According to the Search Engine Journal, Google has decided to remove some features in Google My Business during the outbreak as Google ramps down its staff, reducing the need to come into their offices.
This one is a big one as we all know how important reviews are to a service business.
Google My Business Reviews
As it stands everything that is about your Google reviews that exist today will not be affected and they will all still be visible to your future customers. With the lack of resources, Google will not be able to handle the monitoring of reviews and replies during this crazy time we live in, so they have suspended all new reviews and replies. At best they will be limited.
New Listings, Claiming Your Listings, and Verifications
This will be on a priority basis with any critical health-related business at the top of the list. Expect delays for this if you are not part of that criteria.
The same goes for any editing you may want to do on your GMB. So my recommendation at this time is kept to the posts and that’s it.
What Can You Do?
There isn’t a whole lot you can do right now as far as the review process is concerned. My recommendation is to continue to ask for written testimonials that you can use for your website or other marketing materials down the road.
If reviews still do occur, Google has presumably confirmed that reviews that do take place will stay in pending status until they can review that down the road, whenever that is.
Posting On Google My Business
Posting on GMB is a very valuable tool in your marketing arsenal. If you aren’t using it, or haven’t used it in the past, I still encourage you to utilize this feature even now. Google isn’t disabling this feature as of now, so you can still reach out to the world regularly.
The reason why this feature is important is that you have the ability to add your specific ranking keywords in your post, then add your website link to “book”. The website link should be the link to the page you are ranking for. If the keyword is “Nashville Power Washing” then the post should say something that includes that keyword. For example: “Enjoyed helping our community out in Nashville power washing the playground today.”
If you have a page that is dedicated to that keyword, like “www.yourdomain.com/nashville-power-washing” then you would want the “book” button link to go to that page. It will help you rank that page.
Remember that Google My Business will only show that post on Google for 7 days, so you need to be active at least once per week.
This costs nothing but time and is a very valuable asset to your marketing arsenal.
I hope you find this somewhat useful. Stay positive out there folks, and don’t forget about the senior citizens.