Local businesses are seeing another big boost from search giant Google in the form of Google Posts from Google My Business.
These Google Posts can make a big difference to the visibility of small or local businesses that rely on Google for much of their traffic. Like the Google Business Listings, a Google Post is highly customizable and extremely visible by both mobile and desktop users, making it a great platform to help increase overall sales.
The Purpose of Google Posts
According to Google, creating a Post means being able to “place your timely content in front of customers when they find your business listing on Google.”
Frankly, this feature has been something that’s been needed for a while. While your Google My Business listing could show your basic information and even allow people to provide you with reviews, until now, you had no way to really show any character on that panel, so listings sort of ran together. With the Google My Business Posts, your business has a chance to differentiate itself from the crowd.
Now your restaurant is “that place with the photo of spring rolls on Google,” instead of “I don’t remember the name and I can’t possibly find it again.” It’s a really good thing for small businesses that are trying to catch local attention in a big, big way. This Google My Business update was much needed, but only time will tell if it will convert directly. The general suspicion is that it will, given the simple and brilliant mechanisms behind it.
Succeeding with Google Posts
There are a few things to keep in mind about Google Posts before you write one.
First, you have less than 300 words to get your point across, no matter the subject. Second, they’re not indexed, so you still need to maintain your SEO game elsewhere. Third, they self-destruct, either in seven days or at the end of a designated “event.” Fourth, they’re not guaranteed to appear.
For the price, however, there’s no beating the Google My Business Posts. They cost nothing to use if you’re a small business and when the right searches come up, your whole company is displayed to anyone that Google thinks is interested. The visibility for the investment is pretty incredible.
You’ll see more success with your posts if you keep these items in mind:
- Optimize your image size. The minimum size for a Google Post is 250×250, but most experts agree that 750×750 will give your images the best quality in the space. Even if you’re using your smartphone as a camera, this image size should be simple to attain. Remember to give the visual a center-weight, or your preview may cut off something critical, like your partner’s head!
- The first few characters matter. The Knowledge Panel is the initial display of your post. What and how you write this section matters a lot. You only get 100 characters to grab a customer, use them wisely and ensure your entire sentence will be intact on the preview pane before publishing.
- Your 10 posts. You can have up to 10 posts on your Google My Business carousel, but the newest will show first and be the most prominent. Since you can’t schedule these posts, you’ll need to take time out when you want to run a promotion to design and post that day.
- Designate unique URLs for each promo. Whether you track with UTM codes or simply direct users to a specific URL for a web-only special, you’re not going to be able to track these clicks without putting the code in yourself.
- Always use a CTA. The form will ask you to specify a call to action, and there are four you can choose between. It seems that this is an optional feature at the moment, but it should be mandatory. Always, always, always give your customers a directive to complete the conversion!
Google Posts from Google My Business may be one of the more clever tools designed by the search giant yet. How well yours perform will largely depend on how you write them and the images you choose. Consider your audience and remember to appeal to their sensibilities and your local listing will really stand out.