Optimizing Your Google Business Listing During COVID-19
While our lives and businesses have been surrounded by uncertainty as we navigate COVID-19, there are steps you can take to make sure your customers have up to date, accurate information about any changes or adjustments your company might be making during this time.
Important! Before proceeding, your business must have a business listing on Google. If you do not have a listing on Google, click here to learn how to create one.
One of the first things a customer will look for is whether you are open. Google has given a new option for businesses to mark their location as “temporarily closed”. Prior to COVID-19, they only offered a permanent option.
To mark your business as temporarily closed, login to your Google My Business dashboard and click the “info” tab in the left sidebar. This will bring you to a screen that allows you to edit your business details. On the right, you should see a box titled “Close this business on Google”.
Click the “Mark as temporarily closed” button. Once Google processes the change, your listing should have a notice stating that it is temporarily closed. To re-open, follow the same steps on the info page and “mark as open”.
Keep Your Contact Information Up To Date
Accurate business information is essential during this time. You might have delivery options, virtual appointments, or limited hours that you want customers to know about.
Make sure you are keeping your business hours up to date. Many businesses are running on limited hours, or block off time for seniors and those more at risk.
To update your main hours or to add a new set, go to the info tab on your business dashboard. This will take you to a page where you can edit your business details. You will see a section to add or edit your primary hours, and under that, you will see an option to add more hours.
The “more hours” section allows you to add a new set of hours if your business offers any of the following:
- Happy hour
- Senior hours
Beneath the “more hours” section, you will see an option to add special hours. You will want to use this feature if there are specific dates or holidays you might be closed.
Extra Information Links
On the info tab in your dashboard, you might see options to add additional links to your listing. These change depending on your business category, but it allows you to provide links (these could be from your website or from a third party) that give the customer more information on how your business is operating during this time.
Some options include virtual care/telehealth, delivery menus, appointments, and general COVID-19 information.
Attributes and Highlights
Google has also added new options for business attributes. These are located under the optional links section in the info tab. Depending on your business category, you will see an array of highlights you can check off. For restaurants, this is key because it’s where you can say you are open for dine-in and/or provide no-contact delivery/pickup.
Publish Weekly Google Posts
Creating and publishing Google Posts is a great way to get information out to your customers. You can create posts with COVID-19 notices, Offers, Events, and general business updates. Much like a Facebook post, you can add an image to make them eye-catching.
With the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, posts can be a great way to let customers know about mask requirements, appointment instructions, or any other updates to your business practices that you want customers to be aware of.
To add a post, login to your dashboard and click the “posts” tab in the left sidebar. This will bring you to a page that displays your recent posts (if you have any), and allows you to add a new one.
Click on the category type that fits your post subject. Depending on the category, you can add a photo, description, button, gift card and/or donation link, and more.
Once published, your post will remain visible for 7 days.
Collect and Respond to Reviews
Reviews are one of the first things people look at when researching a company or service. Customers will use these reviews to determine whether or not they will buy from you. Make sure you continue to get new reviews on your listing and respond to reviews that come in. If you want to create a custom review link to send out, read our informative article here.
NOTE: : Due to COVID-19, new reviews might take a little longer to publish during this time.
Maintain your Listing
Your listing should now be up to date and provide detailed information for customers looking for your services! Remember, you will want to update your listing in the coming weeks if there are any changes to the way your business operates.
Need Help Or Have Questions?
Feel free to contact us today! We have extensive experience with Google My Business listings and would be happy to help answer any questions about optimization options during COVID-19.