Google is always testing new things in Google My Business. Here, contributor Claire Carlile shows us an example which proves that GMB Posts are worth investing in for almost every type of local business.
Back In the Day
In my Brighton SEO deck from this April, I waxed lyrical about how we were all having a tremendous time with posts – they were showing at the top of the local Knowledge Panel for the business, and they were getting plenty of clicks and driving valuable traffic to our websites. Then this very sad thing happened in September 2018…
Google reduced post visibility by sending them down the page on the local Knowledge Panel and onto a separate tab on mobile.
And then, in February 2019, some people started seeing instances where snippets of Google Posts started being pulled into the 3-pack and into the Local Finder.
Just to keep us on our toes, there was more new stuff in March 2019 when Google moved offers posts into the overview tab, giving businesses the chance to get a load more eyeballs and clicks through to their website based on the offers they were running.
And Now This…
On June 17th, I started seeing Google showing posts in the local finder in a section labeled ‘Related to your search’.
On mobile it looks like this:
And on desktop, like this (apologies for the date overlap but Google are clearly testing this out):
What’s Happening Here?
Google appears to be pulling Google My Business posts with semantically relevant content into the knowledge finder. This is happening for businesses that have current posts that include content relevant to the searcher’s original search query. Up to three relevant posts can show across the ‘Related to your search’ feature.
I’ve seen Google pulling in ‘what’s new’ posts, ‘product’ posts, ‘event’ posts and ‘offer’ posts – the whole gamut. In my tests, ‘offer’ posts stop showing in the ‘Related to your search’ feature once the offer has passed:
‘Related to your search’ panel while offer was in date:
‘Related to your search’ panel after offer had expired:
Note that on a desktop, if only one post is relevant to the searcher’s query the post expands to fit the column width:
What This Means for Local Businesses and Agencies
This is most likely a test, and this may or may not roll out to a SERP near you soon, but it tells us a lot about what Google is potentially planning for GMB Posts.
For me, this is just another reason to Google Posts. Google Posts are magic because:
- They’re an opportunity for a business to add semantically charged content that will appear right there on the SERP
- They’re likely to inform Google of the relevancy of that business for long-tail keywords (and even head terms)
- They add to Google’s entity knowledge for that business
If Google rolls out the ‘Related to your search’ feature across the board, Posts are going to provide an even richer experience for searchers: a chance to engage with the business on a ‘pre-site’ basis before they click (or if they click at all, let’s not get started on that one) through to your website.
Having a Google Posts strategy will be more important than ever, and taking the time to produce Google My Business posts that are relevant, compelling, and that ideally get people to actually click through to your website is more important than ever.
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