Google My Business Posts: What Are They and Why Use Them?
Thriving local businesses love Google My Business (GMB) because they know that it provides extremely valuable online real estate for their business.
Creating a GMB listing is perhaps the easiest way to appear on the first page of local searches. Even if you market to larger audiences, if you have a GMB profile and your competitors don’t, you’ll earn an extra edge in search.
Google even provides special features on your GMB profile that provide businesses with free advertising. One of the top features to take advantage of is posting on Google My Business.
In this article, we’ll walk you through:
- What are Google My Business posts?
- Types of Google My Business posts
- How to create a Google My Business post (How to use Google posts)
- Where your customers will see your Google My Business posts
What are Google My Business posts?
With Google My Business posts, businesses can publish updates about their brand, offers, events, and products and services as posts on GMB profiles.
These posts appear to audiences in the app for Google Maps on mobile.
They can also appear in a desktop search under your business’s information section in the sidebar (called a knowledge panel or knowledge card):
GMB posts are similar to Facebook posts, and your viewers can share your posts to their social media accounts or via email. However, your audiences can’t create individual profiles, share, or comment on posts on the GMB platform.
Advantages of posting on Google My Business
The most significant advantage that GMB posts provide is the ability to advertise your brand, products, sales, specials, events, and offers — for free. You’ll gain more visibility for search terms that are the most important to your business and promote your brand to wider audiences — all without having to spend a dime.
Other benefits of GMB posts include:
- Reaching more people: When you post on GMB, it increases your visibility in search, meaning more people will find your business online. With Google My Business posts, it’s easier to reach a wider audience.
- Building brand awareness and affinity: Because you can communicate directly with local customers, you can easily build awareness and affinity with your brand. You’ll be able to provide your audience with better information to help them through their buying process, as well as keep them current with timely updates such as changes in business hours.
- Engaging with your audience: GMB posts allow you to engage with your customers right in search. Using posts on Google My Business, you can improve your audience’s experience with videos and photos and provide information right when they want it.
- Improving local search engine optimization (SEO): Posts on Google My Business strengthen your local SEO by providing your customers with easy access to your business information, offers, products, and updates. Since GMB is tied to search and Google Maps, you’ll rank better for local keywords.
Types of Google My Business posts
Posts on Google My Business typically include a photo or video, a title and description, and a call-to-action (CTA).
There are four different types of posts that you can create through Google My Business:
- What’s New
Here’s an overview of each type of Google My Business post.
The “What’s New” GMB post allows businesses to post recent news such as special hours, changes in address, new product promotions, or general information. These types of GMB posts are the best at generating brand awareness and affinity.
If you’re having trouble thinking of what to post, Google My Business can suggest topics to post based on the top reviews of your business.
On desktop search, these posts show as a carousel in your knowledge panel, usually above the “People Also Search For” section.
On the other hand, for mobile search, posts will appear in feed format in the “Update” tab of your knowledge panel.
Posts on Google My Business also allow you to promote events on your profile to help gain publicity.
GMB event posts require you to set a title as well as dates and times for the start and end of the event. If you choose not to place start and end dates, the event defaults to 24 hours after posting the event.
Optionally, you can include the location, a photo or video, a description, or a CTA such as “RSVP.” Google also states that if your event meets specific criteria, it can show on the “Overview” tab in your GMB profile.
Similar to the “What’s New” posts, events will show up in your desktop search knowledge panel, often under your address and hours section.
For mobile search, events will show up in your “Updates” tab along with your other posts.
“Offer” posts on GMB appear similar to “What’s New” posts, and they’re an excellent means of advertising your deals and promotions for free.
“Offer” posts also require start and end times like event GMB posts. You also have the option of including links, coupon codes, and terms and conditions in your post.
One of the benefits of offer posts is that GMB automatically adds a “View Offer” CTA button. When people click the CTA, it takes them to another page that provides more information, as well as options to take your business up on your offer.
Product posts show up as a carousel catalog rather than a sharable type post like “Offers” and “What’s New.”
For mobile search, products you post will show up in your “Products” tab on your GMB profile. With product posts, you can add a product description and a price tag.
How post time frames work
Posts on Google My Business have limited time frames. The default time frame for posts is seven days after they’re published, but Google provides the option to extend a post’s active time to fourteen days. Product posts are an exception to the post time frame since they’re always active.
There’s also a limited amount of room for your post in your business’s knowledge panel on search. Posts display from newest to oldest, and only eight posts can appear at one time. So, even if the time frame for a post has yet to pass, newer posts can still push it out of view.
After your posts expire, audiences can still view them by searching the “Posts” tab on mobile or clicking “View previous updates on Google” on your business’s knowledge panel.
How to create a Google My Business Post
GMB posts are relatively simple to create. Simply:
- Sign on to your Google My Business account
- Select the “Posts” tab from the menu
- Select the type of post
- Add a title, description, photos/videos, and CTA
- Preview your post and edit as necessary
- Select “Publish” when you’re ready
There are some requirements you have to keep in mind when creating posts on GMB.
Media for posts has a minimum and maximum requirement:
- Minimum: 400 x 300 pixels and 10 KB size limit
- Maximum: 10,000 x 10,000 pixels and 25 MB size limit
Further, each post has a maximum character count of 1500, but best practices indicate that you should use between 150 and 300 characters to provide the best posts. Keep in mind that Google will often cut off words on desktop, so place your most important information in the first 80 characters.
As with any content, you’ll want to make sure it’s high quality. High-quality content:
- Is useful, relevant, and provides helpful information with correct grammar
- Features images with high resolution
- Uses respectful, family-friendly language and media
Where do customers see your Google My Business posts
Your customers can see your published posts in several areas, including knowledge panels in search and the Google Maps app.
With search, especially for desktop, your posts will most often appear in queries related to your brand, but it’s not guaranteed.
Here are some places customers can find your posts on GMB:
- Google Maps app, Overview tab (near the bottom): If you open up Google Maps, find your profile and scroll to the bottom in the Overview tab, you’ll see a section labeled “Latest updates from this business” below the “From the owner” description. All your Posts will show here.
- Google Maps app, Updates tab: The updates tab in the Google Maps app provides your audience with easier access to your posts than scrolling to the bottom of your Overview tab. If your business doesn’t have any posts yet, the tab won’t show, but if you do, it’ll show right after the Overview tab, giving it much more exposure. Note that mobile search has the same setup with the Updates tab for your knowledge panel.
- Chrome, desktop search, knowledge panel: Your posts will also show in a carousel in your knowledge panel on the desktop under a section called “Updates from [your business],” often near the bottom of the panel. If your posts are expired, it may show a link to “View previous updates on Google” in that section instead.
- Google Maps app, and mobile search, as a Follower: Both the Maps app and mobile search will allow your audiences to follow your business, which lets them receive updates about your posts. In the Maps app, users can head to the Updates tab in the bottom navigation menu (their own Updates tab, not the Updates tab for individual businesses). Heading to the “For You” tab at the top of the screen allows users to see posts from their followed pages and businesses in their area.
Get started managing your GMB listing with WebFX!
Google My Business and local listings change often. With the rise of local search, Google is trying to find the most optimal experience for users.
WebFX can help you stay on top of your GMB optimization. We have over 20 years of experience as a top local SEO agency, and over 500 satisfied client testimonials, so we know how to drive results for your local SEO campaign.