Google Posts: The Ultimate Guide

This is THE complete guide to Google posts for 2021.

If you’re looking for:

  • More traffic to your site
  • A detailed breakdown of each post type
  • Best practices
  • Photo recommendations and a FREE template
  • Automation and scheduling tips
  • Examples of good posts
  • Guidance on troubleshooting common issues

Then you’re in the right spot — we’re going to cover that and more. ⬇

What are Google Posts?

Google Post Examples on Mobile Side by Side
Examples of Google Posts on Mobile (Source: Google)

Google posts are a newer feature Google added that enables business owners to connect with existing and potential customers by posting things to their Google My Business Profile. Google posts appear on both Google Search results and Google Maps.

Do Google Posts Help SEO?

Google Posts do not directly impact your rankings. They can directly impact your conversion rates. They help drive pre-site conversions. If someone is searching for a service, your GMB posts will appear as a mixed post within the organic listings.

Are Google Posts Worth It?

Google posts are worth it because you can easily create one post per week in less than 5-10 minutes and that can directly lead to more conversions and customers.

Given the reduction in organic reach on social media platforms like Facebook, Google posts are a minimal investment with a large potential for ROI.

The 5 Types of Google My Business Posts

What’s the Best Post Type?

The “What’s New” post type is by far the best post type to use across the board. You should use this for general business updates, promotional offers (even though a promotional offer post type exists), customer testimonials, and basically anything else you can think of that will actually drive real results for your business.

1: What’s New

Example of a "What's New" Google Post in Full View
Full View of the “What’s New” Google Post Type

Text: You can have up to 1,500 characters in a What’s New post. This kind of post can act like a micro-blog post, allows users to go into more details, and really engage searchers with content.

Image/Video: You can choose to represent your post with an image, GIF (real world example here), or a 30 second video (max upload size is 100 mb). You can add up to 10 photos or videos.

Features

Google Posts "What's New" Example
Google Posts “What’s New” Features & Options
  • Photo/Video
  • Description
  • CTA Button

CTA Button:

  • Add a button optional (if you don’t want to add a link you’d choose this option)
  • Book
  • Order online
  • Buy
  • Learn more
  • Sign up
  • Call now (uses primary number from listing)

Tip: The CTA button for “What’s New” posts displays 3 lines of text when a CTA is included.

Time Frame:

What’s New, Offer, and Event will be active for 7 days (Product Posts are active always and stay in the Business Profile until you remove them), and they always show before existing published posts that have yet to expire.

Older posts don’t disappear after expiry, they are accessible to searchers under the Posts navigation in the business profile on mobile, and on a desktop by scrolling to the Posts section and clicking any active post or, View all, or View previous posts on Google.

Thumbnail Preview: 

Example of Google "What's New" Post
Google “What’s New” Post Live Example

This is the text that’s visible in the Knowledge Panel before a user clicks on the post.

The number of characters that are displayed is dependent on if you choose to add a CTA button or not, so some words are likely to be cut off. Always review how a post looks once published, and go back and edit if necessary.

Visibility: Searchers will come across your What’s New posts on desktop, mobile, and the Google Maps app.

2. Events

Example of an "Event" Google Post Type
Example of an “Event” Google Post Type

Separated title. That’s one line of text and a date range, but with CTA only one line of text.

Events posts are unique in that they last longer than the standard 7-day limit. Event posts will stay live from the time you post them until the date that your event is scheduled for.

You could technically extend this date out indefinitely but we don’t recommend this, primarily because of the reduced descriptive text available for the Event post type.

Features & Options

Google Events Post Type
Google Events Post Features & Options
  • Photo/Video
  • Event Title
  • Start & End Date Range
  • Event Details
  • CTA Button

Tip: With a CTA, the Events post type only displays 1 line of text.

3. Offers

Google Posts: The Ultimate Guide 1
Google “Offer” Post Example

Features & Options

Google Posts "Offer" Example
Google Posts “Offer” Features & Options
  • Image/Video
  • Offer Title
  • Offer Details
  • Date range
  • Coupon Code
  • Link to Redeem
  • Terms & Conditions

4. Welcome Offers

Includes a title and date range, but with a CTA, only one line of text. Recommended to still use the What’s New post.

Gmb Welcome Offers
Gmb Welcome Offers

Features & Options

  • Photo
  • Product Title
  • Product Category
  • Price Range
  • Description
  • CTA Button

5. Products

Google Posts: The Ultimate Guide 2
Google “Products” Post Example

Features & Options

Google Posts "Products" Example
Google Posts “Products” Features & Options
  • Photo
  • Product Title
  • Product Category
  • Price Range
  • Description
  • CTA Button

7. COVID-19

The COVID-19 post type stays live for 14 days (7 days longer than the standard 7). That may sound great, but don’t use this post type. It won’t help your business at all.

Get the visitor to your site and let them see your COVID-19 announcement there.

Google Posts: The Ultimate Guide 3
Google “COVD-19” Post Example

Features & Options

Google Post "COVID-19" Example
Google Post “COVID-19” Features & Options
  • Status Update
  • CTA Button

Best Practices for Google My Business Posts

Posts should always be promotional. Do not post the same kind of posts you do on social media. 

Now, I like promoting blog posts as much as any other SEO but GMB posts are not the place for that. 

Google is not Facebook. 

Searchers on Google are looking for solutions. If they search for the types of things that would cause local business listings to trigger in the results, then they’re likely looking to do business. 

You should be sharing promotional offers, discounts, specials, things that will make you stand out. Even customer testimonials can work. 

Capitalize on those first few lines of text in your copy and ensure you have a very compelling copy in your call-to-action button that directs the searcher to a highly-relevant landing page.

How Do You Track Google My Business Traffic to Your Site?

You can track Google My Business traffic to your site using UTM tracking. This is the best way to do it because Google Analytics attribution is broken. 

GMB Insights is notoriously inaccurate and unreliable. Insights will show views and clicks but multiple impressions from the same user are counted each time.

You can add the UTM parameters to your website URL in the Google My Business dashboard.

To track this, append the following to the end of your URL:

?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=organic&utm_content=listing&utm_campaign=google-posts

You can then review your campaign metrics in Google Analytics by navigating to the All Campaigns Report (Acquisition → Campaigns → All Campaigns).

Measuring Google Post Performance

Look at the bottom of each post in the authoring tool to view the total number of post views on Google Search and other platforms.

Google Post Showing Measurements of How Many Views and How Many Clicks

Note: A view counts every time your post appears. So these numbers are often over-inflated by Google.

Google will email aggregate account metrics to account holders weekly. The email they send includes the following:

  • Posts on Search: Number of posts on Search for the week
  • Total views: Total number of views from all posts
  • Top 3 posts: Thumbnails of the 3 posts with the highest interaction rate for the week

How Often to Post on Google My Business

It is best to post at least once per week and not more. Posting more is not better even though it creates a carousel of posts. Testing has shown that businesses get better results from using a single primary post.

By posting once a week and tracking UTM data via Google Analytics you will also be able to identify which posts drive the most results.

What is the Best Length for a Google My Business Post?

The best length is approximately 1500 words with most post types. There’s no “ideal” length for a post. What matters more is the preview text that’s visible before someone clicks on the post. 

The best length for a Google Post is 1500 words for most post types.

Ardent Growth

Don’t feel as if you have to always hit 1500 words though. You should put some thought into and treat it the same way you would direct sales copy.

As long as the preview text (a.k.a. preview copy) is compelling — the post will perform fine.

Using Video with Google Posts

You can upload a video and include it in a post — and we highly recommend doing so!

You can upload up to 100MB or 30 seconds (which is the full-runtime of a normal television ad). Google posts with video will show an image with a play button.

Optimizing Your Google Post Photos

Optimizing your photos in your GMB posts is extremely important. Unfortunately, if you haven’t already noticed, the way Google crops your photos is chaotic and highly inconsistent. 

Critical to Success: The Image Thumbnail

Your image thumbnail is vital to the success of your GMB posts. You’ll want to use an image that is eye-catching or in today’s mobile world: scroll-stopping. 

You can upload up to 10 images in a post and doing so will display them in a carousel. The problem is that the order of the images does not stay the same. They will end up mixed up all over the place. 

So don’t bank on being able to tell any sort of story. 

Just use a single image with your posts to prevent any cropping issues. Do not try to create a carousel. You can’t tell a story with them like Instagram.

This is why we don’t recommend uploading more than one photo with a post. You’re far better off picking the single best photo for the post than trying to give people a carousel.

Besides, if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade it is that few people actually interact with carousels. And the people who think they interact with carousels only think they do — in testing we’ve shown that they do not. 

What is the Best Photo Size for Google My Business Posts?

The best image size for GMB posts is 1200×900 pixels. You’ll want to upload your images at the correct size! Despite what you may have read elsewhere on the web, the correct size is not 750 x 750 pixels.

The best image size for GMB posts is 1200 × 900 pixels.

ardent growth

Cropping Your Thumbnail to be Perfect

The image uploader for GMB has its own cropping tool — but fills in the edges with black if you crop to a non-standard size. 

Ensure that your important elements like text and/or important visuals (e.g. a face) are not cropped out when you upload it. 

You’ll find that Google does not crop things consistently. It crops things slightly higher than the center. 

Even more confusing, the same image with the same post  can be cropped differently depending on where it’s displayed (e.g. mobile, desktop, etc.).

Our Free GMB Post Photo Cropping Canva Template

We’ve made a template you can use to format your images properly in Canva. All you have to do is:

Google Posts: The Ultimate Guide 4
Free Canva Template for Optimizing GMB Post Images

How to Create a Google My Business Post

Scheduling Google Posts & Automation at Scale

If you’re managing multiple locations you may want to invest in a way to schedule posts in bulk. You can schedule posts using 3rd party tools like the following:

  • OneUp
  • Agorapulse
  • Hootsuite
  • Sendible
  • LocalViking
  • Publer

Tools like Sendible, Agorapulse, Hootsuite, and Publier will allow you to schedule posts for Google My Business as well as posts for other social media platforms. 

LocalViking is more specific to Google My Business and offers a wide variety of other GMB related features such as geogrid ranking maps, a general rank tracker, review monitoring and other listing management tools.

How Long Do Google My Business Posts Last?

Google posts are active for 7 days unless a post is used that has a date range or the COVID 19 post type, which stays live for 14 days, is selected.

However, as we’ve mentioned previously, you typically don’t want to use one of those templates and should focus instead on using the “What’s New” post type anyway. 

So when you schedule things out, schedule them out at a cadence of one post per week. 

Summary

We’ve covered the various GMB post types, best practices, optimizing your photos for conversion potential, how to actually make and schedule posts, and how to track the results of your posts. 

You should be equipped to dive right into creating GMB posts that will help your business stand out from the competition and drive more sales and leads.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Ardent Growth. 🙌

If you found this useful, you won't
hurt our feelings by sharing it!
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Article by:

Founder and CEO of Ardent Growth with a passion for making the web a better place and building relationships.

Want to Make Your Phone Ring More?

Roman Skyler Reeves SEO Kentucky
Book a free strategy session with me & you'll get:
Schedule a Free Strategy Session
Book a free strategy session with me & you'll get:
Competitor Info
Optimization Info
Custom Pricing