Google Posts can give your brand’s local listings an extra shot at visibility and interactivity in search results. They show up in the local panel on Google search and on Google Maps and are prominently displayed – especially on mobile devices.
Local business queries grew by more than 200% in 2019, even before the impact of COVID-19 made supply chain fragility, shopping closer to home, and supporting local businesses top of mind for all kinds of consumers. Designed to target close-proximity users and increase consumer interest, in-store purchases, or business visits, Google Posts are now more relevant than ever before.
At Google’s discretion, even older Posts can get pulled into the SERPs on certain searches. For that reason, you need to ensure they are well-maintained and some may even need to be removed when they are no longer current or relevant to your customers.
The Often Underused Opportunity
Added to Google My Business (GMB) back in 2017, Google Posts offer businesses an ideal way to engage with local searchers. Creating timely and impactful posts can help to highlight new products, share offers, promote in-store events, and communicate important news and updates.
However, despite being around for nearly four years now, Google Posts are still largely underutilized. This is unfortunate given their potential for accelerating the ROI of SEO efforts and for improving the brand’s local visibility and search ranking. But it presents a great opportunity for those brands that commit to making Posts a part of their local SEO strategy.
Well-devised Google Posts have a proven positive impact on increasing viewer engagement and actions. Site visibility is considerably improved, and search discoverability is increased, especially for retail brands.
Although there are several types of Post formats, they fall into two main categories:
- A timely announcement such as a promotion, event, or something else that won’t be relevant past its expiration date.
- Keyword-optimized local content that is more evergreen and relevant to your customer no matter the delay between creating the content and them reading and interacting with it.
Is Google measuring Google Posts engagement? We just don’t know. However, for the value of them to your customers alone, Google Posts should be a part of your local marketing strategy.
How Often Should Your Brand Use Google Posts?
There’s no definitive answer to the question of frequency. It depends very much on the nature of the brand in question.
Some companies post announcements or evergreen content monthly, while locations that are getting a lot of traffic, or that have more to share in this format, may post more frequently. Restaurants, for example, often offer multiple promotions at once and tend to get a lot of eyes on their GMB profiles.
Typically, a post remains prominent for 7 to 10 days. If you plan to post one every week or two weeks, you’ll have something relevant on your profile at all times. However, posting any more frequently than this may not produce a return worth the additional investment in time.
We have recently received reports of older Google Posts reappearing on SERPs. This has both potential advantages and drawbacks for the businesses involved, depending on the type of post and the information conveyed to customers. More importantly, it highlights the importance of removing irrelevant content from your GMB.
Why Remove Google Posts?
Will you lose the long-term SEO benefit by removing Google Posts? We simply don’t know the answer to this. What we do know is that displaying outdated information about your business could negatively impact your brand and its locations in other ways.
Accuracy of information is a vital part of earning consumer trust for your brand. If old posts are displaying out-of-date promotions, incorrect hours of operation, or content with links that no longer function, this can result in a poor user experience, negative reviews, and perhaps even the loss of that customer entirely.
BrightLocal’s Trust Report found a staggering 93% of consumers are frustrated with seeing incorrect information online. In fact, 71% had a negative experience because of it and 68% would stop using a local business if they found incorrect information about it online.
Depending on the type of business, leaving outdated content live could also break industry regulations and requirements. This is particularly true in areas where information accuracy is highly regulated, such as in finance or healthcare. Here, brands may have a legal responsibility to ensure that the information they’re presenting to the public is accurate and current.
For this reason, being aware of the life cycle of your Google Posts is crucial.
Evergreen content is preferred whenever possible. This can include promoting popular blog content, sharing customer reviews, talking about in-store happenings, and providing behind-the-scenes insight into your business. These posts can come back time and again with no issues as long as the information is still relevant, and any links are still operational.
This doesn’t mean you can’t still utilize Google Posts for special events and promotions. Use a combination of timely and evergreen posts so even if you need to remove posts as the content is outdated, you’ll still have a good body of keyword-optimized posts for Google to consider as it ranks content.
The Overall Benefit for Local Businesses
All in all, Google Posts have tremendous benefits for local businesses as long as they are correctly maintained. When thinking about whether or not to remove Google Posts, your focus should be on viewing the issue through the lenses of user experience as well as on remaining compliant to any industry regulations.
Remove Google Posts that contain outdated information or links and that are no longer current or relevant for your customers. The benefits of providing your customers with clear and accurate information are likely to far outweigh any SEO losses.
If you have any questions or concerns about your current GMB strategy or leveraging Google Posts, talk to your Account Director.