Google Posts, which was first introduced in 2016 for use by US presidential candidates and a select few businesses shortly thereafter, has now rolled out to all businesses. This is an exciting new feature for Google My Business that lets business owners create short blog-style posts that appear directly in their knowledge panel.
Before you dive right in and start posting away, I thought it would be helpful to share everything we know about Google Posts so you can use this new feature most effectively.
Google Posts FAQ
There’s been quite a few questions about what Google Posts can do and what it can’t do. Here are the answers to the questions that I’ve seen asked most frequently.
Editors note: I want to give a shoutout to our friends at Cox Chevrolet for allowing us to use their dealership as a reference point for this article. -Jason
1. Where do I go to create a Google Post?
Sign in to your Google My Business Dashboard. If you have two or more locations, select manage location for the location you’d like to post for. Once in the dashboard for your business, click on the Posts menu item on the left side of your screen. Currently it’s prominently positioned as the second menu item, right under Home.
2. What type of content can I include in a Post?
Posts are limited to 300 words. You can also include an image, as well as a call to action (CTA) with a link.
3. What are the available CTA’s?
Your Post can include one of the following CTA’s along with a link to a page on your website
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Get Offer
You can also label your Post as an event and assign it a specific start date, end date and a link.
4. Can I use UTM codes for the link attached to my CTA?
Yes, and I highly recommend you do. That way you can measure how users engage with your website after they click on a CTA in you Post.
Don’t know what a UTM code is? Click here for the scoop.
5. Can I tell how my Post is performing?
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.
6. What is the recommended image dimensions?
If you’re going to attach an image to your Post, it’s best to use a square image with minimum size of 250 x 250. If you upload an image that’s not a 1:1 ratio, Google will force you to crop your image accordingly.
Update 8/17/2017 – Google has changed the image dimensions for Google Posts. 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 it’s best to place any text in the middle of your image to ensure its visibility.
7. How will people see my Posts?
When a user searches for your business by name, your Posts will be visible in the Knowledge Panel – right underneath the location and contact information for your business. On mobile devices, your Posts are even more prominently displayed.
If a user was searching for a business with the products or services you provide, but not you specifically, your Posts can also be seen within Google’s Local Finder when a user clicks on your business for more details.
8. How long will my Post be visible in the Knowledge Panel for my business?
Posts will remain visible in your Knowledge Panel for one week, unless you manually remove it prior to it expiring. Event Posts can run longer than one week and will expire once the end date and time of your event is reached.
If you post an event that takes place in less than one week’s time, it will still run for the full seven days, even after the event has already taken place. In this case, you may want to manually remove the post after the event is over to prevent confusion.
9. Can I have more than one Post?
Yes. You can have up to ten Posts running simultaneously. The most recent Post will be visible in the Knowledge Panel, and users will be presented with a horizontal carousel they can scroll through if there are multiple Posts published.
On mobile devices, there’s also a dedicated Posts tab situated between the Overview and Reviews tab where all your recent Posts will be found.
That being said, for now I’d suggest sticking with a singular Post that represents the most important message you want your customers to see today. It will take some time before the average user becomes intimately familiar with the new interface and information that’s being presented to them.
10. Can I Post whatever I want?
Google wants to ensure that the Posts feature is not abused. To that end, they developed a content policy that all users must adhere to.
Published content should be relevant to the business that the author is posting on behalf of and help users better understand the business. Content that is irrelevant to the business or has no clear association with the business is not allowed
Examples of such content that is not allowed includes:
- Repetitive content, misspellings, gimmicky character use, gibberish, or automated or distracting content (such as strobe effects, blurry or poor image quality or unrecognizable content)
- Images, videos or links that negatively distracts user attention
- Links to malware, viruses, or other harmful software
- Links to sites irrelevant to the business
- Impersonating an organization or individual
- Do not use our services for phishing scams
- Inaccurate promotion information that omits or obfuscates how the user will be billed or charged
11. Will my Posts be indexed and discoverable via Google search?
As of today, it appears that your Posts will only be displayed on your business’ Knowledge Panel, which typically appears when someone is searching for your business by name on Google. There’s been no word from Google, or evidence to suggest, that Posts will be indexed making them discoverable via traditional search queries.
That being said, here at Launch Digital Marketing, we’ll be keeping a close eye on search results to see if Posts do begin to make it into Google’s index.
12. Are my Posts shareable?
Yes. By clicking on the share icon of your post, Posts can be shared via:
- Google Plus
- Direct Link
13. Are Posts a part of Google+?
No. Only businesses who are verified on Google My Business have access to the Posts functionality. Verified brand pages on Google+, that don’t have a physical location on GMB, will not have access to this feature.
14. Can I upload the same 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.
I’ll be honest. When Google Posts was first announced in 2016 with limited availability, I was highly skeptical that it would ever fully roll out to all businesses. The potential for abuse without proper oversight just seemed like too much of a burden to bear. That being said, I’m delighted that I was wrong and Google Posts is now here for businesses to use.
With many small businesses struggling to make an impact on Facebook with ever decreasing organic reach, I really see Google Posts being a great medium for getting messages out about your business and what makes you unique to those that are searching for you.
Like many things Google does, there’s no predicting how Posts will evolve over the weeks and months to come. Right now it’s a totally free to use platform, with guaranteed additional exposure on the Knowledge Panel for your business. That doesn’t mean that Google won’t attempt to monetize Posts at some point in time. I could foresee a future where only businesses actively using Google AdWords get full access to Posts, and those who don’t have limited functionality – but that’s just pure speculation.
But for now, as long as you have a verified Google My Business page, you have unfettered access to Google Posts – use it creatively and responsibly. If you’re actively using Posts and want to show off how you’ve utilized it, feel free to share links to your Posts in the comment section below!