How to Tap the Power of Google Posts for GMB
May 8th, 2018
You already know that one of the most powerful local SEO strategies your business can use to improve upon your local search rankings is not only claiming but optimizing your Google My Business listing. You’ve claimed your listing, edited your information, and you are a total GMB rockstar. Now, you’re more than ready to rock Google Posts – one of the most recent enhancements to the platform. This feature provides businesses and brands the opportunity to promote themselves through publishing fresh content, directly on Google. Better yet? These nuggets of awesome information show up front-and-center in your business’ Knowledge Panel when a potential customer searches for you, giving you a great opportunity to further promote your biz!
Why Google Posts?
With 82% of people turning to search engines to find local information, Google Posts offer another opportunity to showcase what is unique about your business, in a fairly easy (and free) manner. Give your customers an instant sense of ‘you’, through quality photos, events, and updates. Not only are Google Posts a quick, easy, and free way to promote your business but they’re also a unique way to control more ‘real estate’ on the search results page, so to speak. With Google Posts, you have the chance to show potential customers a bit more about yourself and your offerings. Additionally, as we all know, Google is hungrily on the hunt for fresh content, so why not feed it exactly what it wants! Google Posts give businesses the chance to produce fast-loading, fresh content which could be ideal for smaller budgets.
Types of Google My Business Posts
Creating a Google Post is fairly simple and is done so within the Google My Business dashboard. Before we can begin creating engaging, action-inspiring posts we first need to review the types of posts available:
- Announcements: Should be highly relevant to your customer, with focus on providing updates that are timely and beneficial to your audience such as opening a new location, a change in hours or even that you’re hiring.
- Specials: Should be promoting sales, offers or discounts with a high-resolution photo and all necessary details in the description of the post.
- Events: Should be geared towards the promotion of a specific event or occasion. These posts are an exception – they can include a title for the post (which would typically be the name of the event) and will also stay live until the event date has passed.
- Product Updates: Should be used to advertise a new product launch or changes to current product offerings, and include a high-resolution photo.
It’s certainly worth mentioning that you can absolutely use Google Posts in an alternative, creative ways that go far beyond events and specials. Creating quality content for Google Posts doesn’t have to be difficult, let’s consider the following topics:
- A summary of your latest blog post with a link to it
- A special employee feature, celebrating a milestone and giving your audience the chance to get to know your team a bit more!
- Share customer reviews with Small Thanks with Google
- Promote a contest or giveaway
What Goes into a Google Post?
Every Google Post can contain a photo, a description and a call to action (with the exception of Event Posts containing a title) and are intended to be short, sweet, and to the point. Since room for fluff and flattery is limited, honing in on your intended message is key. Let’s cover the anatomy of a Google Post.
- Title (for events only): You’ve got 58 characters to play with when titling an Events post, so sticking with the name of the event is best practice
- Photo: Is your photo high-quality and engaging? Does it accurately portray your message? Is it visually appealing to your audience? If the answer to all of the above was YES, you’re good to go. Remember that the photo will be your best opportunity to grab potential customer’s attention. We recommend sizing your image to 750x750 for optimal aesthetics
- Description: Google gives you a 1,500-word maximum to play around with for your posts, but we recommend sticking with 80-100 words per. The first 100 words are what will show up in the Knowledge Panel so be sure to make these characters count! Following SEO best practices here – with keywords and crucial messages to start – is important!
- Call to Action: With every post you create, a strong CTA should be included and Google makes it easy! You will have the chance to select from a list of pre-set CTA’s ranging from “Buy”, “Visit” and “Learn More”. Once you’ve selected your CTA, decide what URL you would like to send traffic to. We recommend using UTM parameters here to gain key insights on how your customers are behaving with your posts.
Google my Business Post Pro Tips
- Be sure to track click activity with unique UTM codes, since Google Posts don’t integrate naturally with Google Analytics at this time. Using UTM codes ensures your team will be able to gain insights beyond the standard number of views and clicks. We suggest building custom URL’s to use in call-to-action links, to best track potential conversions.
- When using an image in your Post, stick to 750x750, anything smaller than 250x250 won’t be approved
- While you can have up to 10 posts live at one time (lifespan of one week) having multiple posts means that the newest ones will show up first, with the later dated posts showing up in a carousel format
- Watch out for wonky cropping of images – for folks using the API, the image should be square cropped when creating the post. Posts made using the GMB interface will give you the option to crop, as well. End goal: Making sure the image is center-weighted to avoid any sort of bizarre cropping. Be sure to preview the post before publishing!
- Make absolutely sure that the landing page you are driving traffic to matches the content found in the Post, meeting both a visitor’s and search engines expectations
- Don’t waste valuable characters with unnecessary hashtags or keyword stuffing, it can appear incredibly spammy!
We know that crafting the perfect Post will take a bit of time and effort, but the potential to stand out to customers (and Google) is too good to ignore. Posts expand your online presence and can help you keep the attention and eyes on your business. Best of all, remember that Posts offer your business the opportunity to bring users from Google to your website. Win, win, win. Happy Posting!
Want to elevate your GMB even further? We can help with that. Contact us today to find out how!
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