A powerful organic search presence should be a priority to every business with a website, particularly at the local level. There are many ways to strengthen your search position and drive traffic to your site, and at Integrity, our SEO and content strategy experts test them all. So when Google made their "Google Post" feature available to every business that uses the Google My Business platform 2017, our team had to see what this feature could do.
If you're not familiar with GMB Posts, you're not alone. We researched our local competitors' Google Business listings and found that none of them were utilizing the feature. Essentially, Google Posts are short snippets of content that are featured on your business listing in Google Search and Maps. They allow businesses to feature products, services, events and new posts to anyone that views their business listing. Here's what they look like:
Posts remain live for 7 days after posting. Since we have more than one post live at the moment, Google displays them in a carousel. This carousel will scroll up to 10 posts, with the most recent appearing at the beginning. They can be up to 300 characters in length, but keep in mind that only the first 80-85 characters will appear in the snippet. You can also add call-to-action buttons to your posts like "Learn more," "Sign up," "Buy," etc.
In one word - yes. We tested the feature over the course of a month and gathered some pretty insightful metrics from the experiment. To begin with, I want to note that these posts are not going to directly increase your keyword ranking. Because of this, it's more useful to highlight your services and unique selling propositions rather than stuff them with a bunch of keywords. Although Google Posts don't have the same SEO impact as full-length blog posts on your web site, they do have tangible benefits.
Google provides insights on your posts inside the Google My Business dashboard. Looking at these, we learned that visits to our site from our business listing were up by 24% over the previous month. So by simply taking 5 or so minutes a week to update our listing with a fresh post, we drove nearly a quarter more traffic to our site. That alone would have been a worthwhile return on investment! In addition to this, our Google Analytics account showed that users coming to our site from Google had increased by 48% over December. In fact, we had more users coming from Google during January 2018 than we had in any month in 2017.
Not only did we see more traffic, we actually saw a 75% increase in goal conversions. We weren't just getting more traffic, we were getting quality traffic. This amount was also higher during January than it had been during any month in 2017. We created three posts featuring our latest blogs and recent work in January, which each received 130 to 145 views apiece. These posts allowed more people to view our work, become interested in our business and reach out to contact us - all for free and with minimal effort.
Metrics like these make a strong case for incorporating Google Posts into your content strategy. They might not be a traditional SEO tactic, but it's hard to argue with the results. At our user experience strategy to development to content strategy and everything in between, we leverage our experience to deliver the results you need.
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