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COVID-19 Impacts on Google Business Services
We are living through crazy times as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow and impact businesses on a global scale. Even the big dogs like Google are limiting their services to help keep their employees safe during this time.
But what does that mean for your business?
“During the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, we are taking steps to protect the health of our team members and reduce the need for people to come into our offices. As a result, there may be some temporary limitations and delays in support as we prioritize critical services.” -Google My Business Support
Right now, Google is limiting certain functionalities of its Google My Business service and that could have a huge impact on businesses, especially those that may have hour changes due to the coronavirus.
What features of Google My Business are affected?
The following features of Google My Business are going to be removed from business listings: reviews, review responses, and Q&A. Google hasn’t made us aware of how long this will last, but here’s a little more insight into how these features will be impacted.
New reviews will not be posted publicly to Google My Business listings for the unforeseeable future. Google users can still post reviews on business listings, but they will be the only person that can see their reviews until Google updates this.
Business listing owners will no longer have the ability to respond to reviews or edit responses to reviews. Hopefully, you’ve been staying on top of your reviews so this won’t impact you too much.
It appears that Q&A’s have been completely removed from Google My Business listings. The idea behind this may be to limit the number of questions that come through to businesses about COIVD-19, especially as Google is limiting where they focus their quality control resources.
One more feature that businesses are already seeing limited functionality is the option to update their business information for their Google listings.
Updates on any of the following information may be delayed due to COVID-19:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Hours and special hours
- Products and services
Google is prioritizing medical businesses at this time and trying to review and approve all changes for the medical industry first.
Even medical businesses may see a delay in the time that it takes to update their information on Google.
Tips to keep your customers informed
As inconvenient as this may be for your business, there are other ways that you can keep your customers informed of business changes during this time.
Update your website
You should always make sure your website is up to date with any new changes to your business, but right now this is especially important.
Add a banner to your homepage that draws attention to any changes that are taking place to your business due to COVID-19.
Share updates on social media
Keep your customers updated by sharing your business changes on your social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
If you aren’t sure that all of your customers will see your updates, boost an ad with your business changes that targets your local area.
Send out a newsletter
Do you have software to send out email marketing messages? MailChimp is great and has free tiers that you can try. Or you can even just send out a traditional email to your regular customers.
Do everything you can to keep your customers informed about your business during this time.
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