Critical Google My Business Updates Help Boost Visibility During COVID-19
We understand that there is no such thing as business as usual right now. While the challenges for individual businesses are unique, we are all being impacted in some way. Google is facing the same challenges we are all facing due to COVID-19. Naturally for the health, safety, and well-being of us all, they are prioritizing health-related businesses first. The good news is, they have provided some excellent resources to help small businesses like yours boost visibility through Google my Business updates.
Update Your ‘Google My Business’ Profile
Google has relaxed its policy on the company name area in Google My Business listings. You can now add special information or a description like ‘helping you work from home.’ If your business is affected by COVID-19, updating your Google My Business profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers, immediately boosts your visibility as your customers want to hear from you. You may need to adjust your business operations during this time. Perhaps your operating hours have changed, you may have temporarily closed, or changed the types of services you can realistically provide.
It’s important to keep building lasting relationships for your business. Research tells us people still want to hear from you during this crisis to feel reassured they can reach you if they need to. Through your Google My Business profile, you can provide your customers with important updates about your business such as:
Your current hours of operation especially if this has changed.
If your MSP business services are experiencing delays.
Any extra services you are providing for the community.
To keep your MSP top of mind, make sure to share this updated information on all of your online channels, like your website, and social media channels not just your business profile on Google.
If you’re creating a post about business updates related to COVID-19, you can now create a “COVID-19 update,” which is featured more prominently within your Business Profile. You can gain greater insights into your local market by using tools like Google Trends and Google Alerts and share these in your posts. For any information you are sharing about COVID-19, make sure it is factual and follow the WHO and CDC guidelines for businesses and employers.
Create a Great Profile
More than just a local listing, your free Business Profile lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. If people can’t find you, they can’t do business with you. For greater visibility, create an impactful profile on Google My Business along with photos and content to show your customers you care about them. Get to know your followers and show how you appreciate their loyalty to keep them coming back. By providing and consistently updating business information in Google My Business, you can help your business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps. The more you connect with your customers, the greater your visibility and the better your results.
Google Reviews and Q&A
Although responding to questions from your customers is a good way to connect and build trust, Google has temporarily stopped publication of Google reviews as well as preventing business owners from replying to reviews. Although the reason is uncertain, it could be to stop the spread of misinformation around COVID-19 which creates more fear and anxiety.
Google has also removed the questions and answer section from the Google My Business platform perhaps to prevent malicious individuals from posting unnecessary questions in this changing business landscape. Google is working as quickly as possible to restore full functionality to Google My Business. We all need to be patient as we ride out this pandemic together.
Google reports that new user reviews, new user photos, new short names, and Q&A will gradually return by country and business category. They will regularly publish delayed user reviews and photos submitted to Google Maps.
If you are unsure how to set up a dynamic Google My Business Profile that will resonate with your customers, reach out to Ulistic on (716) 263-6961 or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a free no-obligation chat on how to maximize your online presence. We want to help you boost your visibility as you navigate your way through this crisis and make sure your MSP not only survives, that you thrive as well.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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