Many organizations rely on Google My Business to send a stream of customers to their door. With the recent directives from different levels of government to practice social isolation, it has led to the forced closure of bars and restaurants, while some businesses and charities have reduced hours or closed for a few weeks.
If your business is affected by COVID-19, update your Google My Business profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers. For example, change your hours of operation if you’re temporarily closed or closing early, or add more details to your description. The updates will show on your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.
Google My Business is a free and tool for businesses, organizations and charities to manage their online presence across Google search and maps. Your listing can include your location, opening hours, services, and feature images of your products, team and other relevant information. Google uses all that information to create a listing in search results.
Although we are sharing information on how to make changes and optimize your profile, this article is not about creating a Google My Business listing from scratch. If you don’t have one and you don’t know how to create it, read our handy guide or contact us to help you.
How to Change Your Profile
As soon as you sign into your Google My Business profile, you should be able to see this screen:
On this page, you will see on the left all the areas where you can update your information. Below we have summarized and provided a handy infographic outlining each of the steps to update and optimize your profile.
You will also see a new information box called, Coronavirus (COVID-19), with a link to Learn More. If you need more detailed information, follow the link.
If your business hours have changed, update the times when you’ll be open or closed. Your new hours will be updated in your Profile, and they’ll know exactly when to visit. You can mark your business Temporarily Closed and Google will update search and maps accordingly.
Manage your description
You can add information to explain whether or not your business operations are affected by COVID-19. You can share information about any extra precautions the business is taking, if you’re providing any extra services to the community, or whether you’re experiencing delays.
Create a post
You can use your listing like a social network. Be sure to share updates about what’s going on with your business through Posts. For example, add information about what products and services you have in stock or how you are operating. Post pictures of your team or customers making a difference to your organizations. Make sure you continue to use Posts to directly communicate with your customers on a regular basis as your business changes. Read our case study and tips
Update your phone number
Make sure your phone number is correct so that customers can reach you.
Limited GMB Functionality
Most importantly, Google My Business has turned off the ability to leave or respond to reviews, and Q&A. There are other functions that have been limited at this time. Learn more here.
Why it is important to Update Your Profile
The internet is now the primary source for information about local communities. Local data accuracy, including store/business hours, becomes even more critical at a time like this. Updating your profile and hours will help your customers and patrons know when you are open, closed, or have changed your operations to respond to your local situation and response to COVID-19.