Coronavirus Impacts Google My Business | Google has temporarily removed some features from Google My Business. Because of limitations caused by the COVID pandemic Google has taken steps to protect the health of team members. In other words, they have more team members working from home. Therefore, some features will be temporarily limited or removed. For example, New Google My Business ‘reviews’, Business owner ‘replies to reviews’ and other dynamic features.
NEW GMB LISTINGS
Google will prioritize setups for new listings for medical and/or health related businesses. Furthermore, Google’s prioritization of critical services will also extend to reviewing business information edits. This includes reviews for:
Changes to open and closed status
On the other hand if your business does not provide a critical, health-related service then it may be some time before you see any edits go live on your GMB listing.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS POSTINGS
As far as we can tell, Google is not restricting the Google posting function. Therefore, if you have new updates to share, you can still use your Google My Business listing to publish new posts. That may change as time goes on. However, since the coronavirus information changes daily, take advantage of Google posting while it is still available.
GOOGLE SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT
Google has posted some tips and recommendations to help all of us navigate the personal and business impact of COVID019.
For the most timely information and guidance on COVID-19, please monitor the World Health Organization website.
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
1. If your hours of operation have changed, edit your Business Profile on Google.
2. Use Posts to communicate information directly on your Business Profile on Google. To illustrate, like special offers, supply or inventory updates.
3. Consider setting an email auto-reply with answers to frequently asked questions.
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR STAFF, EMPLOYEES & TEAM
1. Insure that contact information is online for your employees, vendors and clients online. Furthermore, make sure it is accessible from any device.
2. Make a business continuity plan. Above all share it with employees via an email address they can access outside of the office.
3. If you have multiple business locations, give local managers the authority to take appropriate actions based on conditions at their location.
4. Be prepared to work from home unexpectedly. Specifically take your laptop home at the end of each workday. Finally make sure you have remote access to important information.
5. Prepare to effectively work from home with these tools and resources from Grow with Google.
6. Collaborate using a shared document, a quick conference call, or by creating an email list or a chat room.
7. Access important documents from anywhere by uploading them to the Cloud through a product like Google Drive or downloading to your mobile phone or computer for offline access.
8. If you’re using Chromebooks, ensure they have the right policies in place to access company resources from home and to keep devices and data secure.
9. Modifying your advertising (if necessary) Edit your ads as needed to let customers know whether you’re open for business and if you offer helpful services like expedited shipping.
10. Pause campaigns if your product availability is impacted by supply chain issues or increased demand.
11. If your business relies on customers from countries most affected by the virus, consider prioritizing your ad budget to other locations.
UPDATES FROM CDC & GMB
For more information, check out the Center for Disease Control’s guidance for businesses. At the same time, as the COVID-19 situation evolves, find updates on Google Small Business social channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.