I’m stoked to share our new local SEO tool for building and scheduling Google My Business Posts. I’ll let you know what it does, how to use it, how it could fit into your workflow, and how it will make your agency more money.
What is this thing?
Our new Add-on, POSTS for short, is a Google Sheets Add-on. It adds extra functionality to the way Sheets works, in our case, by letting you build Google My Business Posts in a Google Sheet.
Alrighty, what are the features?
The tool has 3 key features: building posts, scheduling posts, and baked in UTM tagging. We’ll look at each one separately below.
The tool allows you to build Google My Business posts for any / all your locations in one Google Sheet. You can build any of 4 types of posts: What’s New (or CTA) posts, Event Posts, Offer Posts, and COVID-19 (or Alert type) Posts. The last post type is available to chains during the COVID-19 pandemic. More on that below.
One post per row in your Sheet, and when you’re done building them, hit Add-ons > AgencyAutomators > Publish Posts. The tool then pushes posts, with Today’s date, up to Google to publish. You can also set up posts for the future too, which we hope, makes your posts management much simpler.
Turning on POst scheduling is an easy two-step process:
- Set the hour of the day you want the tool to run each day in the CONFIG Tab.
- Go to Add-ons > AgencyAutomators – POSTS > Turn on daily posting.
Once you set it up, each day the Add-on will run in the background and check for posts set with that day’s publish date. If the dates match, then the Add-on will publish your post for you. We think this is a powerful feature because the ability to schedule posts is missing from the native GMB UI. Event announcements, Product launches, embargoed content, and coordinated cross-channel campaigns will all be made easier to manage with this functionality.
How does the UTM tagging work?
We set up tagging for you according to the tagging structure shared by Claire Carlile’s great UTM tagging guide. This means that you and your agency or business will have a consistent method to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts while using Google Posts.
Okay, that’s cool, can I customize them the way I want to?
Totally! You can set the tags to your own structure. Just go to the CONFIG tab and modify the UTM Tagging fields to match your preferred tracking scheme.
Here’s a view of the default Tagging config setup.
How do I install the POSTS Add-on?
- Open up a Google Sheet with an email address that has GMB locations associated with it.
- Click Add-ons > Get Add-ons
- Type “GMB” into the G-SUite Marketplace toolbar.
- Click on POSTS
- On Next Screen click Install.
- After stepping through Google’s Auth process you should see a new Add-ons menu item called AgencyAutomators – POSTS
Congrats, the Add-on is now installed!
How do I use it?
To help you get the most out of the tool, we’ve provided full documentation here. It goes through the steps of how to create all four post types along with detailed guidance on how to fill in every required and recommended field.
How will it fit into your workflow
We see this tool making it much easier and faster for you to build and schedule posts for single and multi-locations.
For chains or businesses with 10 or more locations, Google has opened up the API during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow chains to post the COVID-19 Alert post type. Chains can let customers know how their business is operating during the pandemic.
How will POSTS make your clients and your agency more money?
When we researched building the tool we heard from agency owners why they weren’t doing Posts for their clients.
We heard a lot of reasons including:
- Complexity – it’s difficult to manage posts for a bunch of clients when the posts expire so quickly.
- Low impact. Google Posts don’t do much to drive traffic and revenue right? I thought that too until I worked with Blake Denman on a GMB project and started tracking GMB traffic appropriately. What I started to see surprised me: GMB traffic converted at higher rates and was more engaged on client websites.
This Add-on will make your agency more money by
- Simplifying the post creation process, in a centralized way so you can build posts in significantly less time. No more context shifting, or clicking through endless location pages inside the GMB UI.
- Making it super simple for you to build a scalable service offering. And if it is taking you 15 minutes to build a deliverable that can be sold for $100 apiece, it will be profitable indeed.
Can this tool post to chains?
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room right out of the gate: this Add-on abides by the limitations that Google has placed on the Google My Business API. That means that it will work perfectly for all businesses with less than 10 locations. For 10 locations or more, you are restricted by the API to using the COVID-19 Alert Type Post.
What is the Cost?
This Google Sheets Add-on is Free.
Who can I create posts for with this Add-on?
You can create posts for the Google My Business Locations that are tied to the email address that you are using the tool with. If your email address isn’t tied to any GMB Locations, then the tool won’t work for you.
One sheet to rule them all or one sheet per client?
If you are going to take advantage of the scheduling feature, it probably is a good idea to have one sheet per client, which if client-facing, can be set up with the client’s branding.
We hope you find the tool useful and look forward to your feedback so we can continue to improve it.