Times are tough right now, especially for small businesses. With many small businesses being forced to shut down temporarily and/or adjust their services, it’s crucial that customers are in the know. One of the easiest ways to do this is by updating your Google My Business (GMB) listing for COVID-19.
Why Use Google My Business?
Google My Business is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways (it’s free!) to boost local SEO for small businesses. A well-optimized GMB profile will have your business showing up in the top of the local search results for searches specific to your products or services.
Your GMB listing is also the first impression of your business for many potential customers who search for you before they visit. That’s why it is so important that you build out a robust profile that includes recent photos, accurate hours, and positive reviews (make sure you are responding to all reviews, both positive and negative). If you haven’t already, get started setting up your profile here.
Our GMB listing:
On March 20, Google announced an update to their GMB Help Center:
“If your business is affected by COVID-19, update your Google My Business profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers. For example, change your hours of operation if you’re closing early, or add more details to your description. You can also update if your restaurant moves to takeout or delivery only. The updates will show on your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.”
What you can do if your business has been affected by COVID-19 closures?
Here are a couple of ways to go about updating your Google My Business Listing for COVID-19.
1. Change your business hours
You can easily update your company’s business hours within your GMB account. If you have multiple locations, make sure each location is updated with accurate information. For detailed instructions on how to update your hours, click here.
2. Update your business description
Explain how your business has been affected by Coronavirus and describe any precautionary measures you and your staff are taking if your customers can still safely use your services. This is also an opportunity to include information about new services being offered or new delivery options available due to Coronavirus restrictions.
3. Mark as temporarily closed
If you have been forced to close temporarily, Google recently added a button to mark your business as “Temporarily Closed” (example below). This is helpful to avoid any potential negative reviews if someone shows up to your location after seeing incorrect information on your listing.
Google themselves isn’t immune to Coronavirus effects either and like many businesses, is also taking necessary steps to protect the health of their team members. During this time, they are experiencing temporary limitations and delays in support to prioritize critical services, more on that here.
We hope these small but effective steps will help you keep an open line of communication with your customers during these difficult times.
Dave is Senior Search Strategist at RDW. Fascinated by the way buyers make purchase decisions, you’ll usually find him optimizing a PPC campaign, researching keywords or trying to keep up with the latest Google trends. If not that, he’s probably out on the water or checking out a new restaurant or brewery.