How COVID-19 Has Changed Google My Business

Much like any other year, 2020 has been full of innovation from Google. Unlike previous years, though, much of this was born out of necessity for the cultural shift we’ve been living through. Although there has been a slight tilt back to in-person shopping and dining, it is evident that eCommerce, or a hybrid of eCommerce and brick-and-mortar, will be the way consumers shop and dine out for the foreseeable future. For this reason, many changes in Google have taken place within the Google My Business (GMB) platform.

Below are a few changes you may have noticed on Google My Business within the past six months. If you own a small business and haven’t yet capitalized on these new features, don’t hesitate to do so!

Updated Hours of Operation

Amidst COVID-19, it hasn’t been as simple as “open” or “closed” for many businesses and their hours of operation. Early on, Google introduced a “temporarily closed” option for businesses that shut down with plans of reopening when restrictions were lifted. This has also been utilized on and off, as business models have changed to better accommodate peoples’ needs. Additionally, GMB has allowed for the easy adjustment of hours so businesses can inform the public of instances such as an early closure.

New Food and Retail Attributes

While some businesses may not be open for in-person dining or shopping, many have come up with alternatives to remain operational. In GMB, stores can identify the services they are and aren’t currently offering with a green checkmark and a red X, respectively. Below are some of the attributes available for businesses to highlight:

  • Dine-in
  • In-store shopping
  • Delivery
  • No-contact delivery
  • Takeout
  • Drive-through
  • In-store pickup
  • Curbside pickup

Support Links for Business Listings

A new feature Google My Business rolled out is support links for profiles. Businesses can choose to add a donation link, a gift card link, or both, to their business profiles. Along with these links, they can include a short personal message about how donated funds will be used. For donations, Google has partnered with PayPal and GoFundMe. For gift cards, businesses can link to their website or gift cards through an eligible Google partner.

Online Service Booking Directly From Google

The Book Online button has been expanded upon to allow consumers to book online services directly from the SERPs. Online service booking is a part of Reserve with Google services.

Live Video Options From the SERPs

Recently seen in the business-facing end of a Google My Business profile, businesses can now partner with their preferred video conferencing provider (Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, or Google Hangouts, for example). This feature will offer consumers a quick way to video chat or access a live online course or workout class. Video options will be available right in the SERP for users. Once again, a Reserve with Google partnership is required to access this and add it to a profile.

If you own a business that could benefit from these updates, the team at Hall is here to help. Contact our marketing professionals for assistance optimizing your presence in the SERPs.

See how Hall can help increase your demand.