’re more likely to get the traction from the actual sales type post, which is quite different from social media, because remember, people who are on Google are searching.
03:42 Loading a video to Google My Business
They have intent. So they’re either searching to buy or searching to research. So remember that when you are choosing what to stick on here. The other thing that you can also load up regularly is things like photos. So you can load photos and also videos. While I’m in here right at the moment, I’m actually going to add a video. I recorded a video about my why, about why I started my business and it was way too long for Google My Business.
04:08 Google My Business video size
Now Google My Business said you could do a 30 second video of 100MB, but I had a twenty nine second video at like eighty something MB and it wouldn’t accept it. So now I cut it to a 22 second video and we can see that it is actually uploading and it will accept it. It had ‘maximum file size exceeded’ before, so I couldn’t actually get this far. So I do recommend that you post videos about your business, you post photos about your business.
04:39 How many photos are too many?
Now I have one customer who’s got about 1500 photos on their Google My Business listing. So how many are too many? There is no too many. And the reason that that can work quite well, is that each of those images she’s loading up with them correctly named, but also lets people see straight away what their business does, who it helps, all that sort of information. Now, my views on my posts are quite small. Part of that is because the nature of what I’ve got on here, you know, I still you know, 90 people have seen these posts and that, which is better than none. Right. [plus complete lack of consistency!]
05:14 Use data to identify best performing photos and posts
But you see which ones actually have more interest, which are the ones, again, showing me doing an actual service. So rather than a tip post, which is only getting ninety views, one that is about me performing a sales topic, performing a presentation is actually getting nine hundred views. So why wouldn’t I do more of these type of posts than doing ones that are more like this? So that can help you give an idea like anything. It can help you give those insights into what type of posts work best.
05:47 Photos can generate HUGE views
Now one of my customers does blinds and so product ones work really, really, really well. So if you’ve got a product product-based business, put your products up. They had a photo of one of their blinds/curtains. They had 54,000 views [actually that was earlier went up to over 65k] of that particular post, so that was awesome. So definitely put those type of posts up, like I said, things that are connected to what you sell.
06:11 Weekly posts and lots of photos
So if you sell products, have lots and lots and lots of product pictures, if you sell a service and have pictures of you performing that service, that is what seems to work well. And it seems to be what gets the traction. I know one of my customers is a ballet service for little kids and they have lots of photos up on their Google My Business listing, they do the weekly posts and they get lots and lots of traction. So follow along that as well.
06:41 Image size for Google My Business posts
So this is loading the video up at the moment obviously I’ll leave that to load. And while its doing that, I’m going to go away and create myself an image that’s the correct size to upload to Google My Business.
So for Google My Business posts, the images need to be 1200px by 900px or 4:3 ratio. So roughly a 1200:900 photo. So I’m going to go get that ready, and then I’ll come back and show you how to upload it in a post.
07:09 Check video uploaded correctly
Great our video has uploaded and we can just check it here and make sure it’s playing okay. Just check that it’s doing everything it should do. ‘Why I come up with FAQ Business Training’. Right? It is. Okay, so that’s all working. So that’s cool. So right now that means that we actually have some videos up on our Google My Business listing. So if we go over here and we’ve got to see photos and stuff, we should find that new video is now in there.
07:39 Posts stay visible as a tile for restricted time
And there we are. There’s our video ‘Why I came up with FAQ Business Training, I was increasingly getting frustrated’. So my internet connection is not the best right now. Now, with posts, posts appear down here. They appear down here for 7 days and they can be extended to 14 days in certain circumstances, like if they are a Covid update. Now, I don’t recommend the Covid updates. They’re not as good. This one has actually been here for longer. So sometimes they will reappear here because in this case of kind of triggered by putting in an event up.
12:27 Photo ratio for Google My Business posts and events
So events stay up until the event date. So that makes them stay there a lot longer. So I put some events up as well. And if I want to get them out there and I’m going to show you how to load an event in a second. So this is appearing in the sidebar over here. You will have that sidebar listing if you are the only business.
08:33 Incognito searches can give more accurate results
Now, if I put in a search term like business training. Now, you would see here that mine actually does still appear in the sidebar. It’s because I’m typing this on my own computer, and it knows that I go and check myself out a lot or whatever. So it’s prompting it because of that, right. So even though there’s 140 searches, that’s certainly not going to show up in everyone. So don’t get lulled into that false sense of security. You could do an incognito search and you’d probably get a better outcome.
09:04 Reviews are in the algorithm, but are they that important?
So if I type in here, for instance, the words business training Penrith, once you add a locality, you’re almost always going to get the Google My Business maps, okay. It’s the maps listing. You have what’s called the three pack. In this case, it’s actually only put two in here, which is really interesting because when I looked at this just a few minutes earlier, it actually had three listings in there, one of which had no reviews. So it was kind of useful to actually display something. So you don’t have to have reviews to appear in the Google My Business results and you might notice that a lot of results you look for just simply don’t have it [reviews or have poor reviews. We know reviews are in the algorithm but clearly don’t rate that high, although that new rating filter will make ratings more important again!].
09:39 Targeting a locality
So in this case here. Yep, in the three pack here and we can see that, you know, it’s organic results of which my stuff is appearing a bit low here. So I’m not targeting the Penrith area hard enough at the moment if I really want to get ranking for Penrith. However, my Google My Business listing is high enough, because my location is in the Penrith area and it is picking it up [from words in my listing and website].
10:08 Creating a post
So I can certainly click on here, and that will go back to the panel and the results, which we will see here, and we will again see our posts. Which is great. So how do we create the posts? This is the key step we want to do now.
10:31 Select the Post section
So if we want to create the posts, we’re going to go into our Google My Business account. As I said, make sure that you’re either in your Google account and click it from here (dot dot dot) or type in Google My Business and then just click on the Google My Business, but making sure you’re in the correct Google account. Always check you’re in the right Google account. So we’re just going to go back to the home page. We’re going to go into our post section now. From post we can make a new post.
10:56 Creating Offer Posts in Google My Business
Now, you can add offers which we can type in percentage off and all that sort of detail. Make sure you click on the add more details because you will have a lot more details, including a link to redeem. So you can put in your Web address there that you want people to go to to actually redeem the offer. Please make sure you do that.
Now, this offer is another one that stays up. It doesn’t just disappear. It will stay up till the end date. So that’s useful.
11:23 What’s New posts and link buttons
What’s new? This could be a new product or service that you want to let people know about. Put the information in here. And again, we can add a button. As soon as we go add a button, learn more, we can put the link for the button.
So that’s another post type. So we can use that for anything. So that can be telling people about our new products, our services, letting them know something we do. But do bear in mind, try and keep it service or product related. It’s actually kind of the opposite of social media. Social media, you try to be helpful and useful and that side of it. Whereas in Google people are searching us and finding us and our Google My Business listings because they have the intent to buy.
Therefore they are looking to buy and therefore give them what they’re looking for, things that they can buy. Things that they can look at and go, oh, I want to look at that option for whatever they’re buying.
12:14 Create an Events post in Google My Business
So the other ones here are events. And I’m going to show you this one as an example, because the what’s new and offers are just basically the same as this with just slightly different fields. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to add a photo.
Photos must be a 1200:900 ratio. So I’m just going to go in here and grab the right size photo. So I’m just going to find my SEO basics. And then I’ve created a 1200 by 900 graphic, because my standard graphic I had there, the 1200 by 1200 or 600 by 600 in that case, is not the right size for Google My Business. So I’ve created a graphic just for that. So what I suggest you do, I personally use Photoshop Elements but you can use Canva or whatever, to create your background, to create your image and you can then just alter the words, the text whatever.
13:05 Title/heading of post – use keywords
So what I’m going to type in here is SEO Basics Online Workshop. Actually, I might go SEO basics training online workshop, so I’m trying to bring in some keywords. I’m trying to tell Google that I do training. In fact, I might reorder that, so I might go online training workshop, because online training is definitely a search phrase. Training workshop, not so much, but workshop, is SEO is. What I do is I’m going to click here to add a time because if I just have the add a date, it’s basically saying it’s going to try and put a whole period of dates in here.
13:41 Add the event date/time and description
So I don’t want that, so I can choose the second of June, but then they’ll ask me for an end date and I can obviously also put in the second of June, but it won’t put the time in. So make sure you go add time. And the event is from 10 in the morning to 12. So I just put that in there. Then there’s add more event details optional. I’ve got some event details I’ve copied from the event listing, so I’m saying you’ll learn some basic SEO techniques, conduct some research, we’ll cover the top ten ways. You’ve got 1500 characters here, which is quite a few, a lot more than, say, Twitter. So make sure you use them [but not all 1500 if you don’t need to or want to as you want them to go to the website].
14:22 What link should you use for your button?
Learn more [as the button]. I could have sign up, but in this case I’m telling them that there’s more that they can learn about this particular workshop here. And I’m going to send them in this case just to my training page. Now, I could send them to the actual event listing.
But what happens when I do that? A they don’t see what other things I teach, which is not that helpful. But also what they do, is it can cause a bounce, right. Because they’re going to go to that page and then they’re going to go straight to book a ticket with Western Sydney Business Centre who this is in conjunction with. And I’ll lose the traffic. Because it will say it’s a bounce. So instead of it being a bounce, what I’ve done is I’ve sent them to the upcoming events page, where they’ll have to do a little bit more work, because they’ll have to go down to find the event. But that will let them see other events like my YouTube training. So I want to do that.
15:14 Check the preview and publish your Google My Business post
Now, before we finish this, we can just go preview at the bottom there and we can just check it and make sure that that looks okay. So you can see it’s got the picture, it’s got the name of it, it’s got the date, the time, and it’s got that basic information and the learn more button. If I’m happy with that, I simply go publish.
15:35 Posting is simple to do
So as we can see, this is a very, very simple thing to do, and we click on this and I can tell us what it looks like in search results. So we’re going to see it over here. There it is. So when it is in those little post buttons, when people click the little post button, then it will come up as a bigger version. So it obviously just wasn’t quite in the actual little post section yet. But that is how it appears to the audience, which is really cool. So there’s quite a lot of information there, they can see a lot. They can also then say other things. Oh, there’s also a YouTube one. Now, as you can see that one there, the picture got cut off because I just was a bit lazy and just used my square picture. So make sure your picture is 1200px by 900px, because otherwise it won’t fit in that spot appropriately and it will look bad.
16:25 The old posts are still there
So there’s you know, you see other posts I put there, I put stuff about the local business awards, about upcoming training, about all sorts of things that are happening in my business. So that is creating posts. So my recommendation for posts, so with events, you can put them up when you’re ready to sell tickets, put them up and they’ll stay up to the day of the event. So this particular post will stay up until the second of June. So that’s fine.
16:49 Post weekly
But what I also want to do, is I put up a post, well I should be putting up a post once a week. So what that does is it’s telling Google about the different products and services and things that I offer. It is also telling the clients about it, but really we’re telling Google about it. So we want to communicate to Google what we do. We want them to know that we are the best results for these searches. We want to make sure that we are appearing number one for our listing. And we’re also appearing over here in the search results here, which is the Google My Business knowledge panel. So we want to be here. So and obviously, if I click that little arrow, then obviously it’s going to bring up this listing anyway. So that is the post functionality.
17:33 Posting videos and photos
The video functionality is if we want photos and videos to show here, then we can go in instead of to the post section all we’re going to do is go down to the photo section and we’re going to upload photos or videos.
For videos, I personally found when I uploaded this video up here that I’ve just put on, that it didn’t work well in that respect that I couldn’t load it. I was very frustrated because I was told 100 megabytes and 30 seconds was the limit, but it was clearly less than that, because it would not work. So I ended up doing a 22 second video that was 68mb and that did work. So just keep it a bit smaller, keep it shorter, and hopefully then the video will go up.
18:23 Team pictures seem to do well
So we have different things that we can load here. We can load some pictures of the team. Since people are seeming to like the actual presentation side of it. I could probably see if I can find a picture of me actually doing an event. OK, so we find the pictures that we want, in this case, I’m going to do it under [my folder] workshop media. And what I can do then is find an event photo that I want to put up.
18:50 Don’t need to resize photos for web
So putting up obviously photos of events and things is a good idea because we can see that they perform okay. So what I might do is just say grab this one. That was a little bit small. Just grab that one there which is the original file and I can open this up, and if it’s too big I can resize it. But remember this isn’t going on your website, so it doesn’t have to be sized for your website. When you’re putting it on your website, you resize it to being small.
I would leave that. That’s fine. So you can see here that it’s actually cut it off. But when I click on it, it does have the full size image. So at least I can se that people are in the room doing things. So that’s useful. So that is kind of the team, or at work, or whatever. So we have different pictures that we have here. So we could go, and I’m going to go in here, and I’m going to select a photo of me ‘at work’, which is me being on stage presenting.
19:45 Show yourself ‘at work’
So these pictures might be a little bit small. I’ve already saved them a bit smaller. That one’s a bit bigger so maybe I’ll do one of these ones. Yeah, we’ll go for this one. So this is me at work, this is me presenting at a conference. I might want to add another one of me presenting in a different type of event. It just means that someone looks me up and that they can see me. You know, doing things. This here is from the small business, a small business event that I did. So that could be another good one because it’s got someone quite famous in the picture with me. So that could be useful. So put these sort of pictures up that show me at work, me presenting and that’s good.
20:35 Padding out your profile
So we just have overview videos. We have different videos. So now what I’ve done is posted an event. I posted a couple of pictures from being at work and things, and now we’re just padding out our profile a bit more.
20:48 Driving traffic to your website through links
So what they tell us about this is that this improve your click-through rates (CTR) because people will come to your posts and then they will go, oh, what’s this about? Then they go learn more and where does the learn more go? It goes to your website. So it definitely improves your click-through rates (CTR) for the posts. So the posts are going to drive traffic to your website, to the page that you chose. And voila, we can see the SEO basics training workshop, which they can go ahead and book.
21:20 Massive difference in visibility
So do make sure that you are using these functions to the maximum. So creating a post is really simple. Please use it, please post photos, please post videos and let’s get your Google My Business working for you. Trust me, I’ve had clients do this and they’ve said the massive difference that it makes is huge. They’re constantly in that three pack and they’re just always appearing in the search results for the key terms they want to rank for. So really, use this to your advantage. Use those posts when you’re doing the post, to get those keywords in there and really rock out your Google My Business listing.
21:56 Check out the blog for more tips how to optimise Google My Business
But wait, there’s more. Unlike free steak knives, this is actually useful. So there is a blog on my website, over at faqbusinesstraining.com.au, where you can find Google My Business Top 15 Tips. It is a whole lot of information about how to go through and optimise your Google My Business profile. So today we’ve covered one aspect of it, just the posts and the photos and videos. But this is everything else.
So you’ll have a look here. There’s heaps and heaps of information. Have a look through this. There’s the picture of the curtains that generated 54,000 views (actually much higher now). This is huge numbers. So there is a summary here. Of all the things that we suggest that you do. I strongly suggest you have a read of this post. Our analytics show that people are spending a good ten to fifteen minutes on this post. So they’re clearly sitting there and literally going line by line and going, okay, change that, change that.
So it’s a really good post. Definitely have a look and check it out over at our website. Okay, thank you for checking us out, Jane Tweedy from FAQ Business Training.