SEO experts and marketers cannot stress enough the need to optimize your company’s Google My Business listing to improve your brand’s online visibility and local SEO rankings.
All you might have heard about before is the importance of utilizing all GMB features to increase the foot traffic to your store and better connect with your audience. Unfortunately, while marketers are also big advocates for including Google Posts in your local SEO strategy, it’s not an option for all our clients. It might not be available for your business.
If your Google My Business listing is in a particular category, you will receive the following error when using the Google Post feature.
“Sorry, posts are currently not available for your business listing.”
How come some businesses can use Google Posts and others cannot use this feature? Is there a way around the issue? Let’s find out!
Google Posts Arent’s Available to All Businesses (Yet)
In 2017 Google launched a feature on Google My Business called posts. The new tool was equally exciting for business owners and marketers who saw it as an additional platform to connect with customers. In Google’s original announcement post, the company suggested that posts were rolling out globally to all businesses with a verified GMB listing. However, soon it became apparent that the new feature wasn’t available to all business listings.
“Thanks for all of the excitement around this launch – we’re equally excited and definitely want to get you posting! If you’re not seeing the Posts section on your business page, it might be because we haven’t launched to all business categories. ‘Hotels’ is the category where local posts are not available (yet).”
In 2022, Google Posts is still not fully available to businesses offering accommodation, but the list of categories that cannot access this feature goes beyond hotels.
All regulated industries might face the problem when publishing posts on GMB.
“We do not allow content related to regulated products and services, which include alcohol, tobacco products, gambling, financial services, pharmaceuticals, and unapproved supplements, or health or medical devices.”
Restricted categories that can’t use Google Posts or can only use it limitedly include:
- Adult Entertainment
- Cannabis and CBD stores
- Conference Center
- Gun Shop
- Hotel (all hotel categories)
- Vacation Rental
- Wine Store (and other alcohol-related categories)
It might also happen that you could use Google Posts, and then suddenly, you could no longer use the feature. For example, some businesses can’t use offer posts, but they can still use the update or event posts. This happens when one of the above-listed categories is set as the primary category. If so, these businesses will have limited access to Google Posts.
If you get the error mentioned above and can’t publish posts, you can request access by submitting your Google Maps URL to this form. Of course, there’s no guarantee you will get access after sending the form, but it’s worth trying. You’ll get a response from Google within 2-3 days.
Hotels Can Now Use Google Posts for Updates
Until 2021, when Google updated its policies, businesses in the hotel category couldn’t use Google Posts. However, after the changes in GMB policies, hotels can now use Google Posts but with limitations. That means hotels can publish posts but only to give customers notifications about the business and not for promotional purposes.
According to Business Profile Posts Content Policy, hotels can publish posts to provide important and timely info to their customers. Examples of allowed posts include COVID-19 protocols, updates to amenities or renovations, and events on the property.
“Hotels can’t create ‘offer’ posts, or any post that suggests the existence of or that links out to deals, promotions, special offers, or discounts. This ensures that customers don’t get confused about where to navigate on the hotel place sheet to find organic and ad prices from partners.”
How Do I Fix the Error?
Watching other businesses utilizing the tool while you can’t benefit from the feature can be distressing, especially because posts can affect your search engine rankings. Therefore, you might wonder if there’s a way around the issue and how to start using Google Posts for your business listing.
Here’s how you can fix the problem:
If you have submitted the request for accessing Google Posts but didn’t get a response you were waiting for, here’s another method you can try to fix the problem.
As mentioned above, businesses will run into a problem when their listing is in one of the above-listed categories. They’ll not be able to use the Google Posts feature. The best way to avoid the problem would be to list your business in a different category.
For instance, if you own a CBD store, you can use store as a primary category and cannabis store as a secondary category. That should allow you to use the feature just like any other store on GMB can. Hotels cannot use Google Posts for promoting their services either. Because most hotels also feature additional amenities such as a spa or a restaurant, they could use them as a primary category and hotel as a secondary one to avoid running into the problem with Google Posts. It’d help promote their services and attract foot traffic to their location.
To change the primary category of your business, open Google My Business Account; click the pencil icon next to it to edit and choose a category you want to be the primary one. Click apply.
There are more than 3000 categories of listing you can choose on GMB. You can select up to 10 of them for your business but choose only one primary category, which Google algorithm will see as the most important one.
Google Posts is an effective tool that you can use to increase traffic to your store or your website and provide your audience with relevant informational and promotional content. However, the latter isn’t available to all businesses, and some of them might have limited access to the feature. You can request access by submitting your Google Maps URL to this form. There’s no guarantee you will get access after sending the form, as Google restricts the feature to specific categories per Business Profile Posts Content Policy. If your business belongs to one of the above-listed industries, you can change the primary category to a different, more general one. You can use a more specific one such as cannabis store as a secondary category to access Google Posts.