Earlier this month, the folks over at Search Engine Journal posted an interesting article about the dangers of posting duplicate content via your Google Business Profile (or "GBP," and formerly "Google My Business") account.
It seems Google now considers duplication of any GBP artifact to be "spam." That's right, any post, photo, video, or logo that's repeated is not only a waste of time, it's likely not even being seen.
While it's an interesting bit of news for sure, it should be of particular interest to any small business owners out there who handle their own Google Business Profile account.
Well, like most things digital marketing for small businesses, it's a second or even a third job most of the time. Owners have a lot to do (i.e. enough to do) just offering the great products and services that put them into business in the first place without having to learn extra, hard-to-obtain skills doing very time-consuming tasks designed to market their companies to customers and clients.
That means even doing the bare minimum to keep up with day-to-day, week-to-week marketing activities like posting weekly specials or updating the market with news is hard to do consistently. When you can do it, re-using things like wording, graphics, pics, and videos seems like a great way to be efficient, right?
Nope, looks now like it's wrong. And harmful to your business.
As with many Google developments related to content marketing over the last few years (i.e. blogs, GBP posts, etc.), uniqueness is vital. Since Google came about, it's been a cliche that "content is king" as far as SEO and Google Search rankings go, but now it seems that "new, unique content is king."
That means to be successful you have to be part graphic designer, writer, and social media expert too.
So how can an already busy small business owner keep up and avoid having their GBP profile flagged as spam?
Here are few ways to stay clear of the trouble and improve your position too:
- Hire an intern - Chances are you operate your business near some kind of institute of higher learning. Colleges and universities are seeing an ever-increasing number of students enrolling in fields of study that surround digital marketing and, in particular, social media. Many of these students are not only learning the business aspects of digital marketing, but they're also learning the tools and techniques required nowadays to get the word out through digital channels about news, updates, products, and services. As most students are also always in need of extra cash, this means you can bring on a part-time, tech and social media-savvy young professional for affordable hourly rates to make sure your GBP (and social) posts are always unique.
- Outsource to a freelancer - These days you can hire someone online to do just about anything you need when it comes to websites, apps, social media, or digital marketing. Sites like https://www.upwork.com/, https://www.thumbtack.com/, or https://www.bark.com/ let you login and find lots of available experts who can help keep you from trouble with your GBP and expand your marketing efforts too. The best thing about these services is you use them when you need them, then stop whenever you want. Just be sure to properly vet the experts you hire to avoid cybercriminals and scammers.
- Hire a marketing firm - With the increase in professionals focusing on web marketing, social media, and digital ads, it's easier than ever to hire a marketing firm focused on small business that also fits your budget too. Look for providers that offer web bundles that include a great website set up for Google Search as well as setup for your Google Business Profile too. Usually, these companies will have add-on packages or extra service offerings that will have them manage your GBP and social media posting for a monthly fee. This route also offers the advantage of having someone integrate your GBP posting with your blog or website for better Search Engine Optimization, or "SEO."
- Use tools to DIY - There are plenty of tool out there today that you can learn to use and keep yourself on a good GBP path. For creative cards, images, and graphics, a tool like https://www.canva.com/ is an indispensable asset if you intend to market your business on the web, GBP, and social media. As well, paying for a monthly subscription to a stock image and video service such as https://www.istockphoto.com/ is essential too so you have unique pics with a license to use them. Tools like https://www.socialchamp.io/ are also critical so you can automate the scheduling of all your social and GBP posts thereby lowering the time it takes each week to get the word out to all your channels. Of course, the DIY route is still going to be time consuming and comes with extra subscriptions for these valuable tools, but savvy owners can learn quickly and still do the job.
No matter the route you take, avoid posting duplicate content via your business profile so you don't end up in the Google Search spam bin where no one will ever see what your business offers.
Get a free GBP review
Let us take a look at your account and see if you're taking full advantage of what Google Business Profile has to offer for your company. We can also get you a quote to handle your weekly or monthly posting too (no dupes, we promise).