Google My Business (GMB) is arguably the single most important online listing tool for local businesses to reach their audiences with operational messaging—nurturing much-needed confidence and reassurance about visiting physical locations.
Prior to the pandemic, Google confirmed that:
If your business needs to drive customers back to your physical locations, GMB is your best bet to generate qualified foot traffic.
The problem is that 56% of local retailers have not claimed their GMB listings. That means there’s a huge disconnect between what works and what local businesses are aware of.
GMB listings are the first place many customers turned to for information about closures, changes in services, and up-to-date opening hours at the onset of COVID-19. With businesses now reopening, it’s again one of the first sources your customers are checking before deciding whether or not to venture out to physical business locations.
With that in mind, the following checklist outlines the most imperative steps when managing and updating your listings at this critical time.
Remember that it’s not just business as usual: you need to educate your customers and support them through the change. Stress how you’re supporting customer safety, and bear in mind that consumer habits have changed so you may need to reposition your brand somewhat. Finally, pay attention to how geography should inform your strategy; there are very different regulations depending on physical location.
Businesses that mitigate consumer confusion and highlight their operational status with crystal clarity will be best positioned to drive foot traffic and rebound from COVID-19. The choice is simple: either take an active role and focus on your listings, or remain passive. The latter simply won’t work in this new normal.
Need to refer to this checklist again? Download our handy PDF version here.