As a location-based business, you’re always looking for new ways to stand out and bring more customers into your business. Local search is extremely powerful for small, location-based businesses, with 80% of consumers using search to find local information and half of mobile searches resulting in a store visit within a day.
Local search results are extremely competitive, but luckily Google continues to add cool, new features to results for location-based businesses to take advantage of. One of the most useful new features that Google has added recently is Google Posts, a way for small businesses to post short updates to their Google My Business profile, which will appear in search results.
This article will share tips on how to use Google Posts to gain more attention, website visits and bookings through Google search results.
WHAT ARE GOOGLE POSTS?
Google Posts are 100-300 word updates that appear in the “knowledge panel” that Google serves up related to location-based business searches. This is the block of information that shows up on the right side of desktop search results or the top of mobile search results and contains your business’ name, reviews, phone number, hours, reviews, and photos.
Posts appear at the bottom of the knowledge panel in search results and on your business profile on Google maps. They generally stick around for 7 days, so that the posts on your profile are always fresh. One exception to this rule are posts about events, which will be visible on your profile until the event has concluded.
Posts are an important way you can entice a searcher to click through your profile and onto your website and are a great way to encourage visits to your place of business or share information with potential customers.
HOW TO USE GOOGLE POSTS
If your business already has a Google My Business profile set up, log into your dashboard and navigate to the business location you’d like to post for. Creating a post is as easy as writing a 100-300 word caption and adding a catchy image to gain some extra attention. If you’re not taking advantage of Google My Business yet, sign up for a profile. I can’t stress its importance enough and the business benefits it can bring.
WHAT TO POST ON GOOGLE POSTS
Of course, creating content for any medium is rarely as easy as it sounds, and if you could use some inspiration to get started, you’re certainly not alone.
Here are a few ideas for what your business can post about:
- Promotions and Offers: If you’re having a sale or offering a discount to people who find you online, try using Google Posts to promote it.
- Events: Share events that are happening at your place of business on Google Posts.
- New product announcements: Many small businesses use Google posts to announce when a new or popular product has come into stock. If you’re a service-based business, Google Posts is a great place to announce changes to how your product is offered. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you could use posts to announce or remind customers that you take online orders.
- Special hours: Is your business going to be open on a holiday or staying open late, let searchers know with a post.
- Select blog updates: If you maintain a blog, Google Posts can help promote the content. Sales-oriented blog posts are great to promote on Google Posts.
- Promoting your online booking portal: For certain business categories like salons and fitness studios, Google has opened up Bookings, a way for customers to book appointments directly on your profile. For businesses who don’t fall into these categories, a great workaround is to use Google Posts to let consumers know about your online booking portal.
As a rule, use Google Posts to share information that would be helpful to someone who might not have heard of your business and could be coming across it for the first time. Save posts that might appeal more to current customers for mediums like Facebook or Instagram.
TIPS FOR CREATING POSTS
Keep the copy you write for your posts clear and concise. Only the first 80 characters will display before readers will have to click on the post to read more, so you’ll obviously want to put your best foot forward to hook your reader and entice a click.
Always include an image with your post, as they make the post more visually attractive and are known to increase click-through. Since the orientation of a Google Post appears differently on mobile and desktop, always remember that your image will be cropped to fit. Creating square images at 750x750px and always keeping any text you include on the center of the image will ensure it will display correctly on different devices. Using images that look like buttons can help increase click-through as well.
Always add a button to your post. When creating your post, you’ll have the option to “add a button” which will appear as one of the toggle switches you’ll see when composing your message and adding your image. Adding a button will help let people know they can click on the post to learn more or visit your website.
EXAMPLES OF GREAT GOOGLE POSTS
Use cases for Google Posts range far and wide. While the medium works well for consumer-facing businesses like restaurants and retail brands, we even have a Legal Marketing client who uses posts to promote their online booking page. Here are a few examples of how to use Google Posts: