As we grip with the realities of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, we must all stay strong and continue to push business forward. The reality for a lot of us is still a big question mark.

As we know, the internet, particularly Google, is one of the first places a person goes when looking for a product or service, which is why it’s important for businesses to have an online presence so they can be easily found by the people who need it.

Google recently announced that they disabled local reviews functionality for consumers and business owners (Search Engine Land). According to Search Engine Land, this shift is temporary, and Google is just trying to prevent a flood of reviews that may be ill-informed or malicious.

Google also announced that there will be some temporary limitations with Google My Business accounts as they prioritize other services. Right now, Google’s focus is on the quality and reliability of the information on Google Search and Maps.

For business owners in the marine industry, we recognize the importance of reviews for building our trust and reputation to our audience, so the inability to get new reviews can be detrimental. However, during this time, we can focus on making sure all the right information is on our Google my Business listing per Google’s guidelines.

How Google My Business Displays Results

The search engine results page uses information from Google my Business to pulls in map listings for businesses in local searches. So, if someone was searching for “boat dealer near me” – these local listings are going to be listed in the results, making it imperative that accurate information is provided to the end user. The information provided from a Google my Business in the search engines results page listing includes:

  • Website
  • Directions
  • Phone number
  • Customer reviews
  • Photos
  • Short summary of your business

Do you have a Google My Business Profile?

If you don’t already have a Google account, you should add your business (it will help you get found if you are still open with limited services). Even better, this listing service is FREE.

Take these tips into consideration when setting up your new Google My Business account –

  • Add your business name (keep this consistent across all channels)
  • Add a profile image
  • Add a cover image (make sure it’s relevant to your business)
  • Add photos of your business
  • Fill in business information, such as hours, services, link to your website, etc.
  • Choose your industry

You can get started claiming your listing at Business

Keep Your Google My Business Account Up to Date

Once you have your Google account set up, or if you already had an existing account, it’s important to keep it up to date and use it as a tool to communicate with your customers. If you make any changes to your business hours, or are offering special services like mobile service, virtual sales consultations, or private sea trials, be sure to add that information.

You can also utilize the “posts” function to share links and special information like:

  • Blog posts
  • Special announcements or information related to how your businesses is handling COVID-19
  • Current promotions or special offers

Need Help with your Google My Business Page?

At Boat Marketing Pros, we stay on top of all the latest marketing news and trends in the marine industry to provide the best services to our clients.

Whether you are looking to set up your Google My Business page or are looking for an agency to monitor it on an ongoing basis, we’d be happy to help. Contact us today to learn more!