There is no denying the impact that your Google My Business information (and how you manage it) can have on your standing in the local search results, and how much it can impact your brand as a whole. After all, no matter the industry you’re in, you are operating in a highly competitive market, meaning that you need to take any advantage you’re given, GMB included.
That being a fact, it’s also important to note that the coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the modern business world, and that it has drastically changed the way businesses manage their online and offline presence. For one, you need to know how to optimize and manage your GMB information and features to ensure seamless communication with customers, elevate customer satisfaction, keep your ranking, and more.
Here are the five tips you need in your approach to GMB management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Use Google Posts to communicate changes
Google Posts is a not-so-new tool that allows you to communicate any business changes efficiently and effectively to your customers through the GMB platform. Rolled out in 2017, it has become indispensable for business leaders and marketers, and during a global pandemic it can prove invaluable. By creating Google Posts regularly, you can keep the online audience appraised at all times of the latest happenings in your business, but also what they can expect to happen, allowing you to ensure customer satisfaction early on.
After all, nobody likes waltzing into your establishment expecting the same outcome only to be surprised to find out you no longer offer their favorite product or the service they’ve come to rely on. Google Posts allow to communicate these changes quickly and ahead of time.
You can choose to publish different types of Google Posts depending on your needs, including offers, products, news, events and COVID-specific information. Be sure to read the guidelines on your GMB account for every type of post in order to get it right on the first try, or have your marketing team handle the task.
Use attributes to give clarity to your GMB
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainties to the business world. Many business leaders now live in fear of unforeseen changes and circumstances that might require them to quickly adapt their strategy and their entire operation. Mind you, being proactive and reacting quickly to COVID trends can help your business stay afloat during these trying times.
Fortunately, GMB facilitates this type of quick and snappy responsiveness through its attributes. You can use attributes to mention all information that is vital to the customer in a short format, allowing you to get the right information out there on a moment’s notice. Attributes can pertain to any aspect of your business or any changes, including delivery only, mandatory masks and hand sanitization, mandatory temperature checks, curbside pickup only, and more.
Keep your GMB description flexible
Your company’s GMB description is what gives life to your brand on this platform and therefore the local search results, but that doesn’t mean that you should never change it. In fact, it’s important to keep your GMB description flexible, especially in times of crisis, in order to communicate any changes you might have made to the way you operate, and your brand as a whole.
If you ask any experienced marketer, they will tell you that any leading digital marketing agency will focus heavily on updating and managing the GMB description to make it as relevant to the local customers as possible, and therefore Google. Using the right keywords and customer-centric copy to communicate any new modes of operation for the company will make all the difference, so make sure to revise your GMB description and update it with any new relevant information.
If locations are temporarily closed, announce it
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to close their doors, but that doesn’t mean that the company is closed for good. This is an important distinction that can greatly impact your standing in the SERPs, and one of the biggest mistakes business leaders will make when updating GMB information. If you’re forced to close a location (or all locations) temporarily, don’t make the mistake of marking it permanently closed.
Instead, make sure to put up the “temporarily closed” marker on your GMB page to notify customers that they should not visit that particular location. Don’t leave it at that, though, but make sure to complement the notification with the right attributes to guide the customers to your other locations or incentivize them to give you a call.
Communicate with customers via the GMB app
Last but not least, you can use the Google My Business app to communicate with customers, which can be useful if you’re not available to reach by phone or other methods. The GMB app has a built-in messaging feature that you can use for brand-consumer communication, and you can turn it on in your settings to make your company available for text communication. Be sure to enable this feature to stay connected to your customers during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis has forced many companies to adapt quickly to stay afloat, and making changes to your GMB account should be one of your priorities. Make sure to manage your GMB information with these tips to retain your ranking and ensure better customer experience during the pandemic.
Guest Poster – Elaine Bennett
Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping Australian startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she’s a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more entrepreneurs and help them on their business journey..