What You Need to Know About Google Posts
Google recently released the Google My Business Post features to all verified Google My Business local listings. This comes after a previous release to select businesses in March and its initial release during the 2016 Presidential Election, when candidates were able to deliver personalized messages on the Google search results page.
What Are Google Posts?
Google Posts is a Google My Business feature within the Knowledge Graph that allows local businesses and brands to publish posts detailing events, offers/specials, product updates and announcements directly to Google Search and Maps. Think of it in terms of a social media post, where you’re able to share a message that can be enhanced with images.
Instead of this post only showing up on friends’ and followers’ feeds, it’s now displayed in Google’s search results for a branded search (for now). To extend the social media post parallels, these posts don’t live forever. Google removes the post after 7 days or on the event expiration date. You can have up to 10 posts that live simultaneously, and these posts will be shown in a carousel display.
How to Create a Post on Google Posts
You can create a post through your Google My Business dashboard. On the left side of your screen, you will see a menu item labeled “Posts”. You can then add a new Post, which function in four different ways:
- Event Promotion: These are the only posts that can remain longer than 7 days and include a post title.
- Offers/Specials: These posts are used to promote a limited-time offer or sale. Be sure to include all of the details of the offer or sale in the post.
- Product Updates: These are used to bring awareness to a new product or an updated product. Images are recommended.
- Announcements: These posts are effective if your business has earned an award or you’re seeking a new hire, for example.
How Are Google Posts Different Than Google Plus?
It’s important to reflect on a similar platform Google once built that included local posting for businesses. You might remember it……it was called Google Plus. While it’s still too early to project Google Posts’ impact, it’s a safe assumption that it will surpass Google Plus’ minimal adoption. That’s due to two major differences between Google’s failed attempt to launch Google Plus and their newly released features in Google My Business.
- The userbase and active users on Google Search and Maps far outweighs the feeble active userbase of Google Plus.
- With four different types of posts at their disposal, local businesses can tailor the messaging in the most effective format.
All brands should be testing these new local posting capabilities while tracking both the Post Insights Google provides and the local listing ranking. It’s important to note that currently the posts are only visible in the Knowledge Panel and lack visibility in non-brand searches. If and when Google decides to increase the visibility of these posts to non-branded queries, these posts could become major points of differentiation and revenue drivers for franchise and multi-unit brands of all sizes.