Google always seems to be testing new things, whether it’s changes to adverts or the way search packs are displayed, but very recently they have rolled out a new feature small businesses – especially veterinary practices – need to know about. Google Posts.
So what are Google Posts?
This newest feature from Google allows businesses to create a post (much like Facebook) that will appear on the Google My Business listing panel. It’s another way to reach out to clients and potential clients, so we feel it is really important to make use of it.
Each post will stay on the panel and display for one week, from the time they are published. A Google Post can also serve as a source of information such as a client event. Event posts will last as long as the event timeframe set.
The listing can display up to 10 posts simultaneously on a carousel type display.
How do we access them?
Making and writing a Google Post is very straightforward, simply by logging into the Google My Business dashboard and selecting ‘posts’ on the menu.
How do we use them?
Once in the posts area, clicking on the ‘write your post’ box, will bring up a new window where information is added.
The first thing to do is upload an image, which needs to be a minimum of 250 pixels by 250 pixels. Currently we recommend an image of no less than 750 pixels square. This is because if you only use one post, Google will take a cross-section of the image to display – which can look a little strange!
Once you have your image, you need to write your post which can be up to 300 words. Our top tip is to get your message over in the first 100 words (or even less), as this is the amount that is displayed without clicking for more.
If you are making your Google Post an event, click the event button and you will be able to enter the start time and date, and when the event finishes.
We also strongly suggest using the add a button facility – currently you can choose from:
- Learn more
- Sign up
- Get offer
For a veterinary practice anyone of these can be chosen for example:
Learn more – about the practice with a link to the about us page of your website.
Reserve - can be used in conjunction with an event if places are strictly limited, again linking to the appropriate page on your website.
Sign up - a really ideal option to promote a preventative healthcare plan, linking back to the healthcare plan page on the website.
Buy - perhaps the least used as far as veterinary practices are concerned, however it can be linked to promotional items on your website (not POMV products of course).
Get offer – this speaks for itself and is ideal for specific or seasonal offers within the practice, again linking back to the website.
Currently there is not a ‘book appointment’ or ‘contact us’ button, however Google Posts is still in its infancy and it is a call to action that may be added in future. Once the post is written, click preview and the post will display as if live, then click publish!
When the posts are live they will show up on the Google My Business dashboard. They will also have an eye symbol underneath them.
The post can be measured to how successful they are, by clicking the icon. A display with the number of times the post has been seen and clicked on will be shown.
At this stage it is trial and error as to what works and what is not so good. If you find a formula that seems to work, write more posts like it! Don’t forget, currently they only last a week.
Are they worth using?
Absolutely! What better way to help inform people about the practice than to put it right under their nose?!
The posts can also be shared across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email. A link is also provided to share the post as well.
It’s not clear yet whether Google will index the posts and make them searchable, but because they have been rolled out worldwide, it seems they are here to stay.
If you have any questions about Google Posts please contact the team here at VetHelpDirect.