The COVID-19 crisis has had a profound impact on small businesses. They may have had to rethink their business model, and if they didn’t work from home before, they’re probably adjusting to the realities of remote work.
Discover tools, tips, and resources to help you manage your business remotely during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn how to update critical business information online to keep customers informed, and how to host virtual meetings and events. We’ll also share the latest resources from Google and other partners to help support small businesses such as Google My Business, Google Ads, Google Meet, and YouTube.
Three important updates to make now
Google My Business is a service from Google that allows you to manage your business information as it appears across Google Search and Google Maps. You would access this or create your new business profile by visiting google.com/business.
If you use Google My Business, you can go to one place and update all the information as it will appear to customers across Google Search and Google Maps. It just works no matter what device you’re using. So whether someone’s visiting from a desktop or a laptop, or a tablet, or a phone, they’ll be able to access all of that information formatted automatically by the system.
Google My Business gives you the option to write a business description. That business description can be up to 750 characters long. So it’s a great place to provide details about your products and your services to your potential customers. I would go into your business description and write about anything that might have changed with your business– operational changes, hours of operation, or just use it to let people know that your business is operating as usual.
Many of you out there may already have your own existing website. Whatever website platform you use, just go to your site and review your information to make sure that you’re letting customers know what’s happening with your business right now. It might be that the hours of operation need to be updated there too, or you have new special contact information, or you have announcements about temporary closures.
Whatever it is that has changed about your business, let people know what’s happening as soon as they get to your website.
Once you’ve made all the updates of your critical information, there might be more things that you can add too to keep your website fresh and up to date even during times when your business operations may not be operating as usual. You could use your website to let people know about the news and resources that might be helpful for them. Maybe you’re offering online consultations or different options to get your products and services. So you can provide information on your website to give customers different options to continue to do business with you. Maybe you have new delivery options. And you could explain how that works on your website. Whatever is new, or whatever’s changing about your business, make sure that you share those updates on your website to let people know what they can expect and also to provide them reassurance that you will be back.
Let’s talk about the third place where you can update critical business information to let people know about what might be happening with your business right now. And that is Google Ads.
Google Ads is the name of Google’s advertising platform. You may remember it as being called Google AdWords. Well, it’s now called Google Ads. And you can get to it at ads.google.com. The way Google Ads works is when someone is doing a search on Google, or Google Maps, or another Google property, and they’re doing that search, an ad for a relevant product or service can appear with those search results. So if I was doing a search for a pair of shoes, I might see ads that appear for shoes.
Now if I was searching for shoes, I probably wouldn’t see an ad for a toaster, because that is not related to what I’m actually looking for.
Google is going to do everything it can to make sure that the ads that are displayed are relevant to what people are looking for. From an advertiser’s perspective, it’s really nice because you’re only paying for results. You’re not going to pay for someone to just see that ad about shoes that appears on the search results page.
You’re only going to pay if somebody actually takes the desired action. They click on the ad to get to the website and learn more, hopefully, buy those shoes, or if there’s a trackable phone number that’s associated with that ad if they actually call the number. So you’re paying for results, not just for the privilege of advertising.
If you have never tried Google Ads before, it is free to get started. There’s no minimum commitment. There’s no contract. There’s no cancellation fee.
You can edit it at any time. Turn it on and turn it off. So if you are looking for new ways to find customers online, this is a really good option to explore.
Manage Your Business Remotely in Times of Uncertainty By