You already know that Google is the search king – but now there’s a new way for local businesses to use it.
We’re talking about Google Posts. You might not be using this feature of Google My Business yet…
But you should.
In fact, done properly, Google Posts can help you share vital information about your business – and attract new customers.
What’s a Google Post?
In case you don’t already know, a Google Post is a short post (300 characters or less) that you can create using GMB. Most businesses use them to:
- Promote upcoming events
- Share daily specials and current promotions
- Showcase your top-selling products
- Highlight newly arrived products
- Connect with customers by including a clickable link
The posts last only a week, so this is a marketing tactic that you need to use on an ongoing basis for it to be effective.
Where Do Customers See Google Posts?
When customers search for your business, they see a box displaying information about your business at the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
That box is Google’s Knowledge Panel, and it’s where your Google Posts will appear after you create them.
In other words…
Creating a Google Post ensures that anyone who searches for your business will see, highlighted at the top of the screen, a post of your choosing.
Make the Most of Google Posts
Are you ready to start creating your first Google Post? Here are some tips to help you out.
Don’t Worry about Keywords
While keywords play a big role in your placement on Google’s SERP, they have nothing to do with your Google Posts.
The best use of a Google Post is to highlight a unique selling proposition, announce an event, or get customers to make a reservation or sign up for your list.
You only have 300 words to use – so make every word count and focus on getting customers to take the action you want them to take.
Use a Properly-Sized Image
As you might expect, Google Posts have guidelines for images. If your image is too small or too large, Google will reject it.
The ideal image is 750 X 750 pixels. Anything smaller than 250 X 250 will be rejected. Making sure to resize your image if needed will ensure that it displays the way you want it to.
Center Weight Your Images
The next tip is to make sure you center weight your images. If you don’t, you’ll run the risk of having the top of your image chopped off.
The last thing you want is to post a picture of yourself with the top of your head missing – so be careful and use this tip to ensure your image looks great.
Create a Unique URL
One of the few downsides of using Google Posts is that Google Analytics doesn’t break out their performance so you can track your results. However, there is a way around that.
Instead of sending traffic from your Google Posts to your home page or your usual landing page, create a unique URL.
That way, you can track every click that comes to you via the Google Post link and get a good idea of which posts are working – and which ones aren’t.
Perfect Your First 100 Characters
As we mentioned above, your Google Post may contain up to 300 characters… but they won’t all show up in the Knowledge Panel.
Only the first 100 words will appear there, and that means they must be perfect.
To get the results you want, craft the first 100 words so that they’re clear and appealing. You should also take care to make sure that you don’t get cut off in the middle of a sentence.
That might sound persnickety, but you want to highlight your value proposition clearly so that people know they want to take action as soon as they see it.
Google Posts are Made to be Shared
One of our favorite things about Google Posts is that they’re meant to be shared. In fact, each post has a share button on it, and clicking it will give customers the chance to share it on:
In addition, each post has a unique URL that people can use to share it in other places.
Keep sharing in mind when you conceptualize your posts, particularly when you’re highlighting an event or a new product. They’re a great way to get the word out on social media.
How often should you create a new Google Post? The short answer is: frequently.
Here’s why. Each Google Post you create will be live for a maximum of 7 days. The exceptions are:
- Posts highlighting future events stay active until the event is over
- If you create more than 10 posts per week, only the most recent 10 will display
Multiple posts display in a carousel format with the newest post first. When the knowledge panel displays, people will be able to see the first two posts in their entirety, plus half of the third.
Keeping the overall display in mind while creating Google Posts can help you attract customers.
Have Future Posts Lined Up
Unfortunately, at this point Google doesn’t allow businesses to schedule future posts. It’s an inconvenience for sure, but you can still prep your posts in advance and then post them manually.
Since frequent posting is a must, it’s a good idea to create several posts at once and have them in the queue so you can share them when the time comes.
Know the Exceptions
While most businesses can take advantage of Google Posts, there’s one exception. Businesses in the hotel industry cannot currently create Google Posts. However, that may change in the future.
The other exception you need to know about regards the images you post. As of this writing, videos and GIFs are not supported. You’ll need to focus on compelling photographs if you want to create Google Posts.
Want to Increase Your Clicks from Google?
Creating Google Posts provides potential customers with valuable information that can help them make the decision to click, reserve, buy – or to visit your business in person.