The much anticipated Google Posts feature has recently been made available to businesses using the GMB (Google My Business) platform. Google Posts allows local businesses to share content that features directly in the search results when users search for a business. Posts also have the chance to show up in Maps results depending on the nature of the query and the post.
Google first launched this feature in January 2016 during the US election primarily for the purpose of allowing presidential candidates to post content in the search results in a card-like horizontal carousel, which at the time Search Engine Land dubbed as “Candidate Cards”.
A few months later in March 2016 Google then started to slowly expand Google Posts to a limited number of small businesses in the US by invitation only.
In late June 2017 this feature was finally rolled out via the GMB platform and now is also accessible to small businesses in Australia.
Wondering if your business should be using Google Posts? For any local business that already has a well-established brand and recognition, Google Posts are the perfect opportunity to publish fresh content that helps you improve your presence in search results particularly in the Knowledge Graph panel when customers search for your brand.
Google has provided the following suggestions for using Google Posts:
It is important to note that the businesses to benefit most from this feature at this stage are the ones who already have significant recognition and volume around their branded searches. Unfortunately, if your local business does not already generate significant branded searches that trigger a Knowledge Graph result, it is less likely that searches will see any content you publish via Google Posts.
At Rocket, we’ve used Google Posts (Events) to help clients gain increased visibility during promotional sale periods, assist with driving foot traffic in-store and also highlight key updates relevant to a business’s specific location.
Creating a Google Post is super simple. When you log into your Google My Business dashboard, just beneath the home link in the left-hand navigation menu you will find “posts”. Below is a screenshot of the interface.
When you’re ready to publish, these are the key details you will need to enter:
*Replace text within the curly brackets highlighted in bold.
For further guidance on creating Google Posts check out Google guidelines:
Implementing the UTM tag above will allow you to track the number of clicks from your individual Google Posts.
Additionally, Google My Business provides some basic insights to show you how many views and clicks each post has received. To access this data log into Google My Business and select the relevant GMB account Click the post that you want to view insights for. You'll see the number of views and button clicks for this post. (It can take up to 2-3 days for insights data to be updated.)
As this is a relatively new feature it is a little challenging to determine the full impact of Google Posts. From an initial review here’s what I believe are the current limitations of the platform:
However, despite these limitations, and considering the ease of implementation there is a lot of potential for local businesses to capitalise on this new feature to improve the appearance of their listing, and also use it to support other marketing initiatives and of course (for now) it's free!
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