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How to Succeed With Google Posts: What We Learned From Analyzing Over 1,000 Google Posts

Wondering how to make your Google posts perform better? Did you ever have a Google My Business post rejected? In this case study, we wanted to find out what types of posts performed the best and manually analyzed over 1000 posts from a variety of different small businesses. For the full video of this presentation plus several others, check out our videos on demand from LocalU in April. In this study, we looked at both clicks according to Google My Business (GMB), and clicks and conversions inside Google Analytics (by using UTM codes).

Guide to Google My Business Posts:

  1. Summary TL;DR
  2. What type of Google post performs best?
  3. Should GMB posts have titles and should they be all caps?
  4. Should GMB posts include emojis?
  5. What to include in GMB post images
  6. What to post about on GMB?


If you want your Google posts to perform better:

  1. COVID posts and offer posts get more clicks than event posts and update posts. (Click to Tweet)
  2. Make sure your post has a title that is not all caps. (Click to Tweet)
  3. Google posts that contain images which are not stock photos get 5.6x more clicks. (Click to Tweet)
  4. Google posts which contained emojis got twice as many clicks as those without. (Click to Tweet)
  5. If you want more activity from Google posts, include a call-to-action, a sense of urgency, and post about specials or discounts. (Click to Tweet)


What type of Google Post performs best?

There are 4 different Google My Business post types that you can use in the GMB dashboard:

1. COVID Posts

This is the newest post type and is different than the others because it shows up way higher in the knowledge panel.
This post type is text-only (no image) and actually replaces your posts carousel so if you use this type – don’t bother making any other posts as they won’t show up anywhere. The posts stay live for 28 days and then disappear. It also gets displayed prominently on the Google Maps app unlike any other post type.
GMB Posts: Google Maps

2. Event Posts

These are posts that allow you to set a date range for how long you want the post to stay live.

3. Offer Posts

These look similar to event posts but contain a tag icon and a “view offer” call-to-action. They also let you set the date range that you want the post to stay live for.
GMB Posts: Offers

4. Update Posts

This was the default/original post type and historically used to stay live for 7 days. This changed in January 2021 and now the posts stay live on your knowledge panel for 183 days (6 months). After 6 months, they get hidden under a little “view previous updates” link as shown below.
GMB Posts: New Versus Old Style of Google My Business Posts on SERP

When we measured the performance of the 4 different post types, the two types that performed the best were COVID posts and offer posts. The worst-performing type was the update post type.

Post Type # of Posts Clicks (GMB) Clicks (GA) Conversions
Offer 299 3.06 0.51 0.08
COVID 33 2.48 1.6 0.27
Event 182 1.46 1.42 0.14
Update 523 0.76 1.13 0.06

We realized that update posts used to only show live for 7 days (in 2020) so we thought maybe that was hurting the number of clicks they received. We decided to calculate a click-through rate by dividing clicks by views. Doing this showed that update posts & event posts were still the worst performing post in terms of click-through rate.

Post Type # of Posts Clicks (GMB) Views CTR
Offer 299 3.06 512 0.6%
COVID 33 2.48 570 0.4%
Event 182 1.46 636 0.2%
Update 523 0.76 277 0.3%

Should your Google My Business Posts have titles?

GMB Posts: Titles

When we looked at posts with titles compared to posts without titles, we found that posts with titles got almost twice the clicks and double the conversions.

Title # of Posts Clicks (GMB) Clicks (GA) Conversions
No 343 0.99 0.97 0.05
Yes 697 1.90 0.84 0.10

Should GMB post titles be in all-caps?

GMB Posts: Titles in All Caps CTR
If you do include a title, make sure it is not in all-caps. We found that posts that had normal capitalization for the titles got almost twice as many clicks.

All Caps Title # of Posts Clicks (GMB)
No 679 1.92
Yes 15 1.13

Should GMB Posts contain emojis?

Another thing we looked at in the study was if posts that contained emojis, outperformed posts without them.
GMB Posts: Emojis
Posts that contained emojis got twice as many clicks according to Google My Business insights and also got more conversions.

Emojis # of Posts Clicks (GMB) Clicks (GA) Average Conversions
Yes 50 3.06 0.62 0.13
No 987 1.53 0.89 0.09

What to include in the GMB Post’s image

The first thing we looked at with images in posts was if text in the image itself performed better than images without text.

GMB Posts: Images with Text
Photos that contained text in them got almost 4x the clicks compared to photos with no text.

All Caps Title # of Posts Clicks (GMB)
Yes 688 2.03
No 306 0.59

Next, we looked at if the photo contained a logo.

Post with Logo

For this one, we saw no measurable difference between the posts that contained logos vs the ones without.

Logo # of Posts Clicks (GMB)
Yes 577 1.57
No 417 1.60

Finally, we wanted to see how stock photos compared with unique photos that had been customized.
GMB Posts: Stock Photos
Should you use stock photos in GMB Posts? As we expected, stock photos did not perform nearly as well. Posts that did not have stock photos got 5.6x more clicks.

Stock Photo # of Posts Clicks (GMB)
Yes 314 0.38
No 680 2.13

What should you post about on GMB?

We often get people asking what types of content they should include in their Google posts. For this study, we broke out the types of posts into several categories.

The GMB Post types that got the most activity were:

  1. Posts about specials or discounts.
  2. Posts containing a call-to-action. For example, including “contact us today” in the image or post title.
  3. Posts containing a sense of urgency. For example, highlighting that you offer same-day appointments for a dentist.

The full list of categories is listed below. Posts could fall into multiple categories if they applied.


Type # of Posts Clicks (GMB)
Specials/Discounts 53 6.04
Calls-to-Action 363 2.71
Sense of Urgency 25 2.68
We are Open 98 1.93
Awards or USP 47 1.36
Questions 234 1.23
Products/Services 215 1.04
Who we Are 106 1.03
Seasonal 37 0.75
Reviews 15 0.71


For the full video of this presentation plus several others, check out our videos on demand from LocalU in April, 2021.

Want more local SEO tips?
Register for our August 16 Webinar.

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Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Joy, first of all I just want to thank you and your team for all the wisdom, knowledge, and experience that is shared at no cost to the SEO community. A perfect example of Luke 6:38.

    I have a few follow-up questions after reading this article.

    Since posts with titles have an almost 2x higher clicks and conversions, could it explain why Update posts in general did not perform as well since they don’t have Titles? Additionally, did the portion of the study of Posts with Titles, did this only include Offer & Event Posts (with or without Titles) or did it include Update Posts? In other words, were Event Posts with Titles 2x more effective than Event Posts w/o Titles? Or were posts in general 2x less effective without a Title?

    Considering posts with Titles have significantly more engagement than posts without Titles (Update posts), do you see any issues in changing to a strategy of modifying what normally would be an Update post to an Offer/Event type of post? I wouldn’t want to do anything that is spammy or misleading, but I could see making small changes to our client’s typical Update posts to make it conform to either an Offer or Event to take advantage of the Title benefit.

    Last question 🙂 was there any incremental measurements conducted such as:
    1) Offer Post with stock photo, no title, and no emoji
    2) Offer Post with custom photo, no title, and no emoji
    3) Offer Post with custom photo, title, no emoji
    4) Offer Post with custom photo, title, emojis

    As I plan on purchasing the OnDemand video to watch over the long weekend, your short answer may be to watch the On Demand video which would be totally fine ?

    BTW, the LocalU webinar on 8/31 was fantastic, looking forward to November’s webinar!

    1. Hey Jeff,

      Posts in general 2x less effective without a Title. We didn’t filter this out to include only specific types of posts. I would definitely utilize offer posts as much as possible. I don’t see it as misleading at all.

      We didn’t segment the items together but if you were to use the offer post with a custom photo, a title, and an emoji, it would definitely meet the criteria we found performed best across the board.

    1. Hi David, the best way to track performance is to tag the Google Post CTA with UTM parameters so you can view performance in Google Analytics and Search Console.

  2. Hi Joy,

    Does it matter in Update posts to use the CTA button on posts? Should all update posts have a “call now” or “learn more” with a link? Our third-party app that we use for bulk posting to GBP does not allow us to use the CTA button. Do you have a recommendation for a third-party posting app for Google Business with this option? Thank you

    1. Hey Jenn,

      The post needs a call-to-action but we didn’t notice a particular trend on where the CTA needed to be. The only 3rd party I’ve used for posts is DBA Platform but I’m not 100% sure if they have the feature you’re requesting.

  3. Thanks for sharing this informative article on Google Posts! One question that comes to mind after reading this is: How often should businesses be posting on Google Posts? Is there a recommended frequency or best practice to ensure that their posts are effective and engaging for their audience? I would be interested to hear from other readers in the comments section on their own experiences and strategies for using Google Posts effectively.

    1. If there is nothing really changing about the business that you need to alert people about (like coupon/discount), I usually do 1 post a month and make it an offer post that has a duration for the entire month.

  4. Adding a title is definitely a best practice for one particular reason : the title can be taken as a “justification” in local pack and local finder

  5. Earlier today I began work on client Google posts. As you know this can be routine and tedious. However, I always want to do the best for my clients so I paused to check out SterlingSky for some advice and inspiration. I found this helpful article (and more).

    Thank you Joy! This is excellent advice backed by solid research.

  6. Google offer posts (i.e. Offer: 50% off!) have not been showing up in the local pack since the beginning of February. Has Google come out and said why they are no longer showing the offers in the local pack? They still show up in the posts feed.

    1. Interesting. I haven’t been paying attention to posts enough to notice. Are you not seeing them on mobile at all anymore either? Previously, I would see a lot on mobile and not desktop.

  7. Hello there! I appreciate the comprehensive breakdown and practical tips that make it easier to navigate the GMB landscape.
    I’ve noticed that your article mentions the effectiveness of COVID-related posts on Google My Business back in 2020. Considering the ever-evolving landscape, do you still find COVID-related posts to be as impactful in 2024? I’d love to hear your insights on whether they continue to perform well.

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