One of the greatest challenges businesses face in marketing themselves is making their business visible to potential customers. When developing an online promotional strategy, most businesses focus on optimizing their website and the rest of their online content to make it more appealing to search engines. But what if you could promote your business’ content in a way that pops up on the search engine results pages themselves? Thanks to Google Posts—a relatively new feature from Google—you can now reach your readers more quickly and effectively than ever before.
What are Google Posts?
Google Posts is a name widely given to a Google-exclusive feature that allows certain individuals and businesses to post content directly onto search engine results pages. Rather than replacing search results, it complements them by allowing you to add new and timely content targeted directly to your potential customers. The posts can’t be deliberately accessed anywhere; they simply appear when a person searches for the name of your business on either the main search engine or Google Maps. You will be able to track how successful each of your posts has been.
If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard of this feature, it’s probably because it hasn’t been widely available until very recently. Google Posts launched in January 2016 as a limited, experimental feature known as “Candidate Cards.” Then, it was open only to candidates running in that year’s U.S. presidential race. The format permitted long posts consisting of up to 14,400 characters and up to 10 images. Two months later, Google quietly made the feature available to some small businesses. In 2017, Google rolled out the evolving feature to a wider audience—it could now be used by a number of parties in the U.S. and Brazil, including sports teams. As of June 2017, Google Posts are available to all businesses everywhere that have set up accounts on Google My Business.
How do I make a Google Post?
You can create your Google Posts through Google My Business, which provides you with a quick and easy-to-use method. Simply click on “Posts” under the menu on your account, and you’ll be able to compose a new post. Your post may include:
- A title of up to 58 characters.
- A graphic image such as a photo, a video, or a GIF.
- Text of up to 300 words.
- A start date/time and an end date/time.
- A call to action button that invites readers to sign up, learn more, or pursue other actions.
Your Google Posts will generally disappear after 6-7 days, so the content that your customers see is always fresh. If your post is about an upcoming event, it will only disappear after the event is over. You will be alerted whenever one of your posts is about to expire, so you can always be sure to add new content to replace it.
What makes for an effective Google Post?
While Google Posts are a new feature, it’s already becoming clear which types of posts work best. As a rule, the more relevant and immediate a post is, the more likely it is to get the results you want. Here are some tips to keep in mind for crafting an effective post:
- Find a clear and eye-catching image. A memorable or appealing graphic is the best way to draw a reader’s eye to your post. You can use an image that is colorful, witty, or strikingly composed—as long as it is relevant to your post.
- Use a simple and straightforward title. You don’t have much space to write a title for your post, so it’s best to be as clear and direct as possible. The more succinct and punchy your title is, the better. Don’t bother to mention your business’ name—that’s automatically included in every post.
- Be professional in your tone. Google Posts allow you to promote a product, sale, or offer in a very direct way. However, the writing in your posts should still be as professional as possible. You can use abbreviations as needed, but avoid gimmicks such as all-caps.
- Keep information to a minimum. You only need to include the most necessary information in a Google Post. If you’re writing a post about an upcoming sale at your store, for example, include the date and location of the sale—not a list of everything you’re selling.
- Include a call to action. The point of a Google Post is to inspire an internet user to engage with your business. Always give your readers an instruction to follow, whether it’s as simple as visiting your site or as involved as signing up for your services.
If you’re looking to sharpen your online marketing strategy and increase the effectiveness of your online content, it’s time to partner with Pennington Creative. Our team of experienced copy writers and graphic designers can provide you with everything from infographics and animated videos to blog copy and email newsletters. When you contact our team, we’ll work with you to develop a customized package to help you achieve the smart and engaging online presence you want.