It’s been challenging to keep customers informed about the continuous regulations related to COVID-19. This is especially true for small businesses. Communicating limited hours of operation, scarcity of stock, temporary closures and pertinent updates have proven difficult to stay on top of.
What actions can small and medium-sized businesses take to stay adaptive and proactive to changes related to Coronavirus?
Recently, a new feature in Google My Business was rolled out and updated to make this task easier. Continue reading to learn about the “Temporarily Closed” Google My Business update and how it can be leveraged.
Normally, when a business is marked as “Permanently Closed”, the location would drop off in ranking as Google does not want to provide users a closed business as an option in their search results. Prior to March 26, this was still true, and updating business hours would result in decreased visibility and rankings, even for branded searches. However, given the number of businesses and customers impacted by COVID-19, Google has since assured that is no longer the case.
With the “Temporarily Closed” Google My Business update, it is encouraged for business owners to communicate any changes to operating hours. This proactive step will communicate to customers that during the COVID-19 outbreak, your business is indeed closed for the time being. Below is a snapshot of the three options available to businesses, without fear of losing rankings or visibility in Google Search or Maps.
Note: if your business is offering delivery or take-out options during limited business hours, it is not recommended to utilize this Google My Business update, as those services won’t be seen by customers.
Another item the team at Linkmedia 360 noticed is a disclaimer on some Google business listings that states: “Hours or services may vary due to Covid-19”. Currently, we are unsure how Google is adding this statement to listings. This additional tweak related to operating hours during COVID-19 is not shown for all Google listings. It may be dependent on the business category and/or only available to specific industries. We will promptly update this information as we receive it.
Below is an example of the disclaimer that you may have seen when conducting a search on Google.
As we all look to navigate this pandemic together, you can count on our team to provide timely and actionable updates to help your business succeed during uncertain market conditions. Check out our recent post that provides additional tips to update your Google My Business profile during COVID-19. Of course, if your business requires additional assistance during this time, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.