Google posts are a relatively recent feature that allows verified businesses like veterinary practices to create a post, much like a traditional Facebook post, that will appear in the local panel on Google’s search results as well as on Google Maps. Here’s a rundown of what you need to know and how you can implement these into your marketing strategy.
Practices that are verified businesses on Google are eligible to use the Google posts feature. Pet owners searching for veterinarians or your specific practice may see these posts in the search engine.
Posts, much like a traditional Facebook post, can include a description, photo and clickable call-to-action button. They act as mini-ads for your practice! Content can include photos, images, GIFs and videos.
Google offers several post type varieties, including:
Call to action buttons can be linked to your practice’s specific URLs, such as your appointment booking link, recent blog post, or website home page. Call-to-action button options are:
Most Google Business posts expire after a week, with the main exception being event posts with a date in the future. Posts can be scheduled within the platform up to seven days in advance. In addition, Google does send an email notification when your post is about to expire, or if you haven’t posted in a while.
Google business posts appear in a user’s search engine results (specifically the Google knowledge panel). Google states that they may also appear in the Google feed (for Android devices) if the user has shown an interest in the brand. Offers appear near the top of the Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. They also appear with all other posts in the Updates tab.
Google Business posts offer several advantages, including:
Bottom line? If I have a FREE opportunity to take up more space on a search engine result, use a photo or video to show a warm and fuzzy feeling to potential clients, and provide an easy, one click way for clients to book an appointment, I’m going to take it.
To create a Google post:
Most Google posts can be similar to those you would run on your Facebook or Instagram accounts. Since they have the benefit of “lasting” a bit longer, it’s reasonable to use more “evergreen” content. Avoid the daily barrage of cute puppy pics and try general “Book Now” posts highlighting a specific service or feature such as laser therapy or a cat-only exam room. If you have a blog, share the link and image and a teaser for the content. Remember that your posts will be seen by clients who are searching not only for you, but for the search terms that may appear in your post. Vary the content each week between cats and dogs, and between service, offers and news for a balanced approach.
Your post can be edited or deleted, much like social media posts. It can also be shared directly to your Facebook or Twitter page, emailed directly, or a shared via a direct link visible on each individual post. You can also view the post on Google directly in order to give it one last final review.
Reviewing Your Posts
You can monitor the success of your posts easily within your Google Business dashboard. Luckily, users are likely to engage with your content because they’re already searching for you on Google. Click on each individual post to view it’s metrics, or check your email for a weekly summary from Google. Specifically, you can view how many people saw each post and how many clicked the link.
For more info, check the latest on Google here, or shoot us an email!
-The Social DVM Team