Using Google Posts for Local Business Effectively


Google Posts launched in July 2017 for local businesses to use within the Google My Business platform (your Google business listing).Google Posts allows you to publish events, products and services directly and instantly in Search (your Businesses Knowledge Panel) and Maps (within Maps Local Finder).

There are a few quirks to Google Posts, like the time limit. A post stays visible for 7 days (or deleted early) and events stay visible until the end of the events closing date / time. Because of this local businesses should think of Google Posts in terms of Micro-Moments and use them accordingly.

A Micro-Moment online is the increase of online searches where people want an immediate action, they are looking for a business that satisfies that criteria “open now”, “emergency”, “near me”. The searcher then has to sort through the eligible businesses that Google returned, this is when your Google Post could be enough to tip the consumer purchasing moment in your favour.

I will admit that regular Google Posts are not for every business, I don’t think an accountant would be using Posts every week, but they could and should be using them quarterly and running up to the end of the financial year. On the flip side a restaurant could be using a new post daily.

 
Guide to using Google Posts for local Business Effectively - Online Ownership
 

Note:
Currently Google Posts are not available to Lodging Industry categories. GMB has stated that they are coming but they are not available thus far. I am guessing with Hotel Ads contributing a large chunk of Googles revenue, they are trying to figure out the best way to integrate without decreasing ad spend.

If you’re not in this category and still don’t have local posts, fill out this form and Google Posts support will check the issue.

 

How to Create a Google Post

You can create a Google Post in Desktop via the Google My Business dashboard or in Mobile via the Google My Business app.

 

Create a Google Post – Desktop

  • Log into Google My Business Dashboard
  • Select the Business >> Manage Location
  • Select Posts in Menu
  • Create a Post
  • Add an Image (800 x 600 ideal)
  • Write the Post (100 – 300 words)
  • Add a Call to Action Button or Make it an Event
  • Preview
  • Publish

 

Create a Google Post in Google My Business Desktop

 

Create a Google Post – Mobile

  • Log into Google My Business App
  • Select Posts in Menu
  • Create a Post
  • Add an Image (850 x 600 ideal)
  • Write the Post (1500 characters)
  • Add a Call to Action Button or Make it an Event
  • Preview
  • Publish

Create a Google Post in Google My Business Mobile App

I personally find the desktop easier and more efficient to create and manage posts. Creating a Google Post is quite an effort in resizing images and typing in text, especially if you are all thumbs like me.

 

Creating your Google Post

After logging into your preferred Google My Business dashboard, select Post or Create a Post.

Create your First Google Post - Online Ownership

 

Post Image

Minimum: 250 x 250
Ideal: 800 x 600

Desktop version has an inbuilt cropper available, whilst the mobile version is a bit hit and miss. If using mobile version to create post, then it would be advisable to edit image on another app before uploading.

 

Text / Body Copy

Desktop: 100 – 300 words
Mobile: 1500 characters

The first three sentences are visible in search display, so make these count with a solid call to action or concise description of what the post entails.

 

Call to Action

Make this Post and Event:
This allows for a date rage to be added and the post is displayed until date range has expired.

Add a Button:

  • Learn More
  • Reserve
  • Sign Up
  • Buy
  • Get Offer

Add the direct URL to the specific page on website.

 

Google Post Insights

The only data given at the moment is within the actual post itself, which is rather frustrating as you need to scroll through them to get an idea as to views and click into post to see if there was any interaction.

The other limitation is what is a View, was this when it was seen as part of a knowledge panel display, display in maps or a scroll through?

 

Google Posts Insights & Engagement - Online Ownership

 

If your website is using Google Analytics (which it should be) you can use UTM tracking codes to accurately monitor engagement with posts. A quick and easy way is to use Google Analytics Campaign Builder, add the URL and campaign source to generate a campaign URL which you can use in your Google Post.

 

Single or Multiple Google Posts

This would depend on your business, product and what you want to promote. Single posts do have a larger space and impact visually, however multiple posts allow users to scroll through products.

Knowledge Panel Display.

 
Google Posts Live in Search and Maps - Desktop - Online Ownership

 
Business Listing Display in Maps.
Google Posts Displayed in Maps - Online Ownership

 

Get Creative, Be Reactive

Google Posts allow you to showcase products, but it also allows you to react to wider events instantly and show your businesses personality.

 

Google Posts allows the business to be Reactive and Engaging - Online Ownership

 

For anyone outside the UK, one airline went bust and the other cancelled thousands of flights in the space of a week, leaving thousands of customers stranded at airports.

Apart from this Google Post showing a little humour, businesses need to be reactive in all aspects of their local SEO. When the flight cancellation news broke, this company immediately targeted Liverpool and Manchester airports with AdWords, resulting in all cars being fully booked for two days solid.

 

Ramp up your Visibility

Taking your business to the next level by having your event displayed in the knowledge panel together with your Google Posts and Google Post Event.

 
Google Posts & Events Displayed in Knowledge Panel - Online Ownership
 

A business can take advantage of having their Events (multiple) displaying in the knowledge panel over and above their Google Posts.

  • This provides Event visibility all the time
  • The business does not have to worry about adding Google Posts for fear of lack of visibility in search.

In order for Google to use your event information in the knowledge panel, you need to provide Google with event details in a structured format using Event Schema / structured data markup.

There are a ton of different event types, yes including SALES events.

 

Take ownership of your businesses visibility today with Google Posts, experiment, be precise, keep is simple!

 

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