When a consumer is actively looking for a local provider of a product or service, they turn to Google. In fact, Google states that 46% of all searches are for a local business – and in the past month local business searches have risen exponentially on Google.
Getting found by these nearby engaged buyers is critical to success for every small business, and this is done by ranking higher on Google search results pages. There are three areas on a search results page: ads, maps, and websites. Google is a business and of course prefers that you to buy ads from them – however, there is an opportunity to get free traffic from Google. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to improve the ranking of your business in the Google local/ maps experience. This is accomplished by maintaining and optimizing your Google My Business Listing, which is critical if you want free traffic and new customers from Google.
Google has made it clear that keeping your Google My Business listing current and up to date will improve your business’s rank in their local search results. Today, more than ever, it’s important that business owners provide honest and accurate information about their business status. Regularly maintaining your Google Business listing allows you to do this, while also gaining favour from Google, and receiving a higher rank in their local search experience which delivers more customers to your business.
In our last post we discussed the important role Google My Business is playing in today’s challenging times, and what businesses need to ensure they’re doing to stay ahead. Read that post here if you haven’t already, or if you’re not familiar with Google My Business.
Here we’d like to focus more specifically on Google Posts, and the increasingly important role they are playing through the COVID-19 crisis.
If businesses have not been paying attention to posting to Google, now is the time to start. It’s clear that in this time of much change, Google has decided that posts are going to be the ‘thing’ they put particular focus on. Posts are given prominence on listings in Google search results, and they are the top indicator to Google that a business is real, relevant, and still looking for new customers.
Posts are a great way to give Google searchers real-time information about a business – which is a benefit to everyone involved, including Google. This is why they favour posts, especially in times like we are now facing. It’s really quite simple – posts offer a way for their searchers to easily get up-to-date information about a business, and Google rewards businesses that provide this information to their search experience.
Prior to COVID-19, over half of businesses had created a post – and with so many businesses recently using Google Posts to provide COVID-19 related updates, this number will rise considerably. With such emphasis being put on posts, if you’re not taking advantage of posting to your Google Business listing, it will be your competitor that gains Google’s favour, and gets shown in local search results to potential customers.
Use Google Posts to stay up to date with your audience, and to give Google what it wants.
Business owners must communicate with empathy during times of crisis. In a fast-moving situation, it’s important that you recognize that your customers will have many questions, concerns and fears. Use Google Posts to provide updates about what’s going on at your business.
- Examples of this include:
- Closures or reduced hours
- Changes to your normal operations
- Safety and hygiene practices
- Availability of gift cards to support your business
Even if nothing has changed, it’s still important to re-post to Google every 7 days. This ensures your post always stays prominent on your Google listing, and is a constant signal to Google that you’re an active, engaged business.
One important point to note is that posts that include a phone number may be rejected by Google. Do not use posts as a way to update your contact information.
We will be closely monitoring the situation and are here to help. We’re offering a free Google Starter Kit to businesses that need help setting up or maintaining their Google Business Listing. Simply signup here and use promotional code GSK1901 to receive your Free 2 Year Google Starter Kit ($480 value). No credit card is required and signup is fast and easy.
Learn how our Google Starter Kit helps small businesses effectively improve their rank in Google Local Search
or want to talk?