Updating your Google My Business for the Coronavirus crisis

Google My Business informs customers and prospects that are searching for your business on Google in times of crisis. See how.

By
Usman Khalil
April 12, 2020
3 MIN READ

Google My Business has become a focal point as businesses face office shutdowns as Covid-19 safety measures. Consumers have had to stay indoors and online activity has seen a spike. Some industries like travel and retail have however been impacted adversely, seeing a decrease in app visits of up to 67% in Italy.

app-visits-covid

While stuck indoors, people have flocked to Google to see if their favorite services’ are still available. Google My Business allows businesses to maintain their presence and keep people updated about their hours and availability among other things.

Business during the current crisis has created a lot of uncertainty, especially for brick and mortar businesses. Online channels have helped bridge the gap to an extent.

If customers don’t show up to their shops and offices to avail their services and buy their products, businesses can still reach out to them on digital channels such as social media, Google, and their website.

Under normal conditions, a typical business receives 59 actions (reviews, website visits, searches etc.) from their Google My Business listing every month. These numbers will without a doubt be higher these days.

How can you use Google My Business to inform your customers

Google My Business is your business card on the internet that your customers see when they search for you. It contains your essential details and more and it’s the best way to attract new business without spending a dime.

Here’s what a Google My Business listing looks like:

gmb-for-business


As shown your listing shows visitors your address, your weekly opening hours, website, and contact information.

You (and other people) can also add more information and content to your listing such as photos and reviews to make your GMB listing even more authentic.


How to create a Google My Business listing from scratch

  1. Go to www.google.com/business
  2. Click blue button that says Manage your business.
  3. Google allows you to verify your business by mailing you a PIN code at your physical location. Insert the PIN code into your GMB account.

NOTE: During the Covid-19 crisis, business verification is facing delays with quite a few people reporting that they haven’t received the mail from Google. Google has acknowledged this delay.

    After verification, you can simply Sign In to
    Google My Business
    and add as much information as you can to complete your profile.

What changes should I make to my Google My Business during the coronavirus crisis

If you already had a Google My Business account, you would have received an email from Google CEO.

google covid email

It encourages business owners to update their business description, business hours, contact numbers, and create a post to communicate to customers about how the business has been affected.

Due to increased traffic, Google My Business is currently facing a strain. So the following Google My Business changes are not going through:

  1. Business description: Changes are currently being rejected.
  2. Creating a post: You cannot currently create a post.
  3. Reviews: Adding new reviews or replying to reviews is not currently possible.
  4. Questions: Questions aren’t visible in the listing at the moment.

Here’s what you can do right now.

  1. Opening hours: You can update your business hours in accordance with national laws or updated company policy
  2. Business name: Google My Business has temporarily disabled changes to business description. Google instead recommends making changes to your Business Name. Such as the business name Dunkin Donuts can be changed to Dunkin Donuts (Takeout Available).

However, do keep checking to see when you can apply these changes.

Reminder, you can take full advantage of our Covid-19 Communications kit to make your task easier during the crisis. It contains:

  • Free social media templates
  • Free social media captions to go with the visuals
  • More information on how to optimize your Google My Business for Covid-19
  • Free guide to handling communication with your customers, employees and stakeholders during Covid-19

Download it here and feel free to share it with other businesses in need!

You can also find a continuous stream of new, accurate, ready-to-share content on your socials on this landing page.

Note: This page will be updated regularly. Keep checking for more GMB updates.

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By
Usman Khalil
Usman is a marketer at Willow. He believes in the power of creating good content (duh).
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