As new restrictions are put in place in response to the spread of COVID-19, many people will be turning to Google to check what businesses and services are still open and available. This means it is vital that your Google my Business listing is up to date and providing your customers with valuable and accurate information. This may involve setting temporary opening hours or adding posts to let your customers know about any other changes to your business.
As many businesses are being forced to temporarily close due to Coronavirus, Google has recently allowed Google My Business account owners to mark their business as “Temporarily Closed” (previously, this is something that could only be done by contacting Google My Business support).
In this article, we’ll go through how to mark your business as “temporarily closed” in Google My Business, as well as how to change your opening hours, add special opening hours, edit your business description or add a post to your listing, to ensure your customers are kept up to date with how your business has been affected by COVID-19.
How Do I Temporarily Close My ‘Google My Business’ Listing?
To get your Google My Business listing marked “temporarily closed” all you need to do is follow these steps.
- Log in to your Google My Business account to view your dashboard homepage.
- Click on the Info section in the side navigation.
- Scroll down the page until you see the “Close this Business on Google” section on the right hand side and select “Mark as Temporarily Closed”.
- After you select to temporarily close your account, the request will then be reviewed by Google.
Does My Google My Business Listing Rank When It’s Marked “Temporarily Closed”?
At this stage, the listings that are currently temporarily closed are still appearing in the search results and on Google Maps when you search for branded terms. It is unclear if temporarily closing the GMB listing will impact the account’s overall visibility for unbranded terms.
A temporarily closed GMB Account in the Google search results:
What If I Don’t Want To Temporarily Close My Google My Business Listing?
If you don’t want to temporarily close your account, but still want to provide up to date information for your customers, there are a few features that can help you do this.
Change Your Opening Hours or Add Special Hours
If you want to tell customers your business is closed without temporarily closing your account, you could add Special Hours, under your existing opening times.
To add Special Hours, follow these steps:
- Log in to Google My Business (If you have multiple locations, open the location that you’d like to manage).
- Click Info from the menu.
- Scroll down to the Hours section.
- Click on the calendar icon and add ‘Closed’ to the specific dates your business will be closed for.
Edit Your Business Description
In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, Google has suggested that any affected businesses should update their business description to include any relevant updated information. For example, any extra precautions your business is taking, if you’re providing any extra services to the community, or whether you’re experiencing delays.
For example, if you own a cafe you would be able to share information about the new delivery services you are installing to ensure that your customers can still get food and drinks from your establishment
Post on Google My Business
You can also notify users about important changes to your business by creating posts in Google My Business, which appear prominently under your local listing.
To create a post in Google My Business, simply log in to your account, click on Posts in the side navigation menu, then choose which type of post you want to create. In general, there are four different types of post that you can create in Google My Business – Add Offer, Add Product, Add Update and Add Event. However, Google has created a specific Covid-19 update post that you can use to share information with your customers and potential customers.
If you want to create a post about changes to opening hours, services and business operations, you would select Add Update and create an information post.
If you are running any special offers or want to promote particular products that your customers may be interested in, you can also create Offer posts to raise awareness.
If you have any questions on the above, feel free to get in touch with Reload via the form below.
If you’ve had to temporarily close your business due to COVID-19, get in touch to find out how we can help you adapt your marketing strategy and capitalise on new opportunities during this time.
We’re also offering free digital campaign audits to help you understand which parts of your marketing are working, so you can get the most out of your marketing spend. Click HERE to learn more.