New GMB Features Help Businesses Manage COVID-19 Response
Given that Google My Business (GMB) tends to add new features or revise existing ones frequently, it’s not surprising to find that many businesses may not yet be taking advantage of all the latest GMB features. And with the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on business operations, this is more true now than ever. However, if your business uses GMB as part of its online marketing strategy you should review the latest GMB feature options, as they can help your business inform customers about its COVID-19 response.
Inform Customers About Changes to Your Business
A key new GMB feature allows you to update your GMB profile to inform customers about COVID-19-related changes to your business’s operations. For example, if your business is “temporarily closed” due to COVID-19, you can add this information to your GMB profile. While GMB users might worry about potential impacts to search engine results rankings, Google is treating such notices the same as open businesses and advises that including the notice will not have any search rankings impacts. Other COVID-19 impact notices that can be added to GMB profiles include:
- COVID-19 adjusted hours of operation
- Additional business service hour notices to account for such things as delivery, takeout, drive-through, and curbside service.
- Additional business service hour notices targeting distinct customer populations, such as special “seniors only” hours.
- Providing notice that you offer online services, such as classes, appointments or estimates.
- Notifications regarding COVID-19-related delays on specific services.
- Announcing any services your business is providing to the community in response to COVID-19.
- Notifications about safety and hygiene practices.
The new feature is enhanced for food and retail businesses, as it prominently displays service availability on their business profiles on Google Maps and Google Search. The feature also makes it easy for all businesses with physical locations to showcase what services they now offer online as a result of COVID-19.
Use GMB Posts to Provide COVID-19-Related Information
Much as GMB now allows businesses to add COVID-19-related information to their GMB profiles, the platform is also allowing the same for GMB posts. GMB COVID-19 posts can include information relating to:
- Temporary closure notifications or new business service hours.
- Changes in business operations, such as if only offering delivery and/or takeout service.
- Contact information for more COVID-19-related details.
- Requests for community support.
Businesses should create and use COVID-19 GMB posts in exactly the same manner they use other GMB posts. As with other GMB posts, COVID-19 posts serve as a means of directly reaching out to potential customers while enhancing search engine optimization.
Download COVID-19 Marketing Kit
The new GMB marketing kit allows GMB businesses to create free posters, social posts, window stickers, signs, and other media to inform your customers about COVID-19-related changes to your business. The media messaging can easily be printed and physically displayed at your business location and/or digitally presented through your social media channels.
Not Using GMB?—You May Be Missing Out!
If you’re not using GMB as part of your online marketing efforts, you may be missing out on some key benefits beyond the COVID-19 outreach features detailed above. Not only is GMB free and easy to use, but GMB can significantly enhance your search engine optimization and bring you more customers if set up and used effectively. Moxxi Marketing has extensive experience setting up and managing GMB as part of a comprehensive online marketing campaign for businesses. If you would like to learn how Moxxi Marketing can help grow your business with a powerful online marketing presence or campaign, contact us today at 239.330.6236.