It is the world’s largest and most popular search engine, but Google hasn’t been as successfully with their foray into the world of social networking. Google Buzz didn’t last that long and Google Plus certainly looks like it’s going the same route into oblivion.
But if you were Google, would you just give up on social media that easily?
Of course not! After all, being Google, you would know how popular social media has become and how useful it can be in terms of getting information these days, right? And considering how fond Google is of updating their system from time to time, one would expect them to update their social media efforts, considering the not-so-successful run of Google Plus, right?
Well, then, it should come as no surprise that they have recently introduced another update and that this particular update clearly has social elements incorporated into it. The update we are talking about is actually a platform known as Posts with Google or simply Google Posts.
What Is It?
First launched as an experimental podium, Google Posts was described as a platform that gives people the chance to “hear directly from the US presidential candidates in real time on Google.” These days, however, you are likely to see Google Posts profiles of a number of business establishments. That is because, even during the time when the platform was still available exclusively to the US presidential candidates, Google already extended an invitation for establishments to join a waitlist.
If you signed up for the waitlist, what then?
Well, when Google started allowing business establishments to create a profile on Google Posts, those who were on top of the waitlist were the first ones to be given the chance. They are therefore the first ones to benefit from this new feature on the search engine.
How Do You Benefit?
Okay, here’s the thing: Google Posts, although it has social elements, isn’t really a social media platform in the way that Google+ is. Rather, it is a search platform that looks social. Yes, it’s a little confusing, I know. So let me explain further…
Let’s say you just did a branded search for A Healthy Choice Massage and Day Spa. Before Google started experimenting with Google Posts, what you are likely to see when the search results pulled up is the Knowledge Graph on the right side and paid ads at the top of the results, followed by organic results.
Today, the same search will likely yield this page:
And when you click on the link to the profile of a business that appears on the Google Posts carousel, you will see that it looks like a social media profile. To know exactly what I’m talking about, check out the Google Posts profile of Andrews Jewelers, a jewelry business in Buffalo, New York.
So now we get back to the question of just how you can benefit from this new Google podium… . . .
Right now, of course, you may not be readily able to benefit from the platform, since it is still in the “invite only” phase. But online marketing professionals expect Google to open the platform to more brands and even individuals in the near future. And when that happens, it will certainly have a significant impact on the way businesses market their brands.
As shown in the above screen shot, the content carousel of Google Posts is very prominent and eye-catching. You can also see that unlike organic results, it doesn’t just include titles and links; rather, it has images, videos, and a social sharing button! This can mean two things for you:
– You could get more clicks that you would probably not be getting with purely organic results or even paid ads.
– The links embedded in the posts that appear on your Google Posts profile could get more people to land on your website, thereby helping you save money you would otherwise spend on paid ads.
And the benefits don’t stop there! With this platform, you could actually posts real-time updates concerning your brands, such as promotional offers, special sales, new products, or any other update for which you want to gain people’s attention. And these updates will actually show up on Google’s search results! How cool is that?
But perhaps one of the best things about this new podium is that it actually helps you steer users’ attention away from any negative results that just might appear on page one of a branded search result for your brand. You know how difficult it can be to recover from negative search results, so this would definitely be a huge help for businesses.
Should You Start Getting Ready NOW?
As mentioned earlier, Google Posts is still in the “experimental” stage and only a few local businesses have a profile on the platform at this time. However, it is expected that Google will soon open the platform to more organizations and individuals, and that time may come sooner than you think. So yes, it would definitely be a good idea for you to be ready when it happens.
Many online marketing and SEO professionals have also expressed their hopes of Google providing reporting metrics for Google Posts someday soon, so that businesses can measure the results they get from their Google Posts profiles. It may not be too much to hope for such metrics to be available by the time the platform itself is opened up.
Okay, so how should you prepare for the day when you can finally set up your own Google Posts profile?
Well, you may not realize it, but this is actually the most tangible proof so far that you should not choose between content marketing and SEO. Instead, you should consolidate your content marketing and SEO efforts; transform it into a single endeavor that delivers the best results.
Here are some tips on how you can make SEO and content work together such that your future participation in Google Posts will go smoothly:
- Find Out What Your Target Customers Care About
Whether you have an in-house website content writer or have chosen to outsource content creation, the person or company providing your content shouldn’t be writing about just any topic that comes to mind. Every single piece of content you post online should discuss a subject or topic your target customers are actually interested in. After all, why would anyone want to visit a website or patronize a brand that doesn’t offer the kind of information they’re looking for?
- Identify the Best Content Types for Your Brand
Even if you are paying for SEO content writing services, the responsibility of choosing what type of content appears on your website (or your Google Posts profile in the future) still largely lies on your shoulders. Your content provider may come up with suggestions as regards your content marketing strategy and the type of content they’ll be creating for you, but the final decision is still yours to make.
Considering this, you have to know exactly what type of content works best for your brand. What types of content do your target customers typically consume? What types of content on your website are currently giving you the best results? These are the kinds of content you should be displaying on your Google Posts profile when you finally get the chance to set one up.
- Make Use of Descriptive Text
Sure, Google Posts displays images and videos along with the text of your content, but it is still the descriptive text that enables Google’s algorithms to understand your content as well as the context of the images and videos on your site. Making content and SEO work together effectively means that even as you focus on creating content for readers, you should also make sure that search engines understand your content. The good news is that a credible website content writing services provider understands this very well.
- Sell Gently
Of course you need to sell. That’s what businesses do. But when you’re marketing your business online, you need to be very gentle in selling your products/services. Online users are easily scared off by hard-sell tactics and heavy-handed promotions.
Google Posts may not be open to all businesses yet, but surely you already have at least one social media profile, and you are likely using that profile to announce sales, promotions, and other business updates. That’s fine. However, it would be even better if you focused on providing informative content and then simply injecting the promotional announcements here and there, instead of bombarding your followers with hard-sell posts every day.
- Link Your Content to Your Business
Whether you are posting content on your social media pages or on your website, it is always a good idea to link to your e-commerce web page. If your content is truly effective, then the reader would want to check out your products. Make the process easier and more convenient for them by providing a direct link to the products page instead of requiring them to click on a few more tabs just to get there.
It doesn’t matter if you choose to pay for content writing services or create your own content. What matters is that you have the kind of content that effectively works with SEO and is ready for integration into Google Posts.