Google Posts: Will This Change The Landscape of Local Search?
“I’ll Google it.” How many times have you said that line? From searching local businesses, to finding an answer to prove someone wrong, Google has become our information go-to. Traditionally, for business owners, Google has solely been a marketing tool for companies to increase their online presence for certain keywords or branded keywords.
In 2011, Google attempted to break into the social networking world with their introduction of Google+. It was their way of trying to compete with Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social networks by creating “circles” and engaging with community pages. In the eyes of many, Google+ is a social networking failure, but is surprisingly still around...for how long, though?
Let’s Try This Again. Hello, Google My Business
In 2014, Google launched Google My Business, a service that allows businesses to manage how their information appears in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). How your brand is being presented and talked about across all the several sites, mediums and platforms out there can sometimes be completely out of your control. There’s always that lingering fear that prospective customers will be misinformed, either through negative reviews or incorrect business information that pushes people toward your competitors. Google My Business is one route to help brands solve the latter issue. It serves a similar function to business listings like Yelp or Yellow Pages but has the added benefit of enabling your business info to appear in the tech giant’s search results.
Consumers search for your offerings or business type, and Google My Business returns a customizable listing to go along with other search results. Information like location, hours and reviews are available right from Google’s search results page, giving users a more direct line to your business and removing potential barriers to engagement.
A New, Better Social Attempt: Google Posts
Google Posts were first announced under the name “candidate cards” in January 2016, and they were limited to political candidates looking to boost their search presence. A few months later, Google extended Posts to a small number of businesses—mostly sports teams, museums, musicians, and movies. In July 2017 the feature became available for all businesses (except hotels).
According to Google, 82% of people turn to search engines to find local information. Of those that use search engines, approximately 77% use Google. So, it’s a no-brainer that your brand’s Google listing is the perfect place to feature timely information.
A whopping 70% of people research several companies before making a final choice. Now with Google Posts, businesses can share timely, relevant updates right on Google Search and Google Maps to help them stand out to potential customers.
Competing With The Big Guns
Like Facebook or Instagram posts, Google Posts may serve as a new channel through which you can better connect with both your existing and potential clients/customers. After all, posts can be up to 300 words long, giving you ample opportunity to convey valuable, time-sensitive information that resonates with your audience. Make your post standout by adding a memorable title, image and a call-to-action button that links to a landing page. You can also set the post as an event with dates and other information that may interest your audience.
Also worth mentioning, the post includes your name, address and phone number which could drive foot traffic to your business’ physical location.
As more and more businesses (of all sizes) realize that they now have a whole lot more power over how their brands appear in search, we’ll probably witness a surge in Google Posts. This latest attempt at marrying search with social just might be Google’s best idea yet.
As an Orlando marketing agency, PH3 Agency + Brewery has helped businesses increase their exposure and quality leads through branding, content development, digital/web, search and social strategies since 2003.