What Should I Do if My Business is Affected by COVID-19?

Has your business been affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak? Google is asking businesses who have experienced closures or other interruptions due to COVID-19 to update their Google My Business listings with updated hours or Posts to share information.  A help document is readily available within your Google My Business dashboard. Because they are changes within your listing, they may not be immediately available in search results. Recommended updates include:

Business Hours

If you have employees who are sick, you should encourage them to stay home in order to prevent spreading potential illnesses throughout your workplace. Because of this, you may become short-staffed and become unable to stay open for the full duration of your regular business hours. As soon as you are aware of an early closure, update your listing with special hours for the day.

Google Posts

Google Posts are one of the most effective ways to relay information to your customers because they appear directly in your Knowledge Panel in search results. Even if you haven’t experienced closures, you can create posts detailing extra steps you are taking to prevent the spread of disease throughout your business or delays in service or product availability. If your business is going to be providing additional services to the public at this time, a Google Post will be able to stay up for a week. Posts that are scheduled as an event can stay up for longer than a week if you plan on offering additional services for longer periods of time.

Making Sure Your Contact Information is Correct

If you have updated your number to a remote line that can connect to a cell phone for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, make sure it is reflected in your Google My Business listing and across your main listings, including Facebook, Yelp and your website. Phone calls are critical to your business and making sure that clients can reach you will help maintain your level of productivity through this time.

What Should I Put on My Website?

You should make sure your website contains all of the same updates as your local listings. Updated hours should be visible on your homepage and in your website footer. Your phone number, if updated, should be readily available in all of your calls to action throughout your content. If local health departments have released information regarding COVID-19, you can link to current press releases or regularly updated pages so customers have the most up-to-date information. If applicable, you can also create a COVID-19 specific landing page, you can create a button or a banner to link to it for customers who have questions or concerns.

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