What Are Google Posts?
Google Posts are a new way to market to patients & prospective patients (people searching for you on Google) through your Google My Business listing.
Google Posts are offers, content, events, or highlights about your practice published – via Google My Business (not Google+…more on that later) – which post directly to Google Search & Google Maps.
According to Google, posting through Google My Business lets you publish your events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps.
By creating posts, you can place timely, action-oriented content in front of patients & prospective patients when they find your business listing on Google or Google Maps.
Where Will People See Your Google Posts?
When you publish a Post to your Google My Business listing, your post will be seen on:
- Your Google My Business listing.
- Google search engine results – in your Knowledge Panel.
- On your Google Maps listing.
Here’s an example of what it looks like on search:
Here’s an example of what it looks like on Maps:
So, basically dentists can differentiate themselves from the local competition by posting offers, events & even appointment scheduling from your Google My Business listing.
Should dentists be concerned with posting from Google My Business?
Why Would A Dentist Use Google My Business Posts?
Because you’re reaching people when they are searching for you on Google & Google Maps!
Google My Business Posts can help you engage patients – and more importantly, prospective patients – in a few different ways.
GMB Posts will be effective for dentists because Posts allow you to maximize more real estate on Google’s search results page. You can showcase important updates about your practice, help promote local events (schools, sports, charity…etc.), and drive more clicks to your website, and landing pages.
When people in your area (trusting you have good enough Local SEO) search for & find your Google My Business (GMB) listing, your Posts will be prominently displayed.
4 more benefits all dentists (with verified, optimized GMB listings) will realize with effective Google My Business Posts:
- Captivating posts will make your Google My Business listing stand out from the competition.
- Posts appear more prominent on mobile devices…where MOST of your traffic comes from.
- People can share your Posts on their social media profiles, improving your engagement.
- People can click-to-call your office to make appointments or even online purchases. (whitening kits, fundraising, event promotion…etc.)
What Should A Dentist Post To Google My Business?
Special offers to new patients, practice announcements & news, job openings, oral health products for sale, and local events to name a few.
But beware, crafting a useful Google My Business Post involves an eye-catching image, compelling copy, effective calls to action…and landing page(s), visit & call tracking…etc.
I wouldn’t do a root canal on myself, and I trust unless you possess equally efficient graphic design, copywriting, social media, marketing and advertising skills as you do dentistry, it’s probably best to leave it up to the professionals.
But misery loves company, so here you go…
Google My Business Posts for dentists can basically be divided into 3 categories:
- New Patient Offers: Google My Business Posts are great for promoting special offers to prospective new patients.
- Announcements: Hiring a hygienist? Training for a local Tri? Share the winner of social media contest?…get it.
- Events: Event posts will expire after the event date specified. Think Invisalign Day, Halloween Candy Buyback…etc.
Every Post should include a high-resolution image (no video yet) of your offer, event, announcement…etc. and include details about the offer in the description of the post.
You can either make a Post an Event, add a link to website or landing page, and add the following call-to-action buttons:
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Get Offer
SPECIAL TIP: Use a compelling call to action in the 1st 100 characters of the Post.
Generic example: Need A Dentist NOW? Get A Free Exam & X-Rays. Kids Welcome. Open Evenings & Saturdays. Call us now to schedule: (555) 555-5555.
The plan begins here for the DIY digital marketing dentist. Define your strategy & start crafting that ass-kicking, new-patient-call-producing Post from your Google My Business listing.
How Does A Dentist Use Google My Business Posts?
Creating a post is easy, even for the DIY digital marketing dentist. The process beings in your Google My Business dashboard.
Post To Google My Business On Desktop
- Sign in to Google My Business. If you have two or more locations, click Manage location for the location you’d like to manage.
- Click Create post. Or click Posts from the menu.
- The “Create post” screen will appear. Here, you’ll see options to add photos, text, events, and a button to your post. Just click each field, and enter the relevant information.
- 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.
Post To Google My Business On Mobile
- Open the Google My Business app.
- In the bottom right corner of the screen, tap the create icon . Then tap the posts icon that appears.
- The “Create post” screen will appear. Here, you’ll see options to add photos, text, events, and a button to your post. Just tap each field, and enter the relevant information.
- Once you’ve filled out your information, you’ll see a preview of your post. If it looks good, tap Publish in the top right corner of the screen.
Whether you go mobile or desktop, we advise producing a new Post, or update to your existing post, each week. Remember, Posts expire in 7 days. (except Events)
Important Points To Remember About Google My Business Posts
- Google Posts are removed after 7 days (except on mobile).
- Posts stay live for 7 days, Events stay live until the event is over.
- Images smaller that 400x300px will not be accepted.
- New posts show first, older posts who inc carousel format
- Posts are shareable on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, & Email.
- Only the first 100 characters of text show in the Knowledge Panel
How Do Dentists Track Their Google My Business Posts?
Login to your Google My Business dashboard to view impressions & clicks of your Posts. Simply click the ‘Posts’ tab, then the individual post you’d like to see:
SPECIAL TIP: We highly recommended using some type of URL shortener and/or tagging system to see exactly how many website visits & phone calls result from your posting efforts. Using a discount code for offers is another way to track your posts.
Test, Review & Optimize Your Posts
Given historical empirical experience of early adoption rates with regards to dentists and digital marketing (looking at you social media naysayers), most dentists are still not taking advantage of Google My Business Posts.
Crafting a killer call-producing, event registering Google Post takes time, effort and expertise.
Since Google Posts expire after 7 days (except Events, and past Posts in mobile), this gives dentists the opportunity to test, review & optimize their Posts with different content.
Just be sure to go about this optimization process systematically, review performance and make note of which posts are responsible for the most engagement, then do more of that.
How Google My Business Posts Are Different From Google+ Posts
Google My Posts and Google Plus are two different things.
Google Plus, G+, whatever you want to call it is Google’s – often thought dead but still kicking – foray into social media.
Google My Business Posts are content you publish to Google’s knowledge panel section of Google search results, and Google Maps pages associated with your practice. Posts are new, Plus is not.
Is Google Plus Still Worth It For A Dentist?
It depends on the practice.
If you’re realizing return on investment (reviews, shares, comments, +1s,…etc.) for both the time & cost involved then the obvious answer is yes.
If not – like most dentists – Google+ can pretty much be ignored.
The keys to succeeding on either Google My Business Posts or Google+ Posts are
- A well executed plan.
- Superior content.
- Captivating imagery (& video for G+).
- Engagement with local people & businesses.
If you have all of that in place, do both. Just be sure to test everything – calls to action, images, button colors, text…etc.
That way you can get a (at least somewhat) data-driven conclusion rather than gut feeling.
Are Google My Business Posts Indexed By Google?
And despite many calling Google Plus dead, one benefit of Google+ that we’ve noticed is that when we post to a dentist’s G+, and that post gets +1’d (Google’s version of the Like button), Google indexes the link in that post…QUICKLY.
I’ll come back and post the screenshots if I can ever find them!
Here are the screenshots of indexed G+ posts (NOT GMB Posts):
The search queries were [service + city]…i.e. invisalign anytown.
These results were admittedly at the bottom of the first page of Google’s search results, but look how the content differs from the previous results. (photos, hashtags, content).
According to this SELand article, that’s a benefit Google My Business Posts do not enjoy.
Need Help With Google My Business Posts?
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