Pianos on Parade on 3rd and Hennepin

Show off Your Local and Make Your Own Google Posts

I became intrigued with this yesterday reading a post from Mike Blumenthal titled Google Posts Rolls Out Worldwide. You can now own more search engine real estate by providing short, recent posts, right on your Google Local Business Knowledge Graph.

Google Posts

Google recommends these posts be between 100 and 300 characters long (plus a quality photo). We recommend sticking closer to 100. This reads well for the user, plus Google only originally displays the 1st 100 characters in the listing.

For the photo, use one similar that you would use for Instagram. Google lets you crop it and move it around all slick like until it’s just right for you.

You can place a call-to-action to these posts with a URL whether it’s to entice users to buy, visit your site, book a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, or whichever you want your call-to-action to be.

Call to Action

For you businesses who wonder if you should start a blog, this just may be it. At least, Google hopes you think so. You would give consumers fresh, compelling content right in front of them while keeping the content within Google itself.

In Google’s announcement, they give you 4 standard examples.

Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.

Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.

Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.

Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.

Let’s customize a few to the Twin Cites letting customers know of these all while just doing branded searches for you.

  • Local summer road closures – ‘Tis the season. We all see it. Proactively let your customers know of this coming weekend alternative routes to you.
  • Date Specials – Some local restaurants have weekly date specials such as pizza and 1/2 off bottle of wine. Keep your customers informed.
  • Events at local areas of interests – Summers are full of different events at places like Loring Park, Mears Park in Lowertown, Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony main. Keep customers informed and up-to-date on all the different events at the users favorite places.

The list could go on and on. Just be creative.

Note: This can be all done on a laptop, but you can do this all on the mobile, too. Give it a try and keep up to date since this is where your users are going. When using the mobile to log into Google My Business, this screenshot is of a very user-friendly way to create these posts.

Create Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, being Google it’s easy to share to other places. curious to how it’s perceived on Facebook so I sent this out.Share to Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share or not share on other places? Will local businesses catch on? This is still brand new so the verdict is still out there.

 

 

Google Map of Pride Parade

Custom TC Pride Parade Map and Route

The Twin Cities press does a great job provide information of the upcoming Pride Festival. As well, Google recently came out with finding Pride events in 35 cities worldwide on your mobile device. Of the 35, Google currently doesn’t include the Twin Cities, which sounds strange, but here is an interactive, customized Google Map for the Twin Cities Parade route, businesses and areas of interest for you to edit, view, add, share, and call your own!

As well, here’s a link to the editable map to view and use including the weekend Light Rail closure.

For nearby businesses, use the editable link above to add or edit your business through Google My Business and include updated hours, photos and special to help encourage users to visit you during the whole Pride weekend.

Google Local Guide Levels

New Points Levels for Google Local Guides

Now available to its Local Guides, Google lets you reach new levels up to 10. The numbering system for actions such as edits, reviews and photos have changed and are retroactive. This means you may already be leveled up without doing a thing.

It’s not a big surprise, but they are now placing more relative points for reviews and photos at 5 points each in a believed effort to increase quality.

For active users, this update seems to be more for recognition purposes although there are a few perks for those who reach level 4-10.

3 Months of Google Play

  • Free three-month subscription to the Google Play Store
  • 75% off rental in the Google Play Movie Store
  • Access to unique badges to showcase your levels

For me, it may benefit Google when I see this as I’m currently weighing the pros and cons at just using one service.

There will still be lookouts for spammers, fake reviews and as Mike Blumenthal eloquently puts them, “spewers” just as there are in other disciplines in search.

Overall, it’s a nice touch offered to Google Local Guides whether they use it for perks, recognition, or improving maps for users in their area.

 


LocalMN Interactive
Have an opinion on this post? Share it on your own Twitter or Facebook page.

LocalMN 101 – Google Photos for Businesses

Google Photos can be used best when thinking as a user. You can use it on its own, for Google products such as Maps, or an organizer to distribute your photos to Apple Maps, other local portals or social sites such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

And,  you can use all of this solely for SEO reasons. Please don’t.

As mentioned in the video, it can take awhile to set up and customized to your liking or needs. An organized Google Photos account can be like a switchboard. Once it’s ready and you need a photo, you can pretty much pick it, then title, describe, tag it and place where you need it.

 


LocalMN Interactive provides years of local search experience, including Google Trusted Street View Photography. Ask for a quote for a website redesign, marketing and photography services through our contact page, phone or your social media portal of your choice.

LocalMN 301 – Using Your Google Photos on Sites that are NOT Google

Now you should have a good idea how to organize your Google Photos and the basics on how to use Google My Business to submit them to Google Maps.

Now how about using your Google Photos, that you own, and place them on places that even compete with Google?

How about Siri?

Siri uses a lot of business information including photos from Yelp. Your business can sign up to Yelp for free to where you can upload your organized Google photos.

Yelp Photo

Yelp Photo

Of course there’s Apple Maps itself. You can sign in to Apple Maps Connect for free by just using your Apple ID, then add your organized Google photos. Speaking of Apple, many don’t know that Apple Maps is the default when you open your iPhone box. You could be searching Yelp results without even knowing you’re talking to Siri.

The same concept can apply to many other local/social portals including:

  • Bing
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Foursquare
  • Flickr
  • Pinterest

Just like Google, it’s important to add titles, descriptions and (geo)tags to each, individual photo. As well, you can do these either on a desktop or mobile with their apps. Whichever is more convenient for you.

Why would you do this for all of these sites?

Because Google loves these sites.

If you do a branded company search and the businesses have done this, not to mention your own site, the first page will be flooded with your portals. It’s even better for the user. Depending on their wants, they may specifically be looking for your Facebook page, Instagram feed or even Pinterest boards.

In the end, you still have all of your Google photos, organized to your needs or liking. All of this is a time saver, organizer, SEO tool, and user tool all wrapped into one. The time it takes you to do this is valuable, although the outside costs can be as little as nothing.


LocalMN Interactive offers full local search services which includes this, photography of your business and even overall digital marketing. Contact us to learn more.

48 Hours in Minneapolis/St Paul with a Custom Map

What should you do? Plenty I suppose! It’s really easy to get around, especially with public transit and bike-sharing. You can even add to the map for others to enjoy. First, a link to the map as well as the map itself.

A few notes:

I put just one place for accommodations for each city. I highly recommend setting up at the Radisson Red Minneapolis. Use your phone to book your room, open your door, order a pillow, order just about anything then head down to their OUI Bar & Ktchn and have Sari, #bridgey, Wil and Matt serve you food and beverages. They are four individuals that work perfectly together as one team.

Downtown St. Paul is really unique. It’s large enough to pretty much do anything, get around by foot, Green Line Light Rail, bus and Nice Ride bike-sharing. Even in the coldest winter days you can walk around via skyway.

The Ft. Snelling/Mendota Bridge area is a hidden gem for trail-walking. Remember to bring hydration for all of you as there aren’t really any convenience stores nearby. As close as it is to city limits, it’s pretty much you, scenery and the wilderness.

Familiar with the areas? Add to the map to share with others! We’d love to hear from you.