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How to improve local search ranking of your business with Google Posts

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a business in possession of a good website, must be in want of more visitors. With so many options available in search and social, it might get a little overwhelming for marketers to discern how each service differs and what value it brings to their business, particularly as organic traffic to their website. In this post, you’ll learn how you can take advantage of quick publishing options available in Google’s social and search products to lift your website’s local search rankings.

To get your feet ever so gently wet, here’s a snapshot of the difference between Profiles, Pages and Business Listings on Google. You may want to skip ahead if you’re already familiar with these terms.

 A profile on Google+ is quite similar to a personal profile on Facebook or LinkedIn. It helps you share your opinions, take part in discussions and connect with like-minded individuals and communities on the network. Although it has not really caught on as a social network, Google tirelessly indexes your Google+ posts if you’ve turned ON the setting to be discoverable on search results. Since each post has a unique URL, when someone engages with your content, there’s a good chance that it could surface as a ranked search result.

 A page on Google+ is usually managed under a brand account by the team members of an organisation. Let’s say it’s similar to a Facebook Page or a LinkedIn Company Page. It helps your team publish posts and engage with your audience.

 A business listing on Google is managed from a free tool called Google My Business that incorporates Google Search, Maps and Google+. It helps you display relevant details of your business such as the address of your store, business hours, contact number, travel directions, ratings and reviews with pictures from customers and, more. It refers to the actual store or business in a physical location.

Let’s say you want to grab a cup of coffee en route to your work. When you search for “Coffee shops” on Google, the first thing you would notice in the search results is a list of coffee shops near your current location. On clicking one, you’ll see all the details added by the brand manager to help you decide to have their coffee. Besides that, you’ll also get to see similar shops that people search for. 

New to Google My Business? Want to create a Google listing for your business? Learn more here. 

The other side of what you’re seeing is where the brand manager of the coffee shop resides. As an owner of a Google My Business account, you can publish posts, letting the audience from search know that your business is active. You can monitor the clicks to your site, requests for directions and customer reviews, create different types of posts that’ll show up when your customers search with keywords relevant to your business. If you’re running a digital agency, you might want to check the recent agency offering from Google My Business. A lot of test results on the web indicate that Google Posts does help to elevate your search result ranking, at least in your locality. Any business serious about organic social media marketing would be crazy to pass up an opportunity to repurpose the same content as Google Posts. Here are a few pointers to get you started with Google Posts:

 Tips to make the most out of Google Posts:

  1. Bear in mind that only verified business listings can compose Google Posts. If you’re a business spread across many locations, fret not. Only for the first business listing, you’d have to wait to receive a postcard with the verification code. (Psst…it took almost a week to receive my verification code). Going forward, you can easily verify the other business listings through the OTP sent to your registered mobile number.

  2. Just as you would post special offers, events or updates on your social channels, make sure to repurpose your social content as Google Posts.

  3. A Google Post can have a maximum of 300 characters, of which the first 100 appear as a snippet in the Knowledge Panel on the right-hand side of the SERP. Makes sure every word counts.

  1. Make sure you post images with 1:1 aspect ratios (or in layman’s terms- a square image) so that your post doesn’t have an awkwardly-cropped image thumbnail.
  2. Every type of Google Post lets you add an optional button with different labels where you can include a landing page URL. Now, this is the real deal here. The button helps you drive organic traffic to your site right from your Google Post.

  3. Although you can track how your visitors discover your business, you can’t track click-throughs and conversions for your Google Posts. You could add UTM codes to the landing page URL to track these stats on Google Analytics.

  4. Your posts have a shelf-life of 7 days. If you’d like to keep your post alive for an extended period of time, you can make use of scheduling options in third-party social media management tools to repeat your Google Posts.

Have any useful tips for Google Posts? I’ll be chuffed to learn from you.

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