When most people leave their house to visit a new restaurant or retail store, they have already searched dozens of competitors. They already know who offers the best prices for what they want and which is the closest location for their immediate needs. Many companies are aware of this and have been working on ways to win out over the other guys.
What is a Google My Business post?
One tactic that is becoming a new digital battleground in 2019 for brick and mortar locations is Google My Business (GMB) posts. Google has been testing this new feature for some time now and but recently has placed a bigger emphasis on mobile GMB posts. These posts allow any company, from enterprise level all the way to a mom and pop shop, to promote current events, special offers and general updates about their business. These posts are then shown in search results via their Google My Business listings.
Google My Business posts in action
While this is an exciting new feature that can help businesses of all types increase their findability, it's important to keep in mind that there are still many aspects of this feature that need to be tested. A couple of these tests include changing the location of the posts within Google Maps or the Knowledge Panel. So far, these tests have affected all pieces of a posts performance ranging from views to clicks and even conversions. Google is also integrating GMB posts into a new effort from Google called Discovery. This feature is Google's attempt to customize a users mobile version of Google's homepage to display things the user is interested in, based upon their search behavior or indications of interest by following a company or topic. Ultimately, Google has included this feature in enough areas, and the effort is reasonable enough that it has become a very worthwhile tactic that will help any business stand out—if done correctly.
Our Own Google My Business Test Results
We took some time to find a few posts that we thought were engaging enough to be worth the effort of the current manual implementation limitations. For example, we looked at the Google My Business posts that were implemented for a B2B client of ours whose online conversion rate was 3.61%. The Google My Business posts that were implemented had a conversion rate of 14.20%. To be fair, the higher conversion rate had a smaller amount of users, but a more efficient channel is still beneficial. However, a negative that came from these posts, initially, is the same problem that most new features experience—spam. Google's lack of a robust content policy resulted in businesses either posting about inappropriate topics or "hacking" the functionality to have the posts last longer than they should. This kind of spam led to initial distrust of the feature from users. Google quickly remedied by updating the content policy to what it is today.
Is a Google My Business post strategy worthwhile?Overall, GMB posts are an interesting feature that Google is continuing to update and include in more areas of their platform. If you have brick & mortar locations, Google My Business posts are a great way to stand out and make your business more attractive to new and returning customers in 2019.
Written by Michael Wallace