If you’re interested in boosting your small business’s visibility in search results, you want to bring more customers in the door, but don’t want to spend more on advertising right now – then you should be using Google Posts.
In this post (no pun intended), we’ll walk you through how you can use this free tool from Google to improve your visibility in Google search results, and ultimately bring more customers in your door.
What are Google Posts?
Google Posts were created by Google as a way to help small businesses communicate timely information to local searchers. Posts can be about things like:
- Products and Services
Once a post is created, they display in search results as a mini knowledge panel. And what you’ll find, is that posts are even more eye catching on small mobile devices (like smartphones) since they claim about a quarter of the screen real estate like in the example below.
How do I get my Google Posts seen?
Google has control over when your Posts are displayed. Sometimes they’ll show up for branded searches, and other times for unbranded but related keywords. Let’s look at an example.
In the Google Post screenshots below, there’s one branded search and one unbranded search (with related keywords):
In the second (unbranded) example, it’s likely the searcher didn’t specifically have Tommy O’s in mind. For all we know, maybe they’re visiting from out of town and have never heard of it! But when those search results pop up, the extra attention towards Tommy O’s Google Post can help make the decision pretty easy for the hungry searcher looking for some nearby Pacific Rim cuisine. This is a great time when a good quality, bright image of some of their infamous Pacific Rim cuisine could make their post even more effective.
The better you can entice nearby searchers to want to visit your business using this precious Google Post real estate, the better your posts are likely to perform.
How long do Google Posts last?
Posts typically expire after 7 days. However, if you publish a post for an event with a specific end-date more than a week in advance – then your posts can last quite a bit longer. Some businesses have reported their posts lasting almost a month. Your best bet is to run tests. And keep an eye on things using your Google My Business account portal (or the mobile app, which is super handy!).
How do I create Google Posts?
Creating Google Posts is very fast and easy, even when you’re on the go (thanks to the GMB app).
- Log in: Simply log into your verified Google My Business account, and click on “Posts”.
- Add a new post: Click into the “Write your post” box, and a “Create Post” window will pop up.
- Add a photo: Upload a high quality photo with square dimensions (as large as 750px, but no smaller than 250px).
- Write post: Write you post using up to 300 words (making the most of the first 100 characters that show up in the condensed search results).
- Add event details: If you’re posting about an event, add an Event title as well as set a start & end date/time.
- Include a button: Use the button feature to book, order online, buy, learn more, sign up, or get offer (add a link to your preferred landing page – check out the next section to learn more about tracking URLs).
How do I know if people are seeing and clicking on my Google Posts?
Google will provide you with the number of views and engagement (clicks on button) for each post right in the Posts tab within Google My Business. However, if you want to understand more about what happens after people click on your posts, then you should use a tracking URL that you can quickly create for free.
By creating a tracking URL, your Google Post activity data will show up in Google Analytics under the Acquisition > Campaigns tab. And it will help you gain useful insights on information like:
- Bounce rate (number of single-page sessions where the searcher didn’t interact with your site by clicking anything)
- Pages per session (number of unique pages viewed on the searcher’s visit to your site)
- Average session duration (how long the searcher spent on your page)
- Goal conversion (for previously set website conversion goals like purchases or downloads)
You can create your very own URL for tracking your Google Post data in 6 easy steps:
- Navigate to Google’s Campaign URL Builder
- Enter the Website URL for your desired landing page
- For Campaign Source, enter “googlemybusiness”
- Add a Campaign Name of “organic” (since this isn’t a paid campaign)
- For Campaign Name, enter “posts” (so you know for sure this is coming from your Google Posts)
- Copy the generated campaign URL and use it in your Google Post
For example, you can see the difference between original URL and tracking URL in a recent post we published:
Original URL: https://boscusdigital.com/packages/
If you choose to use different naming conventions for the campaign information, just keep that in mind that the full tracking URL will display for the searcher in the search bar.
By now, we hope you understand the value of this powerful free tool and understand how to use it to its fullest potential. So we encourage you to use Google Posts. Try to post at least once a week to always take advantage of that extra Google search real estate and ultimately bring more customers in your door.
If you’ve found this post helpful, please like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to continue to get updated with tips like this every Friday. Thanks for stopping by, we hope to see you soon to continue to help you find new ways to grow your local business’s presence.