15 min read

Google has been cranking out the updates this year for Local Search, and the latest thing to hit the SMB market is Google Posts. This new feature allows you to publish your events, products and services directly to Google Search (in the Knowledge Panel) and Maps.

The potential here seems very high considering it takes almost zero effort to create a Post (and it’s free for small businesses). If you have something new to announce, or an event you want to promote, I’d say it’s worth the extra few minutes it takes to create a Google Post on the subject.

According to Google, 82 percent of people turn to search engines to find local information, and a brand’s Google listing is the ideal place to showcase everything a brand has to offer.

70 percent of people look at multiple businesses before making a final choice, and now, with Google Posts, businesses can share timely, relevant updates right on Google Search and Google Maps to help them stand out to potential customers.

It does have an impact on Local SEO, but not directly on organic SEO (So far studied). It can be a source of traffic with a smart CTA or better brand appearance within Google.

You must have an approved Google My Business listing to use GMB posts.

Google My Business Post Example in a Brand Knowledge Panel

Why Use GMB Posts

As a business owner, you now have the ability to make a real difference with the way your business is presented in Google Search and Google Maps. Google Posts are very easy to create, and they are published almost instantly. For free.

This is an awesome chance for every local business owner to:

  • Increase the size of their listing, giving them more prominence in Google search results when someone is searching for their brand or name (Also known as SERP Real Estate)
  • Publish promotional content which can attract more customers or lead and direct them to the right piece of content as opposed to the home page of their site. This should help convert visitors into customers.

Setup Google My Business

DIY setup with a free PDF Guide

How To Create Google My Business Posts

  1. Open the Google My Business app. (Google Play | Apple Store)
  2. In the bottom right corner of the screen, tap the create icon . Then tap the posts icon that appears.
  3. The “Create post” screen will appear. Here, you’ll see options to add photos, text, events, and a button to your post. Just tap each field, and enter the relevant information.
  4. Once you’ve filled out your information, you’ll see a preview of your post. If it looks good, tap Publish in the top right corner of the screen.
  1. Sign in to Google My Business. If you have two or more locations, click Manage location for the location you’d like to manage.
  2. Click Create post. Or click Posts from the menu.
  3. The “Create post” screen will appear. Here, you’ll see options to add photos, text, events, and a button to your post. Just click each field, and enter the relevant information.
  4. Once you’ve created your post, click Preview to see a preview. If it looks good, click Publish in the top right corner of the screen.
  1. Sign in to Google My Business. If you have two or more locations, click Manage location for the location you’d like to manage.
  2. Click Create post. Or click Posts from the menu.
  3. The “Create post” screen will appear. Here, you’ll see options to add photos, text, events, and a button to your post. Just click each field, and enter the relevant information.
  4. Once you’ve created your post, click Preview to see a preview. If it looks good, click Publish in the top right corner of the screen.
  1. Open the Google My Business app. (Google Play | Apple Store)
  2. In the bottom right corner of the screen, tap the create icon . Then tap the posts icon that appears.
  3. The “Create post” screen will appear. Here, you’ll see options to add photos, text, events, and a button to your post. Just tap each field, and enter the relevant information.
  4. Once you’ve filled out your information, you’ll see a preview of your post. If it looks good, tap Publish in the top right corner of the screen.
Once you’ve published a post, it will appear to customers on Google Search and Maps in a few moments. To ensure that posts are timely, they’re removed from the default view after 7 days (or when the event date the post referenced has passed). However, a historical view of posts is shown under the “Posts” tab on mobile.

How to Optimise Google My Business Posts

Post often. The posts only stay live for seven days (You should get an email on the sixth day warning you that the post will expire) but event posts stay live until the event is over. There currently isn’t a way to schedule posts.
Keep to one offer/theme per post, if you have more than one offer, use another Post to call out the second offer separately. Google will scroll up to 10 posts in a carousel but only the first 2.5 are seen in the search results without scrolling.

Once you start to create a post the following options are important to know:

Images

Images will now be cropped in a 4:3 ratio, and images must be 400×300 or larger. Also please note that Google will only show a portion of your image in the Knowledge Panel, so make the images “center-weighted” so that they show up properly. Animated GIFs and videos are not currently supported.

Colorful images with easily defined subjects earn more clicks. Most of the posts that performed well had images that provided contrast.

Dont worry, you can go back and edit or delete the image if it isn’t to your standards.

GMB Posts Image Preview Example

Description Text

The limit is from 100 words to 300 words to describe your post. The first 80 characters are what shows up in the Knowledge Panel. Make these characters count, and make sure your sentence doesn’t get cut off.

Posts with numbers earn over two times more clicks! This means Posts are a great opportunity to engage searchers with offers, models, prices, discounts, percentages, and other sales figures. Posts for service coupons also earn clicks.

Don’t use sales-y or overly promotional language. Google explicitly forbids using gimmicky language like “BOGO 50% off!!!” This isn’t a place to spam advertisements, and if you’re caught doing it, your Post will likely be removed. Instead, use this as an opportunity to organically inform your customers about the latest happenings in your business, the same way you would in a blog or press post.

Events (optional)

Schedule your start/end dates and times.

Remeber, event posts stay live until the event is over.

1) Click/Tap the button on the right to enable your Event
2) Enter your start and end dates and times – Done!

Button and URL (optional)

Add a call-to-action – such as buy, reserve, sign up or get offer that links to a website.
Make sure you track click activity with UTM codes.

Since Google posts don’t integrate naturally with Google Analytics, it’s hard to get any insights beyond the standard number of views and clicks Google provides inside the Google My Business dashboard.

By creating a custom URL to use in the call-to-action link, you can see more information about the users in Google Analytics and find out if they converted after visiting your site.

For example, instead of linking the button to www.domain.com, I linked it to www.domain.com/?utm_source=GoogleMyBusiness&utm_medium=Organic&utm_campaign=Posts.

GMB Posts Add A Button Example

Preview

Once you’re ready to make your post live, you can first check out a preview of what it will look like, and then simply publish it.

Google My Business Post Uses and Ideas

Use the posts to highlight sales, promotions or unique selling propositions. Don’t just shove a bunch of keywords into your post — doing this currently has no impact on your ranking (yes, this has already been tested).

Google introduces a handful of ways businesses can use posts, but there’s plenty of room for more creativity:

  • Announce new promotions or daily specials.
  • An ecommerce site could create Posts for new products or showcase their top selling products
  • A local theatre could display their current and upcoming shows as Posts
  • A restaurant or bar could share daily specials or even promote a special offer via a Post, which also give customers an easy, direct way to book reservations
  • Use reviews as content to share as new posts (How to get more Google Reviews).
  • Show how to sign up for your newsletter
  • State you’ve published a new article on your blog

Pretty neat right? And all before that person has even visited your website.

What Not To Post

Examples of such content that is not allowed includes:

  1. Repetitive content, misspellings, gimmicky character use, gibberish, or automated or distracting content (such as strobe effects, blurry or poor image quality or unrecognizable content)
  2. Images, videos or links that negatively distracts user attention
  3. Links to malware, viruses, or other harmful software
  4. Links to sites irrelevant to the business
  5. Impersonating an organization or individual
  6. Do not use posts for phishing scams
  7. Inaccurate promotion information that omits or obfuscates how the user will be billed or charged
  8. Don’t be too concerned about keyword optimisation – and definitely don’t overuse keywords and make your description sound unnatural.

Google My Business Data and Results

As of right now, Google is reporting on the number of times each Post has been viewed and how many times it has been clicked.

For some reason Google only shows how many times your Post has been viewed in the GMB dashboard. To see how many times it’s been engaged with, just click on the eyeball icon next to the number of views for the Post.

And if you have used a UTM url for the button, you can look in Google Analytics on how well the post is doing with sales and other visitor data.

Stats from a BMB post – Views and Clicks

Post to multiple Google My Business Listings

Posting across multiple locations is currently not supported in Google My Business. However, in a recent conversation on the Google My Business community forum, it was brought to light that Google is allowing businesses with multiple locations to express interest in having this feature by filling out this form.

Your Turn

How did you go with Google My Business Posts? Did you have any problems? Did you have any tips?

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