If you’ve noticed that your Google My Business has limited functionality at this time, rest assured you’re not alone.
It turns out even the search engine giant is not immune to disruption from COVID-19. Google has advised to expect temporary delays and limitations, as they too keep staff healthy and working remotely where possible, and prioritising critical services.
Google My Business: New Reviews Not Displaying
While Google says it’s working to have full functionality restored as soon as possible, a range of services are unavailable at the moment. These include:
- New short names
- All videos
- New reviews
- New review replies (this means you can’t reply to positive or negative ones)
- All Q and As
Requesting Reviews During COVID-19
So, while you might be tempted to ask your customer base to leave a Google Review while it’s a bit quieter, here at Brisbane Digital Co we’d actually suggest holding off for the moment for two reasons.
- It can be really challenging to get customers or clients – even the happy ones – to leave a positive review. So, wait until it’s back up and running and you are confident that it won’t get lost in storage.
(Google did indicate that any reviews during this time would be stored and published at a later date – but we’d prefer to play it safe until it’s all operational again)
- If you do happen to get a negative review, you won’t know about it or be alerted to it until potentially much later.
TIP: Rather than chase Google reviews during COVID-19, turn your focus to Facebook reviews. Historically these have appeared on your Google My Business listing, just a little lower down.
Delays with Google My Business Updates
Google says it will prioritise critical health-related businesses when reviewing new listings, claims and verifications, and that all other types of business should expect delays for publication.
How to Create A COVID-19 Business Update on Google My Business
Google says while some businesses posts were temporarily disabled, they have since resumed.
In addition, businesses can now create a COVID-19 update to feature on their profile.
Once signed into to your Google my business account, you head to the menu and click posts.
There you will find a tab titled “COVID-19 Update”, where you can include updated details on how your business is operating, such as:
- Operating changes, including online/video services, or takeaway or delivery options for restaurants
- Temporary closures
- Changes to opening hours or day
- Information about safety and hygiene management
- Support requests
When you have included all the necessary information you can preview your post before publishing it.
Tips For Engaging With Your Audience During COVID-19
Here are 3 other ways to ensure your customers have the most up-to-date information about your business:
- Change your opening hours so they are visible to your customers when they visit your Business Profile.
- Connect with customers online by turning on messaging in the Google My Business app.
- Share information on your business description, such as any additional precautions, product delays or changing operations to online, takeout or delivery etc.
Google My Business Changes During COVID-19
We hope this has helped explain what changes have been going on with Google My Business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While some Google My Business functions are temporarily disabled, there are others which can help keep your customers informed during the Coronavirus pandemic. Give the team at Brisbane Digital Co a call today to find out more.