First off, what are Google Posts?
Google Posts, launched in the summer of 2017, is a feature that allows a business to publish timely content directly to Google Search and Maps and have it show (interlaced within search results) when people search for its brand terms.
Specifically, updates appear in the business’s Knowledge Panel, and up to 10 can feature at any given time (showing in carousel within the Knowledge Panel). Posts can include images, GIFs, videos and links.
The basic idea is to afford businesses a way to increase the visibility, in local search, of their business events, announcements, offers, product launches and other such timely updates.
In essence, Google Posts can:
- Drive Traffic: By offering a direct path, they can help drive consumers to take action (call a business, go to a specific piece of content, go to a given landing page intended to elicit a desired action and so on).
- Make Offers More Visible: By providing added visibility for offers in local search.
- Help Businesses Stand Out: In today’s highly competitive local search market, expanding the presence of your brand terms in local search, and holding the attention of the searcher, is critical. The latter can be especially challenging when your competitors are bidding on your brand and using that tactic to divert user attention away from you (and yes, this is true even if you’re prominently showing up in organic search).
Here’s an example of what a Google Post might look like:
And considering that:
- 46% of people searching Google are looking for local businesses.
- 50% of people who conduct a local business search visit a store within a day
- 78% of local searches result in an offline purchase
These kinds time-sensitive updates might be the difference between a searcher becoming a customer or not.
Some things you need to know about working with Google Posts:
- Up to 300 words
- Images: optimal size is 750×750 with a minimum of 344×344
- Video: 100MB max
- CTA button: language options are “Book”, “Order online”, “Buy”, “Learn more”, “Sign up” and “Get offer”
- They only live for 7 days, with the exception of events, which live until the pertinent event date.
- Posts should be written weighting the most important information towards the first 100 characters of text, as that’s what’ll show in the Knowledge Panel.
- Posts should be written for users NOT search engines. That is, to convey information that people will benefit from, not to highlight keywords. Post have no bearing on search ranking.
- Google auto-crops images so you will want to factor that in when selecting and prepping your images. A best practice is to center-weight images so, when cropped, important things, like people’s heads, don’t get chopped off.
- To track your posts, you will need to do so with UTM codes. Here’s a good overview of how to do that.