The Importance of GMB During the Coronavirus Crisis

2 April, 2020

8 mins read

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Google My Business (or GMB) has always been a not-so-secret weapon of local SEO specialists, but is still so underestimated. For those who aren’t familiar with it, Google My Business is a free tool for businesses to help manage their non-website presence across Google, such as in the maps and search.

There has never been a more important time to use GMB than during the Coronavirus crisis we are facing right now. To help you make the most of this free digital marketing tool, we’re going to share with you exactly what you need to do.

Feature image: Photo by Finn Hackshaw on Unsplash.

Google My Business COVID-19 Features

Temporarily Closed Status

The temporarily closed status began appearing in GMB manager dashboards early-to-mid last week. By switching this on, businesses can display a Temporarily Closed status in search results on Google where their profile is displayed.

How to Make a Business Temporarily Closed on Google

  1. Log in to your Google My Business manager dashboard.
  2. From the menu on the left-hand side, select Info.
  3. In the column on the furthest right-hand side, scroll down and towards the bottom, you will see a heading called Close This Business On Google.
  4. Click the Mark as Temporarily Closed button.
  5. Click Close Business.

You will need to return to this menu and mark your business as open once more once you’ve returned to trading.

Temporarily close Google My Business
The Temporarily Closed tab in Google My Business

When to Use the Temporarily Closed Status on Google My Business

We recommend you do not mark your business as temporarily closed as it will limit how you can use your Google My Business. Instead, update your website and and make a post announcing you are temporarily closed using the method below.

COVID-19 Update Post

Google has added a specific COVID-19 Update post type to their menu of options, which will display posts with your GMB profile in search results. Our SEO specialists have reported an increase in traffic to Coronavirus-related searches when using this function along with the mentioning of COVID-19 in the post.

How to Make a COVID-19 Update on Google My Business

  1. Log in to your Google My Business manager dashboard.
  2. In the menu on the left-hand side, select Posts.
  3. Select COVID-19 Update from the post type.
  4. Add in your message.
  5. Select a button type, ideally linking to a Quote/Book Now function or website.
  6. Click Publish.

What to Post on GMB During the Coronavirus Crisis

Even if you have had to temporarily close your business, you will want to continue to post updates on your Google My Business. This will help you be raring to go once you can re-open. 

Types of posts to consider:

  • Announcing a temporary closure or change of trading hours.
  • If your business is operating as normal.
  • Updates to your processes, services, products or work.
  • New offers or promotions.
  • Tips related to your industry to help people during the Coronavirus crisis, even if it’s caring for your hair/nails during self-isolation.
  • News relevant to your industry people will want to know.

How Often to Post on Google My Business

You want to balance keeping your content fresh and ensuring it has enough time to reach people before a new post pushes it back. Our local SEO specialists recommend posting one to two times a week now, and in the future, to help you stay relevant, reach more people and utilise GMB to its full potential.

More News from Google My Business

Google Has Limited Some Functions During the Coronavirus Pandemic

For public safety, Google has restricted some Google My Business functions during this time or have prolonged waiting times. This includes:

  • Submitting and replying to Google reviews.
  • Adding short names.
  • Uploading videos.
  • Adding or answering Q&A. 

New profile requests and verifications may also be delayed. To help speed up the process, have a chat with our GMB specialist. As a Google My Business Partner, we can provide the advice you need and assist as we can.

The Localsearch Local SEO Relief Package is Available Now

Want help with optimising your Google My Business and keeping it up to date? Get the support you need there and more with the Localsearch Local SEO Relief Package. From $19 (+ GST) a week, you can leave the work required to get in front of local customers to our team of specialists.

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