Google is rolling out a new feature that could soon challenge some portions of both social media and their Knowledge Panel, which is the information that they show about a business in the top right of the results page. The new feature, dubbed “Google Posts” by the media, allows people and businesses to post content directly to Google. Users can post images, video, text, events and animated GIFs. This content shows in both search and map results.
The difference is, Google Posts cannot be searched for directly like standard web content. Instead they only show when someone performs a search around an individual or company name. This allows posters to share up to date thoughts or information without adding it to their website or social media.
Currently Google Posts is available to all Google My Business users. For those who have never used it, Google My Business is the service that allows you to specify a location and other information about your business. If you are a business owner and anxious to try out Google Posts you can take a test drive right now.
First, sign into your Google My Business Account. You will see a menu on the left side of the page.
Then you have a choice between uploading an image, writing up to 300 words or adding an event title. You can also add call to action buttons including “Get Offer,” “Sign Up,” “Buy,” “Reserve,” “Learn More,”
All of these features mean that businesses can now share special offers or promotions, increase awareness for their events, highlight new products and give users a one-click path to buy items.
The service was first provided to the 2016 US presidential candidates. It allowed candidates to bypass the media but it also meant they could, to some extent, eliminate the self selection inherent in politics. An example of this is a Google Post by then candidate Donald Trump. Anyone searching for his name on Google would likely be shown the card before they ever clicked on a search result. That means he could put a message in front of people searching for him before they could click on a news story, campaign website or social media site.
This is also significant for businesses because they could use Google posts to speak directly to customers while better dominating the first page for their brand terms. Controlling the first page of Google results for your brand is a powerful tool. It means competitors will struggle to compete and gives you the most real-estate to sell your product or service. Imagine if a business had an AdWords ad at the top of the page along with a knowledge panel, the top ranked result in Google AND a series of Google posts. That would virtually guarantee them control of the first page.
If that wasn’t enough to get you excited, Google also allows users to add links to their Google Posts. That means anyone able to use posts can drive traffic to their chosen content with a link positioned above all the standard search results.
This makes Google Posts a powerful new marketing tool for businesses everywhere and one you should be using. If you want to unlock the full power of Google Posts for your business, call MRS Digital today.