Google Posts decline in traffic leave many to wonder if strategy is worth the time

December 17, 2018

Last year at LocalU Advanced in Santa Monica, Joel Headley from PatientPop shared a strategy they were using for Google Posts which sparked my interest. His use of Google Posts increased bookings by 11 percent across thousands of listings. He found a lot of the increase in clicks was actually to the Appointment URL, not just the post itself.

After learning about this, we started implementing Joel’s strategy here at my agency for our clients and found similar results.

At the end of September, I reported on my forum that Google had decided to move Google Posts to the bottom of the Knowledge Panel. I’ve asked Google several times why they would give Posts less visibility when they seem to be spending so much effort developing new features for them but have been unable to get a good answer.

Recently when doing monthly reports for clients, I started noticing a large decline in traffic (clicks) from Google Posts when looking in Google Analytics for our professional services clients. Here is an insurance agent who used to get a decent amount of traffic from Google Posts. His traffic flatlined in October despite us posting the same type of content as for September and August.

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Here is another example of the same results with a law firm:

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For the law firm, the sad thing is that we also see clicks to the Appointment URL decrease at the same rate.

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I have seen the same trend for clients in other service-based industries.

The posts for companies we work with who sell products and offer discounts are still driving a few visits to the website but are still less than 1 percent of the traffic that comes from the website field on the Google My Business listing.

I asked others on my forum to see if people were experiencing the same thing. Dan Foland from Postali said, “We work with attorneys and law firms and have seen a decrease all over the board. Views and clicks have decreased roughly 50-60%. We’ve stopped using Google Posts all together for some of our clients. The results often aren’t worth our time.”

Phil Rozek confirmed the same finding. “Same here. The drop in clicks started when Posts moved to the bottom of the knowledge panel. That’s why I’ve doubled down on my expiration-date workaround, so we can put up a post and just let it simmer, and not have to conjure up a new one every 7 days.”

Diogo Ordacowski, who works with listings in the apartment building industry, showed a similar picture for his clients.

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We haven’t completely lost faith in Posts but are re-classifying them as a low-impact strategy. Greg Gifford pointed out that posts for the auto dealers they work with are still useful. “For a dealer who does a post a week and gets 3-5 clicks a month that results in one conversion, it’s still worth it.”

However, I would say if time is limited and your cost-per-sale is low, the drop in traffic might make it a strategy not worth pursuing anymore.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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