What Are Google Posts? How to Use This New GMB Feature

Last week we published the Latest Updates to Google My Business, which was packed full of all the new features Google My Business released in 2017.  There are descriptions of new features with instructions and links to learn more.  And still, the question I got over and over was “What are Google Posts?”

You could Google search, “What are Google Posts” and dig through a million links. Or hang out here and I’ll explain what a Google Post is and how you can use this new Google My Business Feature to promote your business.

What is a Google Post?

Google Posts were introduced as a way share fresh content with people who found your business through Google Search.  This new Google My Business feature lets you create posts with content you want displayed to customers when they find your business on Google. Publish your events, products, and services directly to Google Search in the Knowledge Panel and Maps.

They are meant to be used to show search user what is going on with your business right now.  Each post you create is removed from search results after seven days, or after the event date, you specify if you are posting an event.

Google Posts give you the opportunity to promote your latest and greatest content, deals, events, product updates, and service specials appear with your listing in search.  Enhance the search and comparison parts of the buyer’s journey with these quick and simple updates.

How a Google Post Shows on Search and Maps

Google Posts are part of your Google My Business account and only show as part of your business listing as it appears in search results.  If a Google Search user is looking for “best carpet cleaners in Boston” they are not going to see your posts in search results. For a service or product local search your local SEO and Google My Business optimization will need to have your business ranking high in the local pack and maps where your business can be clicked, and then they will see your Google Post.

google posts in MAPSIf they search for AAA Carpets and Floors, and that’s your Google My Business verified and optimized business account, then the Knowledge Panel for your business will display to the right of search results where customers will see your Google Posts.

google posts in KNOWLEDGE PANELTips on Using Google Post to Promote Your Business

Character Limits: Only the first 80-100 characters will show in the Post so make those characters count and preview the Post to make sure your sentence isn’t cut off.

Headlines: Write headlines that make the reader want to click through.  Think of it as an ad to inspire action.

Call to Action: Tell the viewer what to do next.  “Free Download” or “Learn How to” or “Order Now” are clear CAT’s that minimize the decisions the audience needs to make.

Image Size: The best image size is 750 x 750.  Anything smaller than 250 x 250 won’t be accepted.  Preview the post to make sure the image appears as intended.

Post Often: Share daily specials and current promotions to keep customers up-to-date on your offers.

Multiple Post: If you have more than one post, the newest one will display first and older post show in a carousel format.  Users can scroll through up to 10 posts, but only the first two can be fully seen without scrolling.

Do’s and Don’ts for Writing a Google Post directly from Google

There is a right and wrong way to leverage Google Post.  To get the do’s and don’ts we went directly to the source.  This is what Google tells us about Google Post:

google posts EXAMPLE good postGoogle’s Suggestions for Writing the Perfect Google Post

  1. Be precise: What are the 3 things your customer needs to know? What do you want them to remember, for how much, and when?
    “Happy Hour! Half-price milkshakes from 5-6 PM every Friday.” 
  2. Be personal: Show what your business values:
    “We love families at Mike’s and to show our appreciation, kids eat free this weekend!” 
  3. Tell your customers what they can do. Are you selling a product? Tell them how they can buy.
    “Tickets range from $60-$160, and are available for purchase at the front desk starting at 12 PM EST today.”
  4. Highlight what makes your business, product, or offer unique. Large selection? Free shipping? Tell people:
    “Free shipping on orders over $50.” 
  5. Be timely  use a key selling point or popular item as the hook for your post:
    “Spring is here. All flip flops now 30% off.”
  6. Be sure to include any redemption instructions, unique codes, or restrictions on offers or sales:
    “$10 off purchase of $50 or more. 50% off select women’s clothing.”
  7. Use abbreviations for days and months, and don’t use periods, to allow more space for your post, and abbreviate hours:
    Jan, Feb, Mar… Mon, Tue, Wed… 9 AM, 5 PM, 12 PM
  8. Avoid the commercial slang and excessive exclamation marks or all caps that make your post look like an advertisement:
    “BOGO: 50% off men’s sneakers.”   “Crazy SALE today!!!”
  9. Don’t include more than one offer or too many exclusions in one communication:
     “Half price coffee and tea from 3-6 PM on Fridays, and buy 6, get one free donut on weekdays.”   “10% off new seasonal sandwiches. Not valid on lunch specials.”

Creating a Google Post in Google My Business

Make sure you are signed into your Google My Business account.  From your dashboard, it is a simple process to get your posts live.

Once you create a Google Post, it will appear in search results within moments.  REMEMBER the post are removed after seven days or once the event date you have set has passed.  But old posts will be visible on mobile under the “Posts” tab.

How to CREATE a Post on Desktop

google post create on desktop

How to CREATE a Post on Mobile

google posts create on mobile

How to EDIT a Post on Desktop

google post EDIT on desktopgoogle post EDIT on desktop

How to EDIT a Post on Mobile

google post EDIT on mobile

How to DELETE a Post on Desktop

google post DELETE on desktop

How to DELETE a Post on Mobile

google post DELETE on mobile

How to Get Insights (Analytics) on Your Google Posts

Google Posts don’t integrate with Google analytics without creating a custom campaign URL.  Google My Business gives you analytics on your Google Post with Insights where you can see how many views your post received and the number of button clicks.  It can take 2 to 3 days for Insights data to be updated but this is information you need to make improvements and create better posts.

On your desktop, select a post in the Posts Menu and it will show you the number of views and clicks.  On the Google My Business mobile app find the post you want in the post menu and tap the down arrow icon at the top next to “Published” to expand the screen and see the number of views and clicks.

Try Google Posts for Your Business – IT’S FREE

Use Google Posts to get more information about your business in the search engine results sidebar beyond just hours and location. Promote the latest sales and offers, and add location-specific promotions that help build online awareness about your business. Your post content will appear that the top of search results on mobile and be one of the first things a mobile Google Search user sees.

 

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USE THESE FREE GUIDES FROM REPUTATIONLOOP.COM TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing  |  8 Low-Cost Digital Marketing Tactics  |  Local SEO Checklist: 9 Tips to Get Found Online  |  2017 Reputation Management Checklist  |  Using & Understanding Google My Business INSIGHTS  | Local SEO for Brick & Mortar Businesses Guide

 

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post What Are Google Posts? How to Use This New GMB Feature appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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Latest Google My Business Updates – Summer 2017

Google has been very busy in 2017 with the latest Google My Business updates! While some updates are well widely advertised, many go unannounced even though they feature major changes and added features Google My Business users should know.

If you feel you are not up to speed on the Google My Business Updates, you can check the Google My Business Updates leading up to 2017 in case you missed any.

Latest Google My Business Updates for Summer 2017

1. Create A Free Mobile Website with Google My Business

June 2017 – You can create a free mobile-optimized website to represent your business from your Google My Business listing.  You can customize themes, photos, and text of the site Google creates from the information and photos on your Google My Business Listing.

The free website you create updates automatically whenever you change your business information or add photos. It is also optimized for display on desktop, laptop, and mobile devices.  You can find this option by signing into your Google My Business Listing and clicking on the “Website” menu option.

This free website is meant to be a super simple free website for small businesses that don’t have a website, so absolutely nothing fancy or complicated is going on here.

Latest Google My Business Menu - Website Button

2. Google Posts Now Live for GMB Users

June 2017 – Publish events, products and services directly to Google Search and Maps with Google Posts from your Google My Business listing.  These posts appear to customers in search results and on maps in a few moments.  REMEMBER these posts are supposed to be timely, so they are automatically removed after 7 days or after the event has passed.

Latest Google My Business Post ExampleCreate a Google Post on Your Desktop

Latest Google My Business Updates Post - Desktop

Create a Google Post on Your Mobile Device

Latest Google My Business Updates Post - Mobile

Here you’ll find Google’s instructions to Edit or Delete a post.

3. Google Rolling Out Messaging Feature within GMB

July 2017 – With the new Messaging feature in Google My Business you can message customers from your Google Local Panel in mobile search.  This chat feature is currently available on desktop and mobile browsers, as well as the search app on Android.

The biggest of the latest Google My Business updates, chatting with potential customers can be a game changer for small businesses able to offer the personal touch researching customers crave. There is an in-depth question and answer post on Bluementhals.com that will answer a lot of your questions on what you can and cannot do with this new feature: Google My Business Messaging FAQ

On your Google My Business home page you should see a new section for “Messaging” in the menu and a big box option for “Message with Customers” to get set up by verifying your phone number to receive messages and setting an autoreply to customers who use the chat feature.  Once set up, when your business shows up in the local panel in mobile search people will see a message icon next to the call icon where they can send a text message to the number you selected.

Latest Google My Business Update - Message Icon

4. GMB Updates Insights Email Sent to Businesses

July 2017 – Google My Business Insights gives you an inside look at how people find your business listing on the web. Insights focus on how customers use Search and Maps to find your listing, and what they do once they find it.

Each column in the bulk download serves to provide insights in the following sections:
• How customers find your listing
• Where customers find you on Google
• Customer actions
• Driving directions requests
• Phone calls
• Photos

CLICK & LEARN: Using and Understanding Google My Business Insights – Free Download

With concrete performance data, it is now much easier to justify investing in local SEO as it is a huge advantage to be able to tie this type of activity to direct changes in search performance. If you can pair this up with an effective local keyword tracking tool and URL tracking parameters, then you’ll be able to clearly demonstrate the value Local SEO activity has had to a business.

The new bulk download option provides data broken down into the following columns:

  • Total searches
  • Direct searches
  • Discovery searches
  • Total views
  • Search views
  • Maps views
  • Total actions
  • Website actions
  • Directions actions
  • Phone call actions

Visit Google’s guidelines for descriptions of what each of these columns means.

There’s still only one line per location, so you don’t get a daily breakdown. This means if you want to make any comparisons then you’ll need to download the data in 7 days, 30 days,90 day or custom bursts. Which isn’t ideal but this is still a major improvement.

5. Add Customer Action Links to GMB Listings

Aug 2017 – Include specific action links people viewing your profile can click to do things like make online orders or reservations directly from Google Search or Maps.  I consider this the most impactful of the latest Google My Business updates when looking at increasing sales.  Getting customers exactly what they want with just a click moves them through the sales funnel faster.

These actions include:

  • Booking an appointment
  • Placing an order
  • Reserving a table
  • Searching for items
  • Viewing the menu

If your business already uses a third-party appointment booking service, links to those may appear automatically and cannot be edited in Google My Business.

Add Customer Action URL to Your GMB Listing:

Latest Google My Business Updates - Add Links

6. GMB Lets Businesses Edit their Listings Directly in Search Results

September 2017 – Businesses can quickly edit their Google My Business local listing directly in Google Search results.  Google has created a business dashboard visible to you right in Google Search.  To see your editing options, first make sure you logged into your GMB account, find your business on Google Search, and click on the “EDIT” button that appears above your listing.

Latest Google My Business Update - Edit in Search

On this search dashboard you can:

  • Add or correct business information, post updated hours, and more.
  • Post on Google and stay engaged with your customers.
  • Share photos that make your business stand out.
  • See how many views your listing gets, and easily access detailed information about your listing’s performance.
  • Know when users upload photos of your business.
  • Quickly take the most important actions to complete and enhance your business listing.

Latest Google My Business Updates You May Have Missed from Early 2017

  • Google Removed “Permanently Closed” Listings from the Local Finder
  • Google Removed Access to Classic Version of Google Plus
  • Google Launched Desktop Platform for Reviewing Edits to Business Listings on Google Maps
  • Google Rolled Out Snack Pack to More US Industries
  • Business Can Now Access 18 Months of Data from Insights on Google My Business Dashboard
  • Google Started Actively Showing Local Pack Ads on Mobile

Learn How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for Local Search

Knowing that Google is Master of the Universe when it comes to search engine use and new customers finding your business, it is VITAL you understand the importance of optimizing your Google My Business listing. Give Google the information they want so you can rank higher search and make your business more visible to new customers using local search.

CLICK & LEARN: How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Complete listings also influence search engine user behavior as one study shows that users who view more complete listings are about 30% more likely to report an intention to visit a store or purchase from it (Gybo 2014).  Don’t miss out on new business when these seven easy Google My Business optimization tips.

 

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post Latest Google My Business Updates – Summer 2017 appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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8 Low-Cost Small Business Digital Marketing Tactics – FREE DOWNLOAD

Do you feel like you are spending a lot of time and money on your marketing and not getting results? Maybe you could use some low-cost small business digital marketing tactics?  Could be you just don’t know where to start, much less how to level up.

Digital marketing can seem complicated when technology changes so quickly and every trend promises to change the way we do everything. Knowing what works and committing to simple small business digital marketing tactics you can master quickly keeps your business growing above the influx of trends and quick fixes.

Low-Cost Small Business Digital Marketing Gives You the Competitive Edge

Everyone uses the internet to research, compare, and buy their next purchases, so you need to be strategically positioned online to get found by new customers. For your business to succeed, you are going to have to jump on board and grow your online presence.

 

low cost small business marketing tree

Just reading that sounds expensive, right?  A list of all the digital marketing activities you could pay to have someone do for you is long.  You’ll find strategies such as Paid Search (pay-per-click and online ads), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Conversion Optimization, Content Marketing and Email & SMS (text message) Marketing.

That’s not even a full list and it’s daunting!

Sure, you could find experts and marketing agencies to market your business.  But there are low-cost small business digital marketing tactics you can execute in-house that will save you money while growing your business.

Learn What Digital Marketing Tactics Grow Your Business in “8 Low-Cost Small Business Digital Marketing Tactics”

Digital marketing can work for even the smallest business by keeping it simple and concentrating on the tactics you as a business owner can do yourself or at least manage with a low-cost professional service.

These 8 Low-Cost and No-Cost Digital Marketing Tactics will get you in the game, growing your online visibility and attracting new customers. A bonus list of free resources at the end will help you jump ahead in growing your business.

Time to Get Started Growing Your Online Presence and Reputation

Sometimes the problem isn’t exactly knowing what needs to be done – it’s figuring out how to start, right?

When you begin working on your digital marketing, it seems like there always a new way to market your business online. Wasting time and money on one new marketing strategy after another seems to be the norm for small businesses committed to growing their online presence.  Seasoned business owners and online marketers have been through this, and they’ve tried everything and learned the handful of methods that truly work for small businesses.

No Defined Digital Marketing

Why Digital Marketing Makes More Sense Than Ever

No matter what industry you are in, there is a good chance that your top competition has a better internet presence and reputation than your business.

New customers are searching online before they make their next purchase.  You need to show up in the first positions in search engine results to remain competitive in any market.

The most successful businesses have also created a strong awareness of their company with an audience of potential customers.  Digital marketing positions your website as a high-ranking online presence that works 24/7 advertising your business.

4 Ways Digital Marketing Grows Your Business

  1. Attract new customers
  2. Building a positive online reputation
  3. Find out what customers want
  4. Stand out in a crowded marketplace

All marketing activities should be geared towards two things: growth and profitability. Digital marketing provides a wide array of cost-effective tools and platforms that give even the smallest business direct access to a huge audience of potential customers.  These customers are dependent on their computers, phones, and mobile devices to decide where to buy. That’s good news for digital marketers!

That’s you by the way.  You’re the digital marketer in this success story. 

At least you will be after you download your free copy of 8 Low-Cost Small Business Digital Marketing Tactics above.

Here are some of the 20+ free resources you’ll get with your download:

 

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post 8 Low-Cost Small Business Digital Marketing Tactics – FREE DOWNLOAD appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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