How COVID-19 Changed Google My Business
COVID-19 has drastically altered how we live our personal and professional lives. And it isn’t over yet. Even when the pandemic does subside, we will be feeling its impact for years to come. The world of digital marketing looks quite a bit different in 2021 than it did just a year ago. You’ve probably noticed a bunch of changes on your favorite social media platforms and other marketing tools. Today, we’d like to highlight one of these in particular: Google My Business. Here are a few new features GMB has in response to COVID-19.
If you’ve posted to Google My Business at all in the past year or so, you’ve likely noticed a new posting option: ‘COVID-19 update.’ If you use this feature, it will remain pinned at the top of your listing on GMB.
The purpose of this feature is pretty self-explanatory. COVID-19 is a volatile situation, and the way it affects your business one week could be different the next. You should use this feature to notify potential customers of any changes you’ve made in response to the pandemic. It’s also a great way to suggest how individuals can support you and to express your gratitude to them.
‘Last Updated’ Hours
Many businesses have had to alter their hours significantly on account of the pandemic—sometimes multiple times. Depending on the nature of your business you may not be permitted to remain open after a certain time.
There are few things more frustrating for customers than to see your hours listed one way on Google My Business, only to arrive and find that the posted hours were incorrect. For this reason, Google has added a ‘last updated’ tag to your hours on GMB. This indicates the date the hours were most recently changed, so people have a better sense of its accuracy.
Another feature added to GMB enables businesses to clarify at what hours they are open for what purposes.
To explain what we mean, let’s take the example of the restaurant industry. Let’s say they were permitted to remain open for outdoor dining from 12-8, but could only do carryout or pickup after that time. The ‘secondary hours’ feature makes it clear what services they can provide at a certain time!
Here are some other stipulations this feature could reflect:
- Drive-through hours
- Visiting hours
- Senior hours
By clarifying secondary hours on your Google My Business listing, your customers know how exactly they can support your small business at any given time.
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