If you are not familiar with Google My Business (GMB), it’s a free and powerful listing tool that allows businesses and organizations to easily manage their online presence within search results, and in many ways its is quickly becoming more important than your website. When someone searches for your company on Google, or the services you provide, the first thing they will see is your Google My Business listing on the side of the page.People have begun to rely on GMB listing to tell them all the important things they need to know at that time without the need to click on your website, such as:While the settings in GMB will allow you to specify most of the changes and important information, it won’t always be enough. Creating a post can actually be really beneficial and offer a chance to provide a more personalized message for your customers and audience. A couple suggestions for posts include:If you would like to include a food menu, Google added this option back in 2018 and can be found in the left-hand column under “Menu” if your business category is set to Restaurant or Food Provider. Simply add the section of the food items along with a picture, name, description, and price.
- When are you open?
- Where are you located?
- What are people saying about you?
- How can they find out more about X?
1) Check the Hours, Contact Information, and add some PhotosThe first obvious suggestion is to open your listing and make sure the open days and hours are correct. Google includes a section called “Special Hours” and “More Hours” which you should take advantage of if you are closed or have different hours during holidays or if you have specific one time openings that are on days that you are usually closed. Next make sure that your contact information is up to date. Often we see that businesses forget to update their phone number or forget to update their physical address after they changed their location. If you are updating your address, Google may require you to verify the location again which would usually involve sending a postcard to the address that includes a code for you to enter into their site. While updating your contact information, make sure that the description of your business is also accurate and complete. Photos are often overlooked as well and can really help establish a personalized connection between you and your audience. Make sure to include your logo, office building or store front, and include a picture of yourself or staff if it’s appropriate for the tone and message of your business. This can help build more trust and makes it easier for your audience to recognize you.
2) Take advantage of Google’s new COVID-19 updatesWhen businesses started closing their doors or making drastic changes to the way they operate, Google quickly implemented a set of features that allows companies to accurately convey what is available and what has changed. These include setting:
- Your adjusted hours of operation, for instance if you close early.
- Add “More hours” that describe other business operations such as delivery, takeout, and drive-through.
- Select an attribute to show you offer online services such as classes, appointments, or estimates.
- Delays on specific business services.
- Extra services you are providing for the community.
- If your business is “Temporarily closed”.
- Covid Alert Post (discussed below)
3) Create a Post
- “Please call ahead for our hours as we may close early if things are slow.”
- “With the new regulations please note that you must order food with your drinks.”
- “Outdoor seating is available but limited, please call ahead. ”
- “We just reopened and are only accepting reservations and to-go orders at this time.”
- “We have a new limited menu available on Facebook. Click here to view.”