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How COVID19 is Affecting Your Google My Business Listing

In this week's episode, we take a look at the changes going on at Google due to the Covid 19 Pandemic (bigger wait times!),and how you should be using your GMB listing to communicate with potential customers.

Jamie:   All right, Adam.

Adam:   Hey Jamie.

Jamie:   All right, another exciting week in the world of local SEO in 10.

Adam:   That's right. I'm coming at ya again.

Jamie:   Hi again with some more super interesting and useful information about how we can run our businesses locally and get the most out of local SEO.

Adam:   Right. And so today actually we're still, I don't know, hip deep in this shelter and place thing. So I wanted to talk about how Covid is affecting your Google my business platform and, and how you can take advantage of that right now and the things you should, you should be as a business owner doing with that platform so that way you can keep in touch and with your customers and potential customers and stay connected more.

Jamie:   Alright.

Adam:   Okay. So in we're all familiar with the Google my business platform. So when you log in there I know that right now when you log in, there's a notice that says, Hey, it's Covid 19 Google is slow in responding to everything. And that's true. They turned off their helpline. So they used to have a, a phone line that you could call and get a call back within seconds.

Adam:   And that helped for verification. So like if you're waiting for your business to be verified or for some reason it was suspended, we were able to basically interact with someone at Google and within a couple days, usually we could get that business unsuspended and back up. But now that line is taken off. So there is no such line actually well that might be it, but it's also it just doesn't work anymore. So when the system doesn't work anymore, what they want you to do is email them. And of course their emails all start with, Hey, Covid, you know, it's going to take time for a response. So that's something that you have to take into account right now, this very, very slow response time. The other thing is if you want to do Google ads, they're still very, very, very into that.

Adam:   So you'll have no problem talking to somebody about Google ads. If you say, Hey, I want to talk about my Google my business, they will say, not my department. So you gotta you just got to understand that. But so other than verification and other problems with your listing you're just going to have to wait. But now the, the things that you should be using your Google my business platform is communicating with your customers. So making sure that on your listing you have your special hours. If your business is open from, you know, if the hours have changed, if you're a restaurant that now only does a dinner take out, you can write that. You can list that on your Google my business listing. And you definitely because customers don't know if you're open or not. But once you write that on your Google my business platform it will have a little notice that says, you know, this is coven special hours.

Adam:   So customers will know that you're open. Or if you're not open, you want to let them know to there's another thing you should be doing. And that is, have you ever heard of Google posts?

Jamie:   Yes.

Adam:   Okay. Alright. So Google posts are basically like a Facebook post, but for your business and they, that's a great place for us to communicate. Some kind of our public response to the covert crisis. So if you're a a B to C, a business to consumer business, you should have your response in there. So if you're a general contractor, Hey, you know, in our County we were just from May 4th, we're allowed to do work. Whew. Maybe your customers, what's that?

Jamie:   May the fourth be with you.

Adam:   That's right. That's right. So from that date you can put up a Google post saying that. So when someone goes to your Google listing or they see your listing, they're able to see that right away. Hey, okay, they're open. Awesome. So that is right now, you know, that's basically you. If somebody is confused about your business, most likely they're not going to call you. So communicating through this goo, your Google my business platform. If you want your website, you should do the same thing. Your Google. My business platform is pretty much the first thing that people are going to see when they're searching for your service, if everything's done correctly. So it's a great way to communicate.

Jamie:   Well that makes sense just because I'm sure everyone has also experienced when they have gone to the Google my business and tried to contact the business and there's incorrect information.

Adam:   Yes, that's quite frustrating. I agree. So keeping and actually what Google has come out just within the last couple of weeks and they've said this will give you a boost in SEO if you change or you update your special hours during this time. So they really want that information to be as up to date as possible. So when we're doing that, when we're interacting with that platform, it's signaling to Google that we are taking this platform seriously and therefore it'll give us a boost, which is great. So do that another way you should be doing, probably you should have already turned on your messages through Google my business. And how you do that is you have to download their app. Once you download their app, your, you can connect it to your Google my business listing and then customers can text you directly from that, from that, from their phone to your phone. Both end to end. The phone numbers are blocked so you don't know their phone number and they don't know yours, but they'll able to privately message you questions about your service. So, Hey, you know, I have a car. It needs to be detailed. Are you still open? So stuff like that you could say, yeah, of course. Bring it in tomorrow. You could do the whole transaction basically over your phone without even talking to them, which is awesome. Yeah. Cool.

Jamie:   My business, we do occasionally get to the Google messages and the customers are always stunned and happily surprised when we respond.

Adam:   Oh, it's awesome. And what that does, it signals to them that you care, which is a really, it goes a long way towards gaining them as a customer. So the ones that do message you through Google or Facebook or Yelp, if you don't answer them, then I don't think they're gonna really come back or give you another chance. But if you do answer them, they're like, Oh wow. Responsive. Love that. Okay. So then it's a much easier, so much more easy lead to convert. Okay.

Jamie:   Oh yeah, definitely. That makes a lot of sense.

Adam:   The other one I want to talk about is after all of this, the Covid shelter and places lifted, the businesses that have maintained these relationships have taken advantage of these tools to do so. You are going to be the ones that succeed even more that come out of this strong.

Adam:   And that's really, really important. So when you're actively taking a role in working on your business like this, this time is teaching us all to actively work on our business, not just in it. That's only gonna make you a stronger business owner. So to that end I wanted to talk about in a couple of weeks. On May 13th there is, we are giving a, I am giving, sorry, a free webinar and it's called it's a way for business owners to build their own podcast with me. They're just gonna. I'm going to show them an over the shoulder demonstration from start to finish with all the tools that you need to build your own podcast. The ones that we use every week to build this one. I know it technically, it used to be really, really tough to do this. You needed a lot of tools, you needed to be able to code.

Adam:   Now podcasting has exploded and with that, the ease of entry has just gone way, way, way, way down. So you can do it. I can do it together. I can show you on our podcast our on, sorry, on our upcoming webinar to get a reservation, to make your reservation for that podcast, you're going to have to go to magnified media. That's our company. Gonna have to go to our Facebook page and there's an event listed there and it's called building a podcast. So this is a free seminar that I'm giving. It's probably, it's the only free seminar I've given. So take advantage. Now the reason is I just wanted to give back to our community a little, this is one of the common questions that I hear from business owners is how can I grow my business and how can I grow online? So my online presence and a podcast is the perfect way to do that no matter what business you're in, we can think of a subject that you are awesome at and that you can talk about and that you can inform people and help.

Jamie:   Yeah, for sure. And the other cool thing about podcasts, we really say, you know, YouTube is the second biggest search engine because people are trying to find videos of a particular subject or topic. I would imagine that podcast is probably number three. If there was a search engine for podcasts. Oh, did I? Just another idea.

Adam:   Well as, as podcasts grow, they are once, okay. What I'm going to show you guys is how to make your podcast and this, these words that we're speaking searchable so that they help your website and they help your business. So first step one, go to magnify media on Facebook. Search for us there. Go to events and click on the build. A podcast. Customers will love webinar. Once you click on that, you can click on the link for the free tickets. Sign up and Bob's your uncle show up, show up on May 13th at 12 o'clock Pacific time and get ready for, to have your mind blown.

Jamie:   That sounds great. And I'm sure you'll have that information in the show notes.

Adam:   Yep. And I'm, I might even wear pants that day, I don't know.

Jamie:   All right, well tune in then. Will the webinar be available afterwards?

Adam:   Yes. We'll make a recording. We'll send it to only the participants so you better register because it's not like I can send it to you through my thought waves. So register, put in an email address and we'll make sure if you can't show up then you'll have the the replay. But if you can show up, I'll be able to, at the end we'll be answering questions and basically solving every problem that you have with, ah, I, I've never thought about doing this or I have thought about doing this, but it seems so difficult.

Jamie:   Well, I haven't signed up looking forward to hearing it, so thanks very much. Great. That's all I got for today. All right, very good. So if you know any business owner that would benefit from all of this great information, please share this podcast with them. Maybe even show them how to play a podcast. That's been something that I've run into is people, not sure what a podcast is, but if you're listening to this, you figured out congratulations and make sure to rate and review us and share this out with everyone as I mentioned.

Adam:   All right. Talk to you later everybody. See ya.