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Google Opens Up Direct-To-Search And Map Posts To Local Businesses

Previously available only to major brands and celebs, Google Posts will now let local shops share time-sensitive daily specials, current promotions, or any other news right on Google Maps and in search.

Google My Business clients have a new discovery tool that will let their announcements, promotions, events, and other news be found directly in query results and on their Google Maps listings.

Dubbed Google Post, the feature was first offered to select major brands, celebrities, and to the presidential candidates who wanted an easy way of getting the word out about location-based news they had, such as special appearances and events.

The Posts will appear within Google business listings. Customers only have to “tap” the Post box to read the full item. Users can also share the Posts to friends via email or social channels.

“With 82 percent of people turning to search engines to find local information, your Google listing is the ideal place to showcase what is unique about your business,” writes Rosa Wu, product manager Google My Business, in a blog post. “Even when customers know exactly what they’re looking for, they still want to get to know the business and see what it has to offer. That’s why Google My Business is bringing Posts to local businesses — an easy way to help attract new customers and build relationships with the customers you already have.”

The latest tool in Google My Business follows the recently added ability for restaurants to publish their entire, detailed menus within their search results across Google could change the way eateries are ultimately discovered by patrons interested in specific meals.

Like the direct-to-search and maps feature for menus, Posts takes the friction out of having to leave Google Maps, wait for an outside menu site to load, and then have to return to the main app for directions and other details such as reviews, directions, and hours.

It all stems from Google’s determination to offer users a complete walled garden where they don’t have to lose the ease of staying in its search app functions, whether it’s to hail a car or book a fitness appointment.

The key difference with Posts is that it allows for the easy distribution and discovery of time-sensitive news that a local business wants new and existing customers to know.

Among the ideas that Google suggests local businesses might use Posts for:

  • Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
  • Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.
  • Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.

From there, businesses can choose the ways consumers can take an action from a Post. For example, they can connect with customers directly from their Google listing by giving them a “one-click path” to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even make a purchase directly online.

“Seventy percent of people look at multiple businesses before making a final choice,” Wu says. “With Posts, you can share timely, relevant updates right on Google Search and Maps to help your business stand out to potential customers. And by including custom calls-to-action directly on your business listing, you can choose how to connect with your customers.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.