Best Practices for Google My Business To Lessen The Impact of COVID-19 Security Measures
These are not normal times for businesses across the world. With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading like wildfire, business owners are not just worried for their health, they’re worried what the impact of this new world will be on their business. Our view? It’s time to double down on your online infrastructure where possible. Prepare your business to be the first thing people see when they search for goods and services that you offer. The good news is that there are many things you can do for yourself, especially as it pertains to your online business listings. Follow these best practices for Google My Business.
Let’s talk about Google My Business First
Here are some of the things you can do to get your Google My Business listing organized right away.
Important note: reviews locked down too
The first thing you need to know is that Google has locked down business reviews. Last Friday, the company decided that no reviews will be published on any listing to protect small business owners. This goes for business owner responses as well. How does this protect your business? Google (and Yelp, as it turns out) is hoping this will prevent malicious reviews related to a businesses’ handling of issues related to the virus. There are ways for you to manage these reviews, as you will be able to see them in your Google My Business platform, but that requires specialized software. Ask us about it if you’re interested.
Change your business hours
If your business has been impacted, it’s vital to change your business hours so that people know if your business is open or not and, if it is open, when you’re available to them. If you have special notes you’d like to leave about when you’re open in relation to social distancing guidelines, you should do this too. This could mean statements such as, “Only 5 people will be let into the store at a time”, “Available by appointment only”, and other similar ideas.
Manage your business information
Use the space in your business description – up to 750 characters – to let people know about the precautions you are taking or extra services you are offering to handle COVID-19 or not. Here’s your opportunity to share if you’re facing any delays too.
Create a Google My Business post
About 18 months ago, Google started allowing business owners to post content on their Google My Business listing in much the same way they post to Facebook or Instagram, for example. Take advantage of this feature to share timely updates about your business. You can add information about what products or services you have in stock, link to other resources, or just use posts to directly communicate with your customers about the state of your business and help people learn how you can help them while they’re in isolation.
Update your phone number
It’s vital that you make sure that your phone number is correct so that your customers can reach you. If you’re working remotely and using your cell number as your primary number during this crisis, make sure Google and all the other directories you’re listed on know.
Expect delays too
Google has been prioritizing changes to hours, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions and changes to attributes. If you’re attempting to create a Google Post, it may take a bit of time before it’s published. As a note, some of the content we published for clients was published right away, while others are still taking time. Stick with it, Google will likely push everything through eventually.
We’re here to help
We’re not here to push, we’re here to help. If you need anything from us in relation to Google My Business or your other directory listings, just ask. We’re happy to help you get your online presence settled so you can focus on the elements of your business that you know best.
Do you have any tips on how to handle your business during this crisis? What else are you doing to get your digital infrastructure in place while you have the time to focus. Over the next days and weeks, we’ll focus on a different area of your online presence that you can focus on strengthening while dealing with preventative measures associated with coronavirus.
Free Small Business Marketing Consultation
If you’re a small business owner looking for help, advice or just to talk to a marketing specialist during this time, book a free consultation with Mark at 10|20 Marketing and we can discuss your business, your concerns and how to best use the time you have now to get your digital presence in order.