I seriously don’t think anyone is making a big enough deal about Google Posts.
Just launched in late June 2017, Google Posts allow you to post your own message directly in search results. Let me repeat that—your message, whatever you want, whenever you post it, in the search results for your business.
So let’s imagine you’re having a sale, announcing a new service, or opening registration for a limited time. You can call attention right to that in the search results for your business. It’s like putting up your own light-up sign on Google.
Sounds too good to be true. Is it?
Ok, there are some caveats.
#1: Your Posts only show in searches for your business name (when your Google My Business listing appears)
Your Google Posts are only going to show up when a user searches for your business name, in Google search or on Google Maps.
You unfortunately won’t be able to get your Google Post to show for your other targeted search terms.
So keep in mind that Posts aren’t meant to introduce someone to your business. They already know you and searched for your business, so it’s better to share promotions or interesting news to drive clicks to key information.
#2: Your Posts will only last for 7 days
As of the writing of this post, it appears (but hasn’t been announced) that Google Posts expire after 7 days.
You have to be diligent to remember to re-post the information or share a new update at least every week.
Update as of 8/28/17: We’ve discovered that Google Posts about events will stay posted until the event date. So if you have a sale or a dated event, you can get around the 7 day expiration issue.
All you need to do is slide the toggle next to “Make this post an event” and fill in the event details.
How to make a post on Google Posts
Ok, so let’s try it! Have no fear, Google Posts are easy to edit if you don’t like how it turns out.
Google Posts are created through your Google My Business account. If you don’t have a Google My Business account, you can create one here.
To post a Google Post, first Sign in to Google My Business. If you have two or more locations, click Manage location for the location you’d like to manage. Then click the small blue Google My Business icon.
Click Create post. Or click Posts from the menu.
The “Create post” screen will appear. Here, you’ll see options to add photos, a 100-300 word description, and a button to your post. Just click each field and enter what you’d like.
When you add a post photo, Google will annoying make you crop it to square, so they can eventually display it in landscape. I don’t get it either.
Once you’ve created your post, click Preview to see a preview. If it looks good, click Publish in the top right corner of the screen.
What do published Google Posts look like?
Here is the post I just created, shown in desktop results:
Google Post in desktop search results
This is a blog post I shared in late June, right after Google Posts were released. I am no longer seeing images displayed in this wide landscape format.
Now Google Posts on desktop look like this. Note the square photo.
Google Post in mobile search results
Here is a single post on mobile that we posted for a car dealership client:
Multiple posts in mobile search results
Dated-Based “Event” posts
This screenshot of an event far into the future illustrates that event posts will stay published for more than 7 days. I do think that including the date posted (in gray below the description) is confusing for users, so I hope Google changes how this displays.
If you have any more screenshots, send them to me via Twitter so I can keep this updated!
Get Inspired! 9 Google Post Ideas
Not sure how to use Google Posts for your business? Here are a few general ideas.
Need some specific guidance? Leave a comment or send me a tweet, and we’ll come up with an idea for you.
- Share a link to a new blog post
- Advertise a sale or promotion
- Offer a special discount for searchers
- Promote an upcoming event
- Call attention to an ad campaign you’re promoting elsewhere (print, billboard, radio)
- Promote a registration or enrollment deadline
- Share a recently completed project
- Share a customer testimonial
- Feature a specific product or service
Now go get on it!
I’m not into scare tactics or anything, but the time to adopt Google Posts is now. They are still a novelty and fairly rare in search results. Given that few businesses are using them, you can catch some serious attention as an early adopter.
Plus, there’s no guarantee how long Google Posts will last or stay free. I wouldn’t be surprised if Posts only stick around for a little while, like Authorship.
Get on it, enjoy the extra visibility, and let me know how you use it!