Want to be able to post messages to potential customers for them to see as soon as they search for your business in Google? Your opportunity has arrived. Google Posts is here.
What are Google Posts?
Google Posts are short posts that you create in your Google My Business dashboard. They can include up to 300 words of text and a photo. They can also include a call-to-action which, when clicks, takes the searcher to an external link you specify.
Posts can also be about upcoming events, with a date specified.
When someone searches for your business and Google shows a Knowledge Panel (the in-depth information answer to the right of the search results on desktop, or usually at the top of the results on mobile) about your business, your posts will appear there in a prominent, swipeable and clickable carousel of up to 10 posts.
If you click on the post, you’ll be taken to the full version of the post. If you click on “Find out more,” you’ll be taken to a page on their website.
Google Posts debuted in March 2016 to a select group of politicians, celebrities, museums, sports teams and businesses. Last month (June 2017), it opened its doors to anyone using the GMB platform worldwide (although a small number of industries, like hotels and B&Bs, have been excluded for now).
How long is a Google Post viewable?
Regular posts are viewable for 7 days in the carousel. After that they’re only seen if someone clicks the Posts tab (on mobile) in the Knowledge Panel.
Event posts are viewable until after the event date.
Business owners testing the new system report (as seen in comments here) that Posts will sometimes show up on mobile but not on desktop. Hopefully those inconsistencies will be worked out as time goes on.
What should you post?
Post anything you think would be compelling to someone searching for your business – and will get them to take action. Do you want them to…
- Buy products?
- Come to an event?
- Read blog posts?
- Order food?
- Sign up for email lists?
- Start a free trial?
Decide what you want them to do, and which page on your site you should send them to in order to encourage that process.
Write an interesting 300 word post that will compel your reader to click. Make the first 100 words count, because that’s what will show in the Knowledge Panel.
Choose the right call-to-action button – Learn More, Reserve, Sign Up or Buy – and link your page.
Include an eye-grabbing photo. If the goal of the post is to expose the searcher to your products and get him to buy, it’s especially important to make the photo beautiful and high-quality.
Be on top of your Google Posts
As said above, posts expire after one week, so make sure to log back in frequently to update your posts. Check the provided Insights (still minimal at this point in time) to see how many people saw your post and took action.
Google Posts has the potential to let you communicate directly with potential visitors right in the search results. Take advantage of it!