Keeping your GMB listing accurate & updated during the COVID-19 pandemic

Everyone from large companies to small businesses is affected, in one way or another, by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The situation raises many questions and they need to be addressed fast. As proper communication becomes one of the most important marketing aspects, everyone is trying to adapt. And this has a particularly great impact on those who provide services and products. By switching the majority of the workforce to a home-based working environment, online communication becomes imperative. For this reason, up-to-date information on social media, websites, and listing platforms is a true necessity. But keeping your GMB listing accurate & updated during the COVID-19 pandemic becomes a delicate process. And especially complex and demanding for multi-location businesses.

Continue keeping your GMB listing accurate & updated

With everything that is going on today, staying up to date with constant SEO changes becomes even harder. Of course, Google is trying to ease the process of finding information.

But despite all the efforts, it sometimes leads to additional complexity. As Google My Business is, today, one of the best ways to promote local businesses, it requires your attention. And the first step to take is to check if your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) is consistent and accurate everywhere. Everything from business hours to other business details is subject to changes. So, you definitely want to pay attention to them as well. You need to carefully follow all the new features, and use them to your benefit.

Social media icons and similar listing channels.
There are various channels you need to check.

Check all your channels first

But, before you start synchronizing your GMB data, you need to check all the important channels. Your appearance on websites, social media, and listing directories needs to be tackled as well. Of course, you can’t always expand this process to every single corner of the internet. So, focus on the most popular and most beneficial first. Among first, you should check your appearance on:

  • Google My Business
  • Bing
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Tweeter
  • LinkedIn
  • and many others which are in close connection with your business industry.

On the other side, this can be a tremendous job to do it manually, so you can opt for professionals to help you. Or, you can organize a dedicated team within your own organization to follow and regularly update all information.

To keep the GMB listing accurate & updated, start with updating your GMB business description

It’s useful to refresh your business description from time to time, to increase the benefits from GMB. Especially now that COVID-19 is forcing social distancing and other measures upon us. Your audience has to be familiar with your practice and if, and how, it’s affected by recent events. For example, at one point, only essential businesses were allowed to remain open. A lot of people will need a confirmation if this touches your business and in which way. So they know how and if it’s possible to obtain your services.

Manage your business hours

Business hours may vary due to state regulations that are constantly changing in the time of the pandemic. If your business is not deemed as essential, it will be disappointing and unethical to neglect to change business hours. Google had an automated option that marked all nonessential businesses as closed. But that’s different at the moment. You need to provide accurate and updated business hours so it doesn’t lead to unnecessary unpleasantry and confusion. In some cases, you can even disable business hours and redirect your potential customers to call for information.

A woman pointing at clocks which are showing time in major cities in the world.
Clients from different places need to know when you are available.

Update your primary phone number

Speaking of which, the redirection will make no sense if you don’t provide the accurate phone number information. In case you continue to operate from home, your customers will need a way to contact you directly. As a viable option, you can add your mobile number and give it priority over the office number. Or you can find a way to forward calls in this period. Remember to check all your communication channels and update phone info appropriately.

Recheck Questions and Answers

Since it’s recently re-enabled, you will need to check your Q&A section. You might find many questions that need to be answered retroactively. Go to your listings and provide all the answers. But, don’t hesitate to enlist new questions and answers that will best describe the way you are operating at the moment. Here are a few examples of how you can formulate your Q&A section:

  • Do we operate as usual?
  • Which health and safety measures we practice?
  • How long until we can answer the calls and emails?
  • What happens now that events and services might be delayed?
  • Is rescheduling an available option at the moment?

Also, before it was disabled, this feature was filtering everything that contains “COVID and “coronavirus” terms. So they were not visible to the public. But now, you might be in a situation to handle everything that piled up over the last few months.

Provide constant update with posts to keep your GMB listing accurate & updated

GMB posts are an excellent way to keep your customers up-to-date. Normally, these posts remain active only for seven days. But due to the pandemic, this period extends to 28 days now. Even though they include only a text field, CTA (call to action) button, and image, they are particularly useful. You can give day-to-day announcements and provide your audience with all the important info. Everything that is not already displaying in other GMB fields can be added here.

Place, product, price, promotion diagram with business people in the background.
You can promote everything from products to prices with posts.

Same as with question and answers, you can use posts to touch and explain certain subjects that change during the pandemic:

  • You can share various announcements.
  • Use them to explain what measures you are implementing in your business due to COVID-19.
  • Provide additional information about business hours, possible closures, and cancellations and postpones.
  • Provide links to your landing pages where you give more detailed information about your operations.

As we all see, the COVID-19 causes significant disruption in the way how things work. And we are not yet sure if it’s going away anytime soon. But, the recent changes gave us enough experience to know that things might change fast. That’s why keeping your GMB listing accurate & updated during the COVID-19 pandemic should be one of the priorities. It can be a fast and efficient way to provide information, answer questions, and connect with your clients. If you neglected your marketing efforts up until now, it’s time to change it as soon as possible.

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