Google Posts are a new feature that every local business should be using right now.
These posts are basically free advertising on Google. When someone is searching for the products and services you sell, and your business comes up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) then they will see the post in the knowledge panel (see below).
What this does for you is to make your business stand out from your competitors in the SERPs so that it gets chosen over your competition.
First, make sure you have a verified Google My Business account. That’s where it all begins. It’s free, so just sign up and get your account verified if you haven’t done so already.
Google Posts Defined
Google Posts is a feature that allows businesses to create content directly on Google which appears in the Google Knowledge Panel for their business.
The Google Knowledge Panel is the box that appears at the right-hand side of the page after certain Google searches.
A post may contain a photo that will be cropped to a square, and be up to 300 words long.
However, only the first 100* characters show in the Google Knowledge Panel, so the first 100 characters are where you need to put your most important selling points.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say someone has low back pain and their looking for help from a local chiropractor.
So they search for “chiropractor low back pain treatment” in Google.
Here’s one result they would see.
You’ll see all of the information you’ve always seen like the name, address, phone number, the website button, map, reviews, etc.
However, just below that, front and center, you’ll see the Google Post.
The part in the knowledge panel cuts off at the first 100 characters, so that is where you put the most important selling points.
In that post you’ll see persuasive copy that the business has added to catch the eye of the searcher to drive them to their business.
For instance, this business has added a benefit (back pain relief now) and a compelling reason to pay this clinic a visit (free consultation).
This is a free billboard right where your best prospects will see it.
You’ll also see an optional “call to action button.” What that does is take a searcher to a web page the business would like the searcher to see.
In this case the business is taking them to a landing page on their website that gives details about the free consultation.
Posts can include images and other calls to action like “Sign Up”, “Buy”, or “Learn More” to drive traffic to a designated landing page.
So, businesses can determine how to connect with potential new customers who are searching for businesses like theirs using a simple path to conversion with these direct calls to action.
If someone were to click on the Google Post itself they would see a pop up with the full verbiage for the post.
Here’s what that looks like.
As you can see, Google Posts allows users to create and share promotional and important information directly through their Google My Business account. You would be posting, in real time, to promote important happenings about your business.
Why you should use Google Posts
First, It’s basically free advertising for your business.
Second, it helps you to make your business stand out in a unique way from your local competitors.
You can catch the eye of your best prospects, who are actively searching for products and services like yours, and persuade them to come to your business instead of your competitors around the corner.
You can use Google Posts to do the following.
- Promote upcoming events.
- Share timely offers, like seasonal sales, clearances or special deals.
- Showcase your best selling products, services and/or new merchandise.
- Make special announcements.
So, a simple Google search will allow your customers, and best prospects, to find your latest promotion or event without even having to visit your website.
Google Posts are instantaneous. They show up fast and automatically in a Google Search
By creating regular posts for your business your chances of a search engine paying more attention to your listing is higher and may result in a higher ranking in the SERP.
There are many of other factors involved in local Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but Google Posts is a new feature and a quick-win to improve your local search ranking.
With Google Posts you can create posts that generate traffic by encouraging clicks to your website and increase brand awareness.
The bottom line is that Google posts will help convert more prospects into paying customers.
Google Post Tips & Information
If you don’t already have a Google My Business account click the following link to sign up, create the account and then verify that you own the business.
When you start posting you can use the following tips as a checklist for creating a new post.
- Use compelling descriptions that are short. Remember, the first 100 characters are the most important. Put your strongest selling point(s) here.
- Use eye catching images. A good size is about 750×750 pixels and you should not go smaller than 250×250 pixels.
- Make sure the images are “center-weighted” so that the main focus of the image is not cropped out. Especially if it is a head shot.
- Use Google Posts to draw attention to sales, events, promotions, unique selling propositions and strong selling points that may give you an advantage over your local competition at a given point in time.
- Don’t stuff your post with a bunch of keywords thinking it’s going to help you with local SEO. Google won’t fall for that.
- Use call to action buttons and drive searchers to a high converting landing page if you can. Get these prospects into your sales funnel!
- Most Google Posts expire after seven days, but an event promotion lasts until the event has taken place.
- Keep in mind that new posts will bump a prior post down and it won’t be seen in the knowledge panel like the most current post.
- You can set an event post with no specified end time to keep as a promotional post, but, as mentioned earlier, any new Google Post would bump it down in the timeline.
- Google Posts give you the ability to upload images and a post every day.
- You can link the call to action button to a page on your website and even share it on social media.
- Try using Google Posts to promote daily specials if you have a restaurant or in-store promotions for clothing stores. Get creative!
- Google Posts are a great for making a newsworthy announcement like moving to a new location, reaching a milestone or winning a big award.
Google Post Wrap Up
According to Google, 70% of people look at multiple businesses before making a final choice, so businesses should make the most of the opportunity to provide compelling promotional information to potential customers with Google Posts.
Google will certainly continue to improve this posting feature and expand its functionality. How it will change over time is anyone’s guess, but using it now can give your business a big advantage over your competitors who don’t.
Do not miss this opportunity. Google Posts are truly a powerful and exciting new way to generate new traffic.
Start using Google Posts today!
*Note: Google may be changing how many characters show up in the knowledge panel descriptions. They have said the first 100 show up, but sometimes I see fewer than that.
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