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April 20, 2020

Major Google My Business Updates During the Coronavirus!

Major Google My Business Updates During the Coronavirus!

As you probably know, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many non-essential businesses such as restaurants, bars, and gyms have been temporarily closed. Below we will talk about the Major Google My Business Updates during the Coronavirus!

Google My Business Updates During the Coronavirus

 

Essential businesses that provide services and resources like grocery stores, convenient stores, banks, and supply shops remain open. 

 

Fortunately, we’re still open here at Momentum, operating daily under normal hours.

 

As a result of the change in business closures, Google My Business has mandated accounts to update their current business information. I would personally consider these changes to be Major Google My Business Updates during the Coronavirus.

 

When you log into your Google My Business account, you will find that it is currently facing limited functionality due to a lack of resources as a result of COVID. The limited functionality is causing delays and affecting specific account features & listings such as:

  • Your Business Hours of Operation
  • Your Business Reviews
  • GMB Question & Messaging

 

 

Continue reading below, or view the video above, to further find out about the Google My Business changes. You can also refer to this article by Business 2 Community talking about these GMB updates in detail.

 

Here are some of the updates to GMB due to the Coronavirus and How to Implement them!

 

Once you log into GMB, under the “Info” tab, you can update the current availability of your business. This includes your new business hours, as well as whether your business is temporarily closed or not.

 

To edit your business hours, scroll down to your listed hours and select the pencil icon located to the right of it. 

 

Likewise, you can add new hours by scrolling down to “Add special hours” and selecting the pencil icon to the right of it.

 

To mark your business as temporarily closed, you must select the “Info” tab from the top-left menu. Then, scroll down to “Close this business on Google”. There will be three listed options. Finally, select the option “mark as temporarily closed.”

 

Update GMB hours

 

Other account updates such as your business address, type, phone number, etc., can still be revised and updated, but the changes will take a longer time to publish. Since Google My Business is facing limited functionality and resources, changes to your account information may take a few days or weeks to publish.

 

Next, the Question & Messaging feature, which has allowed customers to directly message you with questions about your business, has apparently been shut down. I also run a few retail electronics shops, and my messaging from customers has been drastically reduced, but still available. The Q&A feature hasn’t been enabled for months though. I think GMB stopped allowing this feature from it’s BETA program for certain businesses.

 

So, yes, we’re still receiving messages from customers on our end, but we are not getting questions anymore (it’s been this way for a few months). This could possibly be because we’re an essential business, but the reason isn’t entirely clear to us.

 

Like the Question & Messaging feature, business reviews have been suspended. While you can still ask for reviews from your customers, Google will not be publishing any new reviews at this time. Please be patient on this, as the reviews you received might still post, and might even give you options to review them before they are confirmed. Time will tell.

 

Following these changes and delays, Google has added a new feature which allows you to post a business update specifically regarding COVID-19. 

GMB COVID Post Feature

 

To do this, navigate to “Create post”. You will find the option to write a “COVID-19 Update”. 

 

You can let your customers know what services you’re specifically providing during this time, or what services you’re limiting or restricting.

This post will show up under your Google My Business listing!

 

This is just a quick list recap of the Major Google My Business Updates during the Coronavirus.

 

  1. Hours of Operation
  2. Business Information Updates 
  3. Questions & Messaging
  4. Reviews
  5. COVID Update Post
  6. Other Issues & Delays

 

Finally, with many things at a stand-still, we truly recommend that you prioritize your business local SEO. Enhance your internet marketing strategies, build your business SEO, really work your business on the backend, so when everything gets back to normal you’re still prospering. 

 

Google has also offered over $340 million in Google Ads to all small businesses in response to the pandemic. Take advantage of it and start promoting your business with Google Ads.

 

Thanks, and Happy Monday!

By Mac
October 7, 2019

Top 5 Best Content for Google My Business

In this week’s blog we will discuss what is the best content to add to your Google My Business account to increase your ranking.

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By Devon
September 30, 2019

What is a Google Short Name & How to Create One for Google My Business

This week, we will be looking into implementing Google’s Short Name feature and discussing how it can benefit your business! 

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By Devon
July 15, 2019

Google My Business – Local SEO Updates – Summer 2019

In this week’s blog, learn about the latest Google My Business updates for Summer 2019 to help you boost your small business’ local SEO.

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By Devon
May 20, 2019

How to Create a Google My Business Account

In this week’s Momentum Monday blog, learn how to create a Google My Business account, how to set it up, and why it is important.

Google My Business Profile

Welcome back to another installment of our Google My Business series!

Now that you know what google my business is and how to add a new user to your Google My Business account, let’s go back to the basics and learn how to create a Google My Business account!

If you haven’t heard by now, Google My Business is Google’s free, local listings platform for Small Business Owners. Set up your Google My Business account in minutes for your business to attract more customers.

Google My Business is more than just a business listing – it is a business profile through Google that answers any potential questions a customer may have about your business.

This “profile” displays photos, FAQs, customer reviews, and much more that will build trust with a potential customer before they walk through your business’ door.

Sounds easy, right? Yes! However, only 56% of small businesses have claimed their Google My Business Listing. Are you one of those businesses who have not claimed theirs yet?

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Read below to learn how to set up your Google My Business account and creating your business listing in minutes!

Select The Email for Your Google My Business Account

If you already have a business account with Google – fantastic! Use this as your email for your Google My Business account.

If you don’t have a business email created, create a free gmail account to begin creating your Google My Business listing.

Go to Google My Business

Once the email is selected/created go to business.google.com to begin creating your Google My Business Listing.

Sign in with your new or existing Google account

When you land on the Google My Business page, Sign in to the Google Account you have already/have created for your business.

Once signed in, you can begin to manage your Google My Business listing.

Add a new location

On the Google My Business dashboard, you will see all existing Google My Business listings. This is where you will add the information for your business location.

Select “Add Location” to create a new business location.

Google My Business Location

Insert the name of your business

The first step to creating your business’ listing will be to insert the full name of your business under the “Business Name” category.

Google My Business Name

Google may have already scanned and indexed your business based off of the information found about it online. So, as you type in your business’ name, it may automatically populate as an option as you are typing.

If that is the case – great!

You can use the auto-populated business information to build off of for your Google My Business account.

If nothing appears, the business name will populate with the words “Create a business with this name” below the full business name. Create a new business by clicking this box.

After completed, select “Next.”

Add any additional business information

Location

Next, Google will ask you if your business has a location that you want your customers to physically visit.

Business Location

For this option, simply select “Yes” or “No.” This will vary based on the type of business you have.

Address

If “Yes,” Google will then ask you to insert the address of your business.

GMB Address

For the business address, this needs to be a verified location. In other words, you can’t just make this up!

Google will actually send you something in the mail to ensure that this is your physical business address, so beware!

Scope of Work

Once the address is inserted, Google will ask if you serve customers outside of your physical address.

Google My Business - outside location

For this option, the answer will be totally dependent on your business and it’s products/services. Select “Yes” if you do and “No” if you don’t.

Areas of Service

If your business serves other areas, Google will then ask you to insert the areas that you want to focus on. For this option, you can insert multiple areas if you serve multiple cities/states with your business.

Simply insert a city or state and hit enter on your keyboard to add it to your list of serviceable areas.

Google Service

Once you are happy with your list, hit “Next.” This can always be changed or updated later on.

Business Category

For this section, choose the category of business that best fits your business.

You can change your business category or add more to this in the future, once your business’ Google My Business account is set up.

Google My Business Business Category

Contact Information

Insert any contact information that you want your customers to have.

This initially includes a phone number and a website. If you do not have a business website, Google gives you the option of not inserting one or for Google to generate a free website for you based off of the information that you have provided thus far.

Google Business Contact Information

Finish and Verify the Information

Once you finish and verify the information – your account will be set up! You can edit, change, or add different information later on.

Verify Google business information

In order to fully manage your location, you will need to verify your information first.

As we stated before, in order to verify your business, Google will send you a postcard in the mail. This will typically take up to 5 days to make it to your business.

GMB Verification

This postcard will include a unique code for you to enter into Google My Business to begin managing your business listing.

Select “Mail” for Google to send a postcard out to your location. Once submitted, you will see a completion page letting you know that the postcard will be in the mail.

Google My Business Postcard

Explore Your Local Listing

After your listing is created, the goal is to get your Google My Business listing as close to 100% complete as possible.

This means adding little things, like your business logo, business operation hours, and business description, to your Google My Business profile.

You can begin posting directly to your Google My Business listing for customers to see. Google My Business also can create a unique business email for your business through the platform – that looks like yourname@yourbusinessname on the G Suite.

On your Google My Business dashboard, you will find:

  1. Posts Tab. This is where you can add and manage posts to your Google My Business account.
  2. Info Tab. This is the main place to start with your new Google My Business account. This is where all of the current information about your business resides. You can also add or change information about your business on this tab.
  3. Insights Tab. This tab explores how customers are finding your Google My Business listing and what actions they take once they do.
  4. Reviews Tab. This tab allows you to manage your business’ customer reviews.
  5. Messaging Tab. This tab allows you to respond to messages from customers who find your listing on Google.
  6. Photos Tab. This tab allows you to add and manage photos of your business, products, and services.
  7. Website Tab. This tab allows you to manage the website that is linked to your Google My Business account.
  8. Users Tab. This tab allows you to manage and add new users to your Google My Business Account.

Ta-da! Just like that you have successfully created your Google My Business listing.

Once all of the information is inserted, your job is not done.

In order to rank, you want to constantly be managing your Google My Business listing and updating the important information.

If you successfully complete this and update the information frequently, you are guaranteed to get free, local business from this listing.

If you have any questions feel free to leave us a comment!

By Devon
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