Google has updated their algorithm to present users with relevant local business listings when a user searches a vague term like "pizza" or "Italian". This update will help drive traffic to local businesses who have claimed their business listing and follow best practices that increase their chances of appearing in search results. If you need a refresher on what some of the latest best practices are, check this article out.
In true Google style, they didn't stop there. Now businesses can include social media type updates to be included in Google search results. This feature is called Posts.
Until now, according to TechCrunch, Posts on Google only allowed a small number of celebrities, sports teams, movie studios, and museums to post social-style updates about their activities right to Google’s search result pages. These organizations and individuals could post images, videos, GIFs and text and use that to drive traffic to their sites. Through the update, businesses in supported categories can use this feature to publish events, products and services, to Google Search and Maps.
How will businesses benefit from Posts? Google said that businesses can utilize the new Posts feature to share specials, promotions, events, and showcase products. Businesses have the ability to link these posts to their own websites to drive traffic, engagement, email sign-ups, etc. Currently, many businesses share this information on social media. Posts takes the extra step of visiting a social platform out of their exploration process and gets your most important information in front of the user sooner.
For example, a user is searching for a place to get pizza. Through searching the term "pizza", they are presenting with options near them. Then through Posts, they see that a restaurant is offering a special that appeals to them. Last, they click the maps option to navigate to the restaurant. After a good experience, they may sign up for emails or follow the restaurant on social media for continued updates.
How do you start using this feature? It's easy. If you haven't already, claim your listing. Next, request access. Last, all you have to do is share relevant, helpful information and monitor your analytics.
Videos and events show up instantly in search results on both desktop and mobile. Google has made it simple easy to schedule the timing and duration of a post and you will even receive updates on how many people see and interact with your content.
Hungry people are always trying to find something to satisfy their cravings as quickly as possible. This update helps them do that even faster than they already can. Until something better comes along, restaurant marketers should take advantage of this feature in order to get found online by the foodie on the go.