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In the world of Google, it feels like there’s something new every day. If you’ve been keeping up with Google’s updates, you may have heard of a new feature for business owners that they’re calling “Google Posts.” Or, if you’ve logged in to your company’s verified Google My Business profile, you may have seen a new section labeled “Posts” with a bright blue bubble that says, “NEW.”
So, what on earth are Google posts, and how do you use them? Let’s start with the basics.
What Are Google Posts?
Google Posts is a feature that allows businesses to share content directly from their Google My Business profile. These posts were previously only available to specific industries, but Google recently made the feature available to all Google My Business users. You can share text, links, and images that appear in the Knowledge Panel with your Maps listing.
The posts have unique, shareable links (though they are not indexed like regular search engine results) and stay live for up to seven days. If you decide to use Google posts frequently, you can have multiple posts in the Knowledge Panel at the same time (up to 10)—but the newest ones will show up first, and only the first two are fully visible without scrolling. Below is an example of what a Google Post looks like when a user clicks on the preview.
How to Create Google Posts
You can create Google Posts by logging in to your business’s Google My Business account, then navigating to the “Posts” tab.
When you get to the Posts page, you’ll click on “Write your post” and get started. You’ll see below that there are several elements you can add, most of which are optional (except for text). You can add an image, include a button that links to a URL of your choice, or make your post an event with a start and end time.
If you decide to include an image (and you should—well-designed graphics are more likely to catch a user’s attention in the sea of text that is SERPs), we recommend a square design of at least 500 x 500 pixels. You should also make sure there’s no text or important imagery at the very bottom or very top of the photo, or it will get cut off in the Knowledge Panel preview.
Another tip? Use bold headings and shortcuts for text to make your posts stand out – if you can’t get their attention, they won’t engage
Note: Wondering how to remove a Google Post after you publish it? You can simply click on the post and select “Delete.” Your post will automatically stop appearing to users after seven days, but it will still be visible to you from the Posts section when you’re logged in to your Google My Business account.
Using Google Posts to Your Business’s Advantage
Now that you know the basics, you might be wondering how you can use Google Posts to your company’s benefit. You can think of Google Posts as free ads, with some limitations—while you can’t target specific types of users, anyone who sees your Maps listing will be able to see posts you’ve created within the last seven days. Here are a few ideas for types of content you might include in a Google Post:
- Special coupons or discounts
- New products and services
- Upcoming events your company is hosting or participating in
- Qualities that make your company different (24/7 service, free estimates, etc.)
- Anything you want potential customers to know or see when they get to your Maps listing
If you’re not excited about Google Posts yet, you should be. Free advertising is a dream come true for any business owner! Did I mention these are free? Even if you’re not sure how your posts will perform, it doesn’t hurt to try. And luckily, you can track your campaign’s success—that way, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t and become a Google Posts pro in no time.
How to Measure the Success of Your Google Posts
If you’ve read any of our other blogs, you know we think tracking the success of your marketing campaigns is important. Luckily, you have a couple of ways to do that with Google Posts. Within the platform itself, Google will tell you how many times your post has been viewed and how many times your link has been clicked (if you included a button on your post). You can view these metrics in the same spot even after your post has stopped running (see below).
Another option is to create custom URLs for your link buttons so you can see in Google Analytics when someone navigates to your website or takes an action (like submitting a contact form) after clicking on the link in your Google Post.
No matter which method you choose, you should keep track of the success of your posts so you can improve upon them and increase your chances of getting leads!
Are Google Posts Good for SEO?
The short answer: we don’t know yet how Google Posts affect SEO and organic search rankings, if at all. We do know that having a verified and complete Google My Business listing is helpful for getting your business to appear in local search results, so there’s a chance that using Google Posts regularly could help with this as well.
However, in a 2018 analysis, we found that traffic from Google My Business converted at twice the rate of traditional organic traffic. This, in addition to Google’s accelerated rollout of Google My Business features in the last year and a shift in user behavior towards interacting with and relying on SERP features means anything you can do to grab a user’s attention when a knowledge card or local pack appears is in your best interest.
Google Posts are one way you can help sway a user towards choosing you when they appear—before they click on any of the search results listings. We also suspect that Google My Business engagement is part of Google’s local ranking algorithm, so adding another feature to a Google My Business profile that users can interact with can only help you.
*We updated this section on 5/31/18
Need Help with Google My Business Posts?
As a business owner, you have a lot to worry about on a daily basis. Keeping up with Google Posts is probably not high on your list of priorities. At Blue Corona, we can help with all aspects of your company’s Local SEO—from tracking your competitors and building your local citations to publishing localized content and optimizing your Google My Business profile.
If you’re ready to boost your company’s local search presence and get more leads, contact us today!
About The Author: Becca is a Content Marketing Specialist at Blue Corona. When she’s not helping small business owners grow their companies, she enjoys listening to podcasts, re-reading Harry Potter, and exploring the city.
View more blogs by Becca Starkes