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Google My Business,  Google Posts

How to Use Google Posts to Outshine Your Competitors

 

Need a cool and easy way to stand out from the competition? Businesses that have a claimed and verified Google My Business listing can give it some instant personality. The Google Posts feature gives you the ability to literally bring your listing to life and give it some swag!

What are Google Posts?

Google Posts provides an excellent way to update existing and potential customers with relevant information about your business. Posts can be used to announce:

  • daily specials
  • discounts
  • product restock
  • promotions
  • upcoming events 
  • store closings (weather, unforeseen circumstances)

They can include animated GIFs, images or videos to engage your audience. My favorite Google Posts feature is the custom call-to-action (CTA) button or links to drive customers to specific content.

Where will my Google Posts appear?

When a customer does a branded search (search for your business by name) the Google Posts appear in the:

  • Knowledge Panel
  • Smartphone/Tablet view
  • Google My Business Website
  • Google Maps

 

Knowledge Panel with Google Posts - Local SEO Whisperer
Knowledge Panel

 

On a desktop or laptop computer Google Posts appear on your Google My Business listing in the Knowledge Panel. It is located on the right side of the page.

The window cleaning service above utilized Google Posts  (highlighted in red) to share an image that provides proof of product. An addition Post (on the right) included a picture of work done for a satisfied customer. The business owner notes that the customer could not find any other business to complete the task.

Notice that a CTA button has been placed in the ad. The customer can conveniently ‘book’ an appointment, right there from the Google My Business listing! If the customer clicks on the Google Post (not the CTA button) they will see the full size:

Actual size of a Google Post - Local SEO Whisperer
Google Posts {Full Size}

 

Potential and existing customers will view a larger image, the complete word description and the CTA button―my favorite!

 

Google Posts view on Smartphone - Local SEO Whisperer
Google Posts on Smartphone

 

On a smartphone the customer will see one and a half Google Posts on your listing. The CTA button will also be visible (so be sure to add one!). The Posts will appear at the top of your listing (prime marketing real estate!). Google Posts can also be viewed from the ‘Posts’ tab.

 

Google Posts viewed on Google My Business website
Google Posts on Google My Business Website

On your Google My Business website, Google Posts are located directly under the header in the section marked ‘Updates’.  The website will feature up to three of your most recent Google Posts (highlighted in red). If the post includes a CTA button (highlighted in yellow) the button will also appear on the website.

Each and every time a Google Post is created the Google My Business website is immediately updated. Their is a ‘VIEW ALL’ link below the updates that will direct customers to the rest of your Google Posts.

After claiming and verifying your Google My Business listing, Google gifts your business a websiteYes you read right! You receive a FREE easy to customize one-page website. Even if you already have a website you should consider taking advantage of this mini-site. Why? This is more digital real estate to drive customers to your main website, social media properties and storefront.

 

Google Posts viewed on Google Maps - Local SEO Whisperer
Google Posts on Google Maps

 

Google Posts are also visible in the Google Maps business listing. Posts appear directly under the reviews rating and business information (highlighted in the red above).

Why Google Posts?

Google Posts provides an easy way to outshine your competitors and provide better engagement with people searching for your business. Consider adding posts to your digital marketing mix for the following reasons:

Search Engines are the Beginning of the Customer Journey

According to Google, 82% of consumers use search engines to research and obtain local information. NetMarketShare has reported that Google is responsible for 93% of search traffic online. These two reasons alone, make your Google My Business listing the perfect place to display what makes your business awesome. Google also notes:

 

“Even when customers know exactly what they’re looking for, they still want to get to know the business and see what it has to offer. That’s why Google My Business is bringing [Google] Posts to local businesses — an easy way to help attract new customers and build relationships with the customers you already have.”

 

Your Competitors Aren’t Aware of Google Posts, Yet

An unbelievable, 56% of local retailers and small businesses have NOT claimed there business listing.

 

So many businesses are missing the opportunity to connect with customers on a platform with a wider reach then Facebook! It’s a terrible shame, that has the potential to be a complete gold mine to the early adopters (like yourself). Leave competitors that are fast asleep in the dust with a more user-friendly and visually appealing listing.

 

Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons Drive Traffic

Google Posts provides a new way for customers to take immediate action with one click. As previously mentioned, Posts that contain an engaging image, brief description and a CTA button can inspire or motivate prospects. Customers can be encouraged to take action, including:

  • attend an event
  • book an appointment
  • buy a product
  • contact directly (via phone, email, web contact form)
  • learn more
  • reserve a seat
  • sign up (discount, newsletter, webinar, etc.)

Check out 12 Awesome Ways to Use Google Posts to Make Your Listing ‘Sexy’ to Attract More Customers {28 Examples included!}

Boost Local SEO

Google Posts helps businesses have a strong presence in Google’s local search engine infrastructure. By themselves, Google Posts will not increase SEO, but they can provide a way to draw attention to your content. Posting highly  engaging and relevant content can increase click-through-rate to your website. Figure out the style of Google Posts that work the best for your audience. Any natural traffic your business receives will create higher quality backlinks.

Using Google Posts also helps Google’s algorithms to get acquainted with your content, in order to make appropriate recommendations for searchers.

Give Your Content Some Swag

Google Posts provides a new way to deliver content with the opportunity to further your brand. Your business will be highly visible to existing customers and prospects in a new place. Be sure to make your Google Posts memorable and consistent with your brand for the best results.

Pro Tips: Success with Google Posts

Keep these Google Post tips top of mind:

  • Make the first 80 characters (approx. 12-15 words) in the word description of your Google Posts count. That’s all potential customers will see in the Knowledge Panel. 

 

  • In effort to guarantee fresh content is being shared, Google will delete your Posts from Knowledge Panel after 7 days. So post content often, but be sure that the content is exceptional!

 

  • Google Posts that announce events remain active in the Knowledge Panel until the event is over.

 

  • If you create a variety of Google Posts the newest Posts will be visible first. Note that up to 10 Posts can be scrolled in carousel format. REMEMBER: Only 2 of the newest posts are visible in the Knowledge Panel on SERP without scrolling through the carousel.

 

  • The ideal image size for a Google Post is 750 x 750, the minimum size allowed is 250 x 250.

 

  • Google Posts are a great way to engage or motivate customers to do business with you. Be sure to provide intriguing, valuable content for prospects. This is not another place to display your logo or dull content. (Side Note: This is not about you, it’s about how you can connect with your audience). Get creative! Feature: events, sales, interesting facts, reviews from satisfied customers , employee of the month, humorous content (related to your brand), etc.

 

  • Write headlines that provoke action “Join Our Club for Free” or “Get a Free Slice of Pizza”.

 

  • For each Google Post, ALWAYS include a clear call-to-action with a CTA button such as, “Book Now”, “Buy”, “Call Now”,  “Learn More”, “Sign Up”, “Visit”, etc., to drive more traffic to your business.

 

  • Google Posts provides insights regarding the number of clicks and views, but does NOT integrate with Google Analytics at this time! (crazy,right?) To find out if the posts are converting (or other metrics) track all activity with Google’s Campaign URL Builder. This tool will enable you to create a unique URL for the CTA button. {Not sure how to track your success? Details below!}

 

  • As per Google, Posts are not currently available for businesses that provide accommodation or lodging services such as hotels. (Sorry Guys!)

How to Track Your Success with Google Posts

As previously mentioned, to measure what’s working (and not working) with Google Posts use UTM codes to track all activity. UTM codes can be obtained with Google’s Campaign URL Builder. The tool provides the ability to create unique URL’s to pair with each CTA button and other links.

 

Google Campaign URL Builder - Local SEO Whisperer
Campaign URL Builder

 

1. First enter the website URL that your CTA button will link to.

2. For Campaign Source, enter the source you identify with this campaign. You can select whatever you’d like, I strongly recommend using “GooglePosts” or some variation (“Google-Posts”, “googleposts”, “google_posts”) to make it easier remember the source you are tracking.

3. Since searchers will find your Google Posts via organic searches for your business, it is highly recommended to set the Campaign Medium to “organic”.

4. Use Campaign Name to identify a specific campaign name, product or promotion. The name can vary across each Google Post.

5. After you input all the above information you can share the new URL that has been generated (highlighted in red the box pictured above). I strongly recommend you click ‘convert URL to Short Link’. Doing so will turn that extremely long uninviting link into a smaller and more visually appealing beauty.

The Verdict

 

If you are not using Google Posts, I hope that the reason is because this is your first time hearing about it.

I hate to think that any business owner that has actually heard about this AMAZING opportunity to display engaging well-timed information in front of prospects (locally and abroad), would pass it up.

Simply stated if you haven’t gotten started with Google Posts, you NEED to (before your competitors do!). You’d be absolutely insane not to―if you need help from a Google My Business expert I am here for you!

I am a certified digital marketing expert specializing in local SEO. Let me create the perfect digital strategy to optimize and manage your claimed and verified Google My Business listing for maximum results!

Contact the Local SEO Whisperer today I absolutely love this stuff!

 

Are you using Google Posts for your small business? Let me know in the comments below!

Want to win Big with Google Post? Check out 12 Ways to Make Your Google My Business Listing Sexy to Attract More Customers:

12 Ways to Make Google My Business Sexy

 

 

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Ashley Neal is a certified Digital Marketing Consultant specializing in, Local SEO, Google My Business and PPC Ads for small businesses seeking to grow.

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