Why Keeping Google My Business Services During Pandemics Like COVID-19 or Other National Issues is Important for the Future of Your Business
Due to the COVID-19 crisis businesses are closed down temporarily, offering limited services such as takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery, or are pivoting quickly to offer solutions/services they may have never offered before. Some businesses are listed as essential and have no choice but to stay open to serve the public. As such, businesses are left trying to figure out where to cut costs, what to put on hold or what to do away with just to make ends meet.
Google My Business or Local SEO happens to be one of those services that businesses need to keep intact as they navigate the uncertainty of the future. To keep up with the changing world, the platform has made drastic changes in just a short period of time, but while you’re focused on your business and employees, it’s an overwhelming task to keep your business information up to date with current information for customers who desperately need your services.
- Google Added a Temporary Closed Banner – Many businesses are only shutting their doors for a short period of time vs. closing permanently. There was no easy or quick way to update business details until last week. Instead of spending hours on hold with Google support with little to no resolution, they implemented a temporary banner that can be managed through the GMB Dashboard.
- GMB Removed Questions & Answers and all Review functionality – We live in a world where reviews are a huge part of our daily decision making. With rapid changes in social distancing rules and business closures, many SMB’s forgot to update the one source of information customers use the most, Google My Business. As such, no business should suffer poor reviews simply because they are focused on surviving the crisis, so Google shut these functionalities down temporarily.
- No one can currently reply to publicly asked questions
- Customers cannot ask a question
- Customers cannot leave new reviews
- Business owners cannot respond to existing reviews
How V Digital Services Local SEO Team Can Help You
This unprecedented situation has caused drastic changes for everyone in a very short time, and while there is abundant uncertainty and anxiety surrounding world events, this presents an opportunity for businesses to showcase their humanity and to truly be there for their communities. Let us help you to keep your customers up to date while you focus on your business.
Keep your hours updated
We have staff on call to help. Your hours may be changing by the week or even by the day as new government regulations come out. It’s important that your information is updated not only on GMB but also major directories such as Yelp, Bing, and Apple.
Add Posts to your GMB
The fastest and most public way to make announcements about your business is to implement a Google my Business post. We will create the content or simply reuse a piece you may have already implemented on Facebook or Instagram. It’s important to not forget about posting to GMB!
- Post Ideas
- Are you open?
- Are you offering discounts?
- Are you offering different services such as delivery, curbside pickup, alcohol sales with food purchases?
- Do you offer telemedical services?
- Change & update your business descriptions.
- As your business transitions, so should your business description.
- The description is a key area to notify potential customers of changes or new services.
- Add menus & new products to your GMB
- Many businesses have altered their menus or are selling different products at this time.
- Update or Add delivery URLs
- With many states requiring dining rooms to be closed, some restaurants are pivoting to delivery-only services, even those that did not offer delivery before.
- Keep your categories updated
- Don’t miss out on any opportunity for your customers to find you online.
Keeping all of this information updated now will help to keep your business moving forward.
Eventually, the nation will return to normal, businesses and schools will reopen their doors, and people will be back to work in full swing. As social distancing comes to an end, patrons of bars, restaurants, salons, concert venues and many more will be all that much happier to be out and about. Your business will begin a whole new growth period, where mass changes to the GMB page will need to take place again. Let us take the weight off your shoulders so you can focus on running your business, ensuring that your customers stay up to date and that you maintain your digital foothold, putting you in a strong position once business returns to normal.
We are dedicated to your success and well-being and we will do what it takes to get through this together. Our team is working around the clock to serve our clients and make pivots where necessary. Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] with any updates, questions, or concerns. We are here for you!