Winter is the golden season for many businesses. In fact, some businesses—from local brands to nationwide chains—will generate more than half their annual revenue in November and December alone. That makes Q4 advertising a critical endeavour.
But it’s not all holiday cheer. Paid advertising becomes significantly more competitive (and costly) during the holidays, pricing many out of the game. In such cases, it may be best to focus on organic promotions instead. That’s why we’re shining a light on a marketing tactic that offers amazing value for minimal effort: Google Posts.
What are Google Posts?
Google Posts allow businesses to microblog about events, sales, and promotions directly on their public Google My Business (GMB) profiles. It’s a relatively new feature, having been created specifically for Google Maps in 2017, but its uptake is still astonishingly low.
If you want to get an edge during this holiday season (let’s face it, who doesn’t?), this totally free and underutilised Google product could be your best bet to not only engage your existing customers but also earn a significant SEO boost your competitors don’t even know about. Here’s how.
Claim more SERP real estate—for free!
Google Posts are a potential game-changer because they take up a significant amount of priceless Google real estate, appearing in the Knowledge Panel in both Google Maps and standard search results. They’re hard to miss, which makes them ideal for timely announcements like holiday hours—especially for impulse shoppers and those looking for last-minute gifts who would be hesitant to venture to a store with unclear opening times.
Remember that even when you set seasonal hours in GMB, the dreaded “hours may differ” message may appear, dissuading potential shoppers. All you have to do is publish a Google Post detailing your seasonal hours to give customers the confidence they need to pay your store a visit.
Rank for more searches
Another great use of Google Posts is to push your holiday promotions. If specific products are on sale or you’re offering store-wide holiday discounts, you can announce it prominently. There is also a major secondary benefit to advertising through Google Posts because Google uses this content as a local SEO ranking factor. By using this feature, you will increase the likelihood that Google will include your business in a broader range of search queries.
Google does this is by pulling snippets from Google Posts to decide which businesses to rank in the coveted local 3-pack. So, for example, a Google Post that promotes “25% off men’s watches 25% in December” will be eligible to appear in the local 3-pack for “men’s watches” search queries. It’s a method of keyword optimisation above and beyond your website, and Google appears to favor it for local search.
Step ahead of your rivals
Google Posts are an enticing prospect for the 2019 holiday season simply because they’re so underutilised. This is only the third year-end where Google Posts have been live and many businesses are yet to learn of the benefits. Do something your competitors aren’t—and, in the process, complete your Google presence to look more professional than any of your local rivals.
With the aforementioned SEO boost, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that a well-crafted Google Post could be the determining factor in a customer’s purchase decision. After all, it’s no secret that Google prefers businesses that use every available product. If there are two local retailers selling men’s watches and only one of them has a Google Post promoting that fact, which one will Google prioritise? Exactly.
Of course, Google Posts come with their own challenges. For instance, posts have to be replaced or renewed every seven days. Google adds further difficulty to the process by not allowing businesses with 10 or more locations to bulk upload posts.
If you are in need of a business partner who can help you succeed in local search this holiday season—and take full advantage of a hyperlocal Google Posts strategy—simply contact DAC today.