The new Posts on Google feature is a great addition to the popular search engine that SMEs would do well to take advantage of, writes Blake Smith.
Posts on Google is a feature that allows brands on the Google platform to share daily specials and current promotions, to promote events and showcase new products.
Until recently, Posts on Google was only available to a small number of celebrities, sports teams, sports leagues, movie studios and museums, allowing these brands to post social network-style updates in Google search results for their brand names.
However, now local businesses can use posts on Google My Business to publish their events, products and services to Google Search and Maps. These social media posts on the web and in the Google My Business Android and iOS apps.
These posts were first seen publicly in January 2016 under the name “candidate cards”, a Google experiment allowing political candidates to post content. This test obviously proved successful, as the feature has been made available to all businesses.
So what does this mean for SMEs?
The primary way users are going to see Google Posts is when they search for a business name, which renders a Google My Business listing in search engine results pages (SERPS).
This will allow your GMB listing to take up much more real estate in Google’s search results.
In addition to text and photos, posts can also include custom calls-to-action buttons. These buttons can be used to direct customers to make a reservation, sign up, buy a product, or link to a special offer.
How will posts affect my business?
Google has stated that 82 per cent of people turn to search engines to find local information, and 70 per cent look at multiple businesses before making a decision.
Posts can help your business stand out from the pack with special offers and visual updates in real-estate that was previously untouchable.
Recommended ways to use posts are to:
- Direct users to sign up to a newsletter for a special offer
- Showcase new products/services available
- Direct search traffic to your social media page/s
- Highlight a featured product on your store
- Advertise an event being hosted by your business
- Engage existing customers with a special loyalty offer
Once published, your post will almost instantly appear in search results for your business name, provided you have a verified GMB listing. So what are you waiting for? Get posting!
Blake Smith is a marketing specialist with online marketing agency E-Web Marketing.