Last Updated in February 2021 by Lukasz Zelezny
Are you using Google Posts in your local business marketing strategy? Available through Google My Business (GMB), it’s a highly useful feature for local businesses. Using Google Posts, you can advertise products and services, announce upcoming events, share promotions and more. To effectively integrate into your local business strategy, though, you must familiarize yourself with Google Posts and how they work. How to Promote Your Local Business With Google Posts
What Are Google My Business Posts?
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Google My Business Posts are special blog-style posts created through a business’s GMB dashboard. They support a maximum of 1,500 characters as well as an optional image or video and an optional call to action (CTA).
Google My Business Posts are displayed in a business’s knowledge panel for relevant, typically branded, searches and the business’s Google Maps address. When a user searches for your local business brand name on Google, he or she may see its knowledge panel on the right of the search results. Any Google My Business Posts that you recently published will appear at the bottom of your local business knowledge panel, along with a link titled “View previous updates on Google” that users can click to access older Google My Business Posts. In addition to knowledge panels, Google My Business Posts also appear on Google Maps when a user enters or selects a local business address.
Types of Google My Business Posts:
- What’s New
While GMB has been around since 2014, Google didn’t introduce Google My Business Posts until 2016. At the time, Google My Business Posts were limited to candidates of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Just a few months after testing the feature among presidential candidates, Google rolled it out to a small number of select businesses. Today, all local businesses with a verified GMB listing can create Google My Business Posts.
Benefits of Using Google My Business Posts
Google My Business Posts can help your local business in several ways. Since they are displayed directly in the knowledge panel, Google users will see them regardless of whether they click and visit your local business website. As a result, you can use Google My Business Posts to make newsworthy announcements that are relevant to your local business audience. Maybe you want to announce a special sale, or perhaps you want to announce the arrival of a new product or service. Google My Business Posts ensure that anyone who searches for your local business brand name will see your announcements in the knowledge panel.
You can use Google My Business Posts to drive traffic to your local business website. When you create a “What’s New” Google Post, you’ll have the option of adding a CTA button. You can then specify a link for the CTA button, guiding users to your website or other digital properties. If you run a blog on your local business website, for example, you can share excerpts of your blog posts in Google My Business Posts. After reading an excerpt, users can click the CTA button to visit your website and read the rest of the blog post.
Google My Business Posts can help your local business attract more calls from prospective customers. The “Call now” CTA button lives up to its namesake by displaying your local business phone number for desktop users or a click-to-call button for mobile users.
How to Get Started With Google My Business Posts
You’ll need to verify your GMB listing before you can create Google My Business Posts. Visit google.com/business and click the “Sign in” button in the upper-right corner. Upon signing in to GMB, you should see your business name displayed under “Locations.” To verify your GMB listing, click “Verify now” next to your local business name and follow the onscreen instructions.
Once Google has verified your GMB listing, you can create Google My Business Posts through the GMB dashboard. From the GMB dashboard, click your business name under “Locations.” Next, click the “Posts” tab on the left sidebar menu. You can then select from one of the four supported Post types.
Creating a Google Post is a quick and easy process. After selecting your desired Post type, you’ll see a pop-up window with a few basic fields and options. At the top of the pop-up window is a camera icon, which you can click to upload an image or video. For “What’s New” posts — the most commonly used type of Google Post — you’ll see a field below the camera icon. Here are tips for this field:
Tips on Creating Google My Business Posts
- Google typically only displays the first 100 characters of a Google post in the knowledge panel, so make the first 100 characters count.
- Don’t reuse the same image or images for multiple Google My Business Posts.
- Choose images with bright, attention-grabbing colors to generate more views with your Google My Business Posts.
- Use a 1-to-1 aspect ratio for images. If you attempt to upload an image with a different aspect ratio, GMB will force you to crop it.
- Try to publish new Google My Business Posts at least once a week. Posts older than one week are removed from the knowledge panel, resulting in significantly lower visibility.
- Create short yet compelling titles.
- Break up text into several small sections, prefixing each section with a subheading.
- Add a CTA button to every “What’s New” post.
- Ask users to share your Google My Business Posts.
- Publish both time-sensitive and evergreen content.
- Double-check CTA buttons to ensure they have the correct link address or phone number. If the link address or phone number is wrong, the Post won’t offer much value for your local business.
How to Track the Performance of Google My Business Posts
You can easily track the performance of your Google My Business Posts from the GMB dashboard. Just click your local business name, followed by the “Posts” tab on the left sidebar menu. At the bottom of each Google Post, you’ll see the number of views and CTA clicks the Post has generated since being published. The more views and clicks a Google Post generates, the better.
Most tech-savvy local businesses recognize the value of a GMB listing. Only a fraction, however, take advantage of GMB’s Google My Business Posts feature. By creating Google My Business Posts, you’ll distinguish your local business from its competitors.