Finally, Google has rolled out Google Posts for small businesses worldwide. This timely content allows businesses to post updates and microblogs on their Google My Business (GMB) page, which is displayed in their Knowledge Graph on Google search results.
This update gives you the ability to publish directly to Google. Google Posts are displayed under your other business information when people are searching for your business or a business like yours in Google Search and Maps.
Unlike social networks like Google+, Twitter, and Facebook, “Google Posts” removes any ability to comment or follow. What you are left with is a profile and posts that are visible to people who find you in Google search.
Up to 10 in-line links can be viewed in a carousel format in Google search results on both desktop and mobile.
New Update (as of 7/6/2017): Google has confirmed that Posts will be removed after 7 days. The exception are events that are still upcoming.
You can post images, videos, and even GIFS to drive Google search traffic to your content. Keep in mind that video and GIFs will not play in the Knowledge Graph; however, that may soon change. In fact, there have been reports of animated GIFs in search results.
The History of Google Posts
While the term Google Posts is not an official name from Google (they haven’t provided one), ever since Search Engine Land dubbed the new service “Google Post,” the name has stuck.
The first Google Posts were used by US presidential candidates during the last campaign cycle, called “Candidate Cards.” Then, a small number of businesses were extended the privilege, this time called “Business Cards.” As of June 22, 2017, Google Posts are now available to all businesses with a GMB listing.
This new update allows businesses to post content in real time, which appears highly ranked in Google search results for brand and brand related search terms.
Keeping your Google Posts up-to-date will help you engage with new and existing customers about your business and the products/services you offer.
And since Google Posts were just released within the last month, you can put your business ahead of the curve to differentiate yourself as you expand. With limited effort, you can alert your customers to deals, specials, new offerings, and current local events and happenings.
Google My Business Posting Requirements
If you don’t have a Google My Business account, sign up today to start managing, optimizing, and updating your business listing. Your business is probably already listed on Google. You just have to claim and verify it.
To verify your business listing, you will need to enter the verification code that is sent to you via postcard. There is also an option for some business to verify your GMB listing by phone.
Once your listing has been verified, you will have access to the complete Google My Business dashboard, along with the ability to post updates to the world.
To learn more about Google My Business, Maps, and Posts, contact VitalStorm for assistance. We can get your business verified, get rid of duplicate listings, and much more. The Google My Business Help Center also has a lot of useful information.
What Does a Google Post Look Like?
Once you have created a post, it will show up in the local Knowledge Graph in Search and Maps underneath your contact information.
Here is an example of what your Google Post might look like:
Source: Google Small Business Blog
Create a post on Google My Business (GMB) to publish your events, products, services, and updates directly to Google Search and Maps. When you create a Google post, you can place your timely content right in front of customers when they find your business listing on Google.
In the mobile version, Google has added a 3rd tab in their Knowledge Graph for Posts, next to the newly added tab for Reviews.
Source: Google Small Business Blog
Here is how your post will look like on the Desktop Version:
As you can see, the square image that was uploaded has been cropped into a landscape orientation. Keep this in mind when uploading images to your Google Posts. You will want your most important visual information in the middle two-thirds of your image.
What Should I Post On Google?
Google provides some examples for how you can engage with your customers:
- Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
- Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.
- Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.
- Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.
You can use this new feature to encourage sign-ups for newsletters and drive customers to specific pages or campaigns.
For assistance creating a content calendar and managing all of your social media channels, including GMB, contact VitalStorm.
There is currently no verbiage for Schedule Service or Book an Appointment.
If you have a Google My Business account, you should start posting now!
How to Create a Google Post
If you post updates on Facebook and other social media sites, this should be second-nature for you.
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- Click on “Published locations” if you have multiple business or locations in your dashboard.
- Find the business listing in your list of Locations. From there, click on the little blue Google storefront icon or choose “Dashboard” from the hamburger menu.
- Click on “Posts” from the left-side navigation panel. Currently, there is a “NEW” icon so you can’t miss it. If you can’t see the left-side menu, click on the three vertical lines (hamburger menu) in the top left-hand corner.
- Once the “Create post” screen appears, you can:
- Upload an image (minimum requirements are 250px x 250px; we recommend 750 px x 750 px). If you upload an image that is not square, you will be asked to crop the image into square dimensions.
- Write a post (100-300 words) Keep in mind that only the first 100 words will display in the Kowledge Graphc. Make the first 100 words count!
- Instead of a post (which will disappear after 7 days), you can choose to create an event
- Call-to-action buttons can be chosen from the following options: “Reserve,” “Sign up,” “Learn more,” “Buy,” and “Get offer.” Simply click on each field and fill in the relevant information.
- After you have finished creating the post, click on “Preview” to see how the post would appear to your customers. If the post meets your standards, click on “Publish” at the top right corner of the screen.
- Your post is now available to anyone that finds your Google Listing through Google Search or Maps.
Insights and Analytics
You can click on any posts that you have created within the GMB platform to see the total Views (times your post was seen) and Engagement (times a customer clicked on your button).
To create a post with the Google My Business Android or iOS app:
- Open the Google My Business app.
- At the bottom right hand corner, click on the “+” icon; then click the posts icon that appears.
- Once, the “Create post” screen appears, you will have the same post options as the desktop version: photos, text, events, etc. Add the relevant information as usual.
- After you have filled out the fields, you will see a preview of your post. You can then publish the post for all to see by tapping “Publish” in the top right hand corner.
After creating a Google My Business post on desktop or mobile, it will appear on your Google Listing on both Google Search and Maps.
If you change your mind about a post, you can always edit or delete it.
Call VitalStorm to get started with Google Posts