If you’re a small business owner and you haven’t yet registered on Google My Business now might be a good time to do it. Google have just added a new posting feature to their business product making it very useful as part of your digital marketing strategy. It’s still early days but we think it shows great potential and if the uptake is good hopefully Google will make it even more powerful.
Google Posts in a nutshell
Probably the best thing about the new feature is that your posts are added directly into Google’s ecosystem. The advantage of this is that when your customers search for your business by name, your posts will be included in the results. In Google Search they’ll appear in the Knowledge Panel to the right of your search results. They’ll also be tied into Google Maps. Other advantages include:
- appearance – posts will appear to customers within moments of you submitting them
- lifespan – posts have a lifespan of one week, or until the expiry time specified in the case of events
- shareable – posts can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, by email, and via Google Search
- support – desktop and mobile platforms are catered for
What format are the posts?
If you are already making posts as part of your digital marketing strategy you’ll be right at home with this feature. Most of what you are already doing you can also do here. Because the feature is designed to be simple, you can easily preview your posts before submitting them as well as edit or delete them. For example:
- you can specify the type, such as offer.
- a title for events, with start and end times
- text up to 1500 characters including URLS (remember, only the first 100 words or so will be visible in the Knowledge Panel so make sure you craft your posts for maximum impact!)
- a static image – recommended size of 750 x 750 pixels
- a Call-To-Action – yes, you read that right! You can include “Buy,” “Book online,” “Learn more,” “Call,” or “Visit” to prompt action from your customers.
Unfortunately, these types of services open themselves up for abuse and not surprisingly, Google has placed restrictions on the type of content you can post. There are also a set of guidelines regarding the type of businesses you can register for the service.
We suggest you have a quick look through both before you sign-up.
What kinds of things can my business use Google Posts for?
Many of the digital marketing activities you already do with your regular business website and social networking accounts you can also do with Google Post. All you need to do is be creative and ensure your content is captivating – just create and post! My top suggestions for what to use it for are as follows:
- offer daily or weekly specials
- make important announcements
- highlight your products and services
- promote events
How to get started
If you are interested in trying the new feature, you’ll first need to register your business on Google My Business. A listing in this directory brings with it a number of great benefits:
- automatic inclusion in Google Search and Google Maps
- social features like customer reviews and commenting
- access to Google Insights for analyzing the performance of your website
If you require more information about creating posts, Google has a help page that might be of use: Creating a Post.
3 more great reads for you:
1. Free google tools to enhance your digital marketing
2. Get ahead of the competition with Google expanded ads
3. Digital strategy: discover the secret formula for building links