In July 2017 Google My Business rolled out Google Posts direct to users via their account which allows users to publish events, products, offers and services directly into search results and have been expanding, testing and refining the display of these ever since.
Google Posts can influence and convert customers whilst potentially having an impact in local positions, sounds brilliant, but why are more businesses not using this feature? In my mind there are three principal reasons.
- More than 60% of businesses have not claimed or verified their Google Business Listing – you need to have claimed and verified your Google Business Listing in order to utilise Google Posts;
- The name Google Post has connotations of creating a post on Google Plus (yes, that’s still a thing);
- A regular Google Post has a lifespan of 7 days – despite this, businesses are happy to spend a considerable amount of time using Facebook or Twitter which does not put your product direct in search.
Google Posts in Search Results
Google Posts appear direct in the businesses knowledge panel.
Google Posts also appear within local results and maps.
Now that you know where these appear, lets dive into where they are, setting one up and whats works best in influencing and converting customers.
Getting Started with Google Posts
As mentioned earlier, you can only use and access this feature if you have claimed and verified your Google Business Listing. If you haven’t done, this you can start – here.
If your business listing is already verified:
- Log into your Google My Business account: https://business.google.com/locations
- Select the Business
- Select Posts in Menu
- Create a Post
- Add an Image (800 x 600 is ideal)
- Write the Post (100 ““ 300 words)
- Add a Call to Action Button
Types of Google Posts
Posts available will depend on the type of business category being used by the business listing.
Typical posts available:
- Announcement (Whats New)
- Event – Date and Time
- Offer – Vouchers Available
- Product – Pricing Available
A Google Post lasts for 7 days
Events last until the End Date and Time listed.
Creating Posts that Convert
Posts will have a different user intent based on the type of business, also frequency. An accountant may not post frequently but coming up to the end of the tax year they could start using posts as a reminder to users “File Your Tax Return” with a “Call Us” CTA.
A restaurant may post weekly specials or use the product post for a new item on the menu with vouchers. You could also use the announcement tab to promote a relevant new blog article on site. The thing to keep in mind is to find whats works for your type of business and to use UTM tracking to enable you to make informed decisions on what users react to.
Images: Use high quality, clear images that convey the messaging and intent of the post. You can also use video instead of an image, see what your customers appreciate and respond to.
Messaging: Create a headline and all the necessary information required for a user to make an informed decision. Ensure you include your keywords within the title.
Call to Action: Decide on the appropriate CTA – book, call, click through – to the relevant page on site.
Google Posts provide a unique and highly visible opportunity for you to talk to your customers and the community in which you run your business. This will take a little bit of trial and error to find that sweet spot with your customers, but it will be worth the effort.