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Google Posts: Establishing Digital Presence

What are Google Posts?

A business’s presence online is more crucial now than ever before. With the world essentially a click away, the competition to gain new customers is at an all-time high. Local searches are dominating the results page and consumers are being more selective on where to spend their time and money. Luckily, Google has come out with a new tool for establishing your business’s digital presence. “Google Posts” allow businesses, sports teams and more to create fresh content that appears directly in the knowledge graph of the SERP.

What are the benefits of Google posts?

Google posts is a feature that Google has rolled out which allows you to boost your business’s sales, promote upcoming events, amplify company culture, and more. Businesses can add up to 10 posts that will display in an ongoing carousel on the search engine results page. Although it has not yet been proven that these post boost any SEO efforts, Google posts do help a business stand out and give you an opportunity to speak directly to your consumer.

 

They were first rolled out as a beta for the US presidential candidates in January 2016. Presidential candidates were using these posts on google to express their opinions on certain key topics such as immigration, foreign policy and taxes. It was introduced as a way to hear directly from the candidates in real time.

 

Later, Google posts were extended to larger businesses, museums, sports teams, and musicians to utilize. But now, after a long anticipated wait, Google posts have finally been made available to small businesses through Google My Business.
Creating a google post is pretty simple:

  • Make sure your business has a Google My Business account. – Since local searches are essential in any business plan, Google My Business accounts help organize your information, making it easily digestible for customers. It is also a great tool to establish credibility and can even help out your paid search initiatives through location extensions.
  • Select “Posts” on the left-side menu. – Once you log into your Google My Business account, you will see an abundance of options for you to explore and amplify your business. Amongst these choices on the left side menu bar, you should see “Posts”. You can then start your Google post by selecting “create a post” – a screen similar to the one below should appear.
  • Begin writing your post. – Google posts can be about a variety of topics. You can chose between writing about your company’s event that is coming up, an exclusive sale your business is trying to promote, or simply an excerpt from a blog post to entice users to keep reading and learn more. Each Google post can be up to 300 words – but it is the first 100 words that get displayed in the knowledge graph, so you will want to make sure your sentence does not get cut off. Whatever you decide to write, you have been given a blank canvas to begin your creativity.
  • Upload an image – Adding an image to your Google post is beneficial for many reasons. The main reason being to make your post stand out and attract potential customers. The only real requirement is for the uploaded photo to be at least 250 x 250 in order to be accepted. It’s also important to note that depending on the image, you may want to ensure that it is center weighted to avoid heads being cut off or logos being misrepresented.
  • Decide On A CTA – Although adding a button to your post isn’t mandatory, I would highly recommend it. One of the greatest perks of Google posts is to entice users to enter your site and convert. Therefore, the easiest way to do so is to add a CTA button that guides them directly to it. “Learn more”, “Reserve”, “Sign up”, “Buy” or “Get offer” are all available CTA options for your Google post. All you have to do is select one and then enter the URL that you want to direct the user to.
  •  Preview and publish your post on Google – This final step allows you to view what your Google post will look like in the wild. This is your chance to see if your text makes sense, if your image is appearing correctly, and if your CTA is directing users to the correct destination. Once you publish your Google post, it will almost instantaneously be visible to consumers on the SERP. But don’t worry if you overlooked a typo or inserted incorrect punctuation. After being published, you will still have the opportunity to go back and edit or delete a post through your Google My Business account.

 

Google posts will show up on both branded Google searches and maps results through Google My Business. But, they only show up for a limited amount of time. Google has recently confirmed that posts on Google get removed from the visible results page after 7 days. The only exception to this rule is for event posts. Event Google posts will stay visible up until the end date, which then they will expire and be removed. This is mainly because Google posts are meant to be a vehicle to share timely updates to consumers. The expiration timeframe is meant to ensure that each visible post is relevant and accurate. Luckily, Google will send out an expiration notice to the owners of the GMB account to give users a heads up when their posts are about to expire. The notification will look like this:

 

These notices aid as a reminder to keep your Google posts fresh and up-to-date. There is currently no way to schedule your posts to publish, therefore you must physically go into your account to stay on top of your content. Although, once your posts expire, they aren’t gone off the web for good. Each Google post you upload can easily be found in a “posts” tab on mobile devices.

 

All historic Google posts can be found by simply scrolling through the list. The most recent posts are displayed first and the bottom post will be the first post you ever published. These previous posts are only visible on mobile devices currently. There is no way for consumers to access expired posts on a desktop.

 

You may also view all of your historic posts within the “posts” tab in Google My Business. This tab contains all the statistics about each post you have published to your account. The insights include the number of views a post received along with the total number of clicks. These stats can be used to A/B test the best performing Google post and see what message, CTA and image speaks best to your consumer. In order to grab deeper insights about user behavior brought in by your Google post, add UTM parameters to the URLs and see where the users go.

 

Ultimately, Google posts allow you to grab more real estate on the super competitive search results page. But, it is important to keep in mind that these posts are to attract bottom of the funnel consumers since they only appear in branded searches. Use these posts on google to showcase your products, promote your business and entice your customers.

 

Reach out to us at hello@directagents.com if you need help setting up Google My Business, Google posts, or growing your local search presence.

 

-Ruby Bartolomei, Search Associate