The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and you need to keep up with the “new normal.” We are going to discuss the various ways that you can see what people are searching for and how to communicate the new changes to your services using Google my business (GMB). I will also cover some industry-specific changes that may affect your business or a business that you are servicing. Ultimately, you want to be able to adjust your GMB account to the best of your ability in these changing times.
Do you know what people are asking?
Many businesses are still closed or are operating at a limited capacity. You must adjust the information on your Google My business to make sure that it shows your new operating hours and if your business is temporarily closed, then you need to note that as well. This a key tool in google my business marketing. You want to make sure that all your contact information is up to date such as keeping your phone number accurate, checking on those questions and answer sections on GMB, and adjusting the messaging on your phone system. Do not make it hard for your customers to reach you as this is not the time to lose customers.[bctt tweet=”With the pandemic continuing, you want to make sure that you are conveying the appropriate information to them” username=”ThatCompanycom”]
You should also be very clear about your safety precautions and protocols for Google My business. If things are going to be adjusted from what used to be normal, then you should make it clear. Let it be known if customers may experience longer than normal wait times or if a mask is required. Do not hide this information as that can lead to disgruntled clients. You also want to make sure that you inform your customers and clients if there is are updated offerings that are outside the norm. This can be very important if your business is experiencing supply shortages. If everything is functioning as normal, then just make sure everything is correct and there are no mess-ups on Google’s end.
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Google My Business Advice for specific industries
We will start with restaurants as they are some of the first places we think of that have been impacted by this pandemic. With the various mandates that come down from governors and mayors, it can be a real hassle to know if a restaurant is a drive-through or curbside only or if you can sit down for a meal thanks to limited seating. Google My Business allows you to adjust the dine-in, deliver, and take-out attributes so you can keep your customers happy. Google offers some items that stand out in the Knowledge Panel such as buttons for reserving a table and online ordering.
Posts can be a great way to convey information to customers as well since you can say more in posts than you can by adjusting the attributes. Also, you may want to update some photos on your pages so people can see what your restaurant looks like now, especially if you have things like enhanced outdoor seating or limited seating. Include some shots of the safety precautions that you are making such as pictures of staff with gloves and masks on.
Next up on the list are retail stores. To satisfy local SEO services requirements, these too need to make sure their information is updated. Much like restaurants, the fluctuating mandates have caused customers to be unsure if a store is open or not. Updating Google My Business means that customers will know your adjusted business hours and other buying options. If your retail business offers online buying, pick up in-store, curbside pickup, or contactless delivery, GMB includes attributes for all these options, and Google even includes highlighted attributes that really show off what options are available to your customers.
Look over your listing and make sure everything is up to date and that nothing new must be added. If anything does, then just make those changes and help your customers know what options are available to them. It is also a good idea to make a couple of posts that talk about any new offerings and do not forget to add some images of your business safety precautions. Let people know what to expect since things are not back to normal yet.
Banks and other financial service businesses need to make sure their information is up to date as well. People may be more inclined to call instead of dropping by. Or they may want to use the tellers instead of going inside. Because business in the financial service industry is so necessary for many people to access, updated business hours are a must. The last thing you want is to have frustrated customers because they came by your business only to find that the new hours, because of the pandemic, are not the hours that you had listed on your Google My Business listing. Double-check everything and take photos or create some posts if you want or need to convey how your business is handling COVID-19.
We saved the best for last here as the healthcare industry has been going non-stop during the pandemic. As such, the GMB listings must be updated to show what is going on. In April, Google added a new feature for those under the healthcare categories. This new feature offers a telehealth link that allows healthcare organizations to handle non-emergency needs. This helps limit the number of people visiting the offices. Google has introduced information that can be included in your Google My Business listing that has information regarding COVD-19 testing. This information allows you to state if an appointment or referral is required. Or it can tell you if all patients can be tested, and more information regarding COVID-19. Make sure that if you are a COVID-19 testing site that you add this information to your listing.
Updating your Google My Business Listing
One of the first things that you want to look at is the attributes. Update them to show what you offer during the pandemic. This can be anything such as delivery, pickup, the need for appointments, online service offerings, and more. Note your safety measures and if you are in the healthcare industry, update your testing location information. Double-check everything. Look at your published business hours and adjust them if necessary. There may be additional hours that need to be added temporarily such as pickup hours, drive through hours, etc. For categories like retail, you will also want to look at the services and products section in Google My Business. You can introduce new or popular services and products this way.
Add new images to your Google My Business listing. This is a good time to increase the images that you have. People really do look at them, so do not be afraid to take pictures. Show off the safety precautions and preparations that you and your staff are taking. It’s not easy for anyone to show off that hard work and set the mind of your customers at ease. Also, you do not have to hire a professional photographer or find someone with a high-end digital camera. Most smartphones have high-quality cameras built-in and most people have smartphones. So have some employees take pictures and send them to you to review and post up to your listing. Lastly, you want to create some Google posts that talk about what your business is doing. This makes sure that you can show the human side of your business.
Need help managing your Google My Business? Consider using our white label services. Feel free to contact us and let us know what you think of the article, and if it helped you update your Google My Business.