Google quietly added an image carousel to Google Posts recently. Now, businesses can add up to 10 images to Offer, Update, Event, and Product Posts in Google My Business.
Google Posts are a great way to enhance your locations’ visibility in local search. They add visually interesting and engaging content to your Knowledge Panel listing, helping your locations take up more valuable space in the SERPs. What’s more, Google My Business signals are the most important ranking factor for Local Pack rankings and Posts are a great way to be active on a regular basis.
Essentially, this gives brands and each of their locations more space in which to visually tell stories, share information, feature promotions, and otherwise engage searchers. How can you make the best use of the image carousel in Google My Business?
First, two important notes about designing creative and measurement/reporting:
- Use 4×6 landscape orientation images that can crop a square without losing important imagery for your GMB Posts.
Inside your GMB dashboard, as you are creating a post, it appears as though your image layout is about a 5×7 landscape orientation.
However, your Post images will crop differently depending on where they appear and what device the viewer is using. A desktop search resulting in the location’s Knowledge Panel appearing in the right sidebar, for example, may show the full-width image.
On mobile or in a Posts feed (triggered when a searcher clicks to ‘View All’ posts), that same image may appear with a square crop.
Keep this in mind when you are creating images and taking photos for your Posts. You do not want to lose text or important elements of the image, so leave a margin horizontally that can be cropped.
- Currently, views or scrolls through the Google Posts image carousel are not measured or reported.
As Ben Fisher noted in our recent Google Posts webinar, the statistics you’re seeing inside of GMB Insights for Posts aren’t accurate, anyway. “The way impressions are calculated means the impression is not counted unless someone clicks on the Post. So if they’re just looking at it, you don’t see that,” he said.
Tracking the number of views and scrolls would be a most welcome addition to GMB’s Insights and I hope it’s something Google adds in the near future. In the meantime, you’ll need to get creative with measurement. Try A/B testing with different images and the same copy posted on the same day to different locations.
Recommended reading: Measuring the ROI of Google Posts for Enterprise Brands: An Analysis of Over 5000 Google Posts (free download).
25 Creative Ways to Use the Google Posts Image Carousel for Local Marketing
Now, what can you do in this highly visible space? Check out these ideas for enterprise brands and see what you can brainstorm with your team and local managers now that you can share up to 10 images per Post:
- Retail: sneak peek at the preparation for an in-store event
- Restaurants: exterior photos showcasing your facade, signage, parking, and other elements that will help customers understand the experience you offer
- Service-area businesses: map images to show the areas you service
- Photography studios: themed portfolio offerings
- Healthcare: ‘a day in the life of’ themed content featuring practitioners
- Agriculture: behind-the-scenes shots of equipment or product
- Mortgages: client stories with a small amount of text testimonial overlay on a photo of the customer
- Real estate franchise: multiple images from inspirational sale listings
- Technology: creative or unexpected uses of your technology
- Accommodations: a collection of amenities photos
- Health insurance: one person’s claim story, from start to finish
- Fashion: the process of designing and making a garment
- CPG: an insider’s look at where ingredients or core components are sourced
- Spa: before and after service photos (anonymized or with customer permission)
- Construction: project photos that highlight superior workmanship
- Manufacturer: employee features or spotlights
- Banking: savings goals realized in a series of photos
- B2B software: a business goal achieved step-by-step in 5-10 graphics
- Grocery chain: use carousel images as recipe cards
- Travel brand: top 10 things to do or see in any given location
- Car insurance: road hazards to avoid by region
- Fitness: top gear collections for different audience segments
- Plumbing/Heating franchise: seasonal home maintenance tips
- Wellness products: Aspirational quotes overlaid on serene photos
- Florists: Arrangement collections by holiday or occasion
Brainstorm two to three months’ worth of content and get ahead of your Google Posts game. Give yourself time to distribute to franchisees or local managers, and aim to publish at least one post per week per location.
Remember, each of the images you use in Google Post image carousels can be added to your GMB Photos and repurposed for Instagram and Facebook, as well.
You can help each of your franchise, corporate or privately owned locations engage their local audiences by sharing brand-wide content they can use in Google Post Image Carousels. You could also create a resource to help local managers understand the opportunity and get inspired to share content unique to their location (in fact, you can send this them post to get the party started).
And when you need help strategizing and implementing an enterprise Google Posts strategy, we’re here to help. Contact us to get started.