When it’s a long weekend it is important to keep your customers informed of when you are open. Likewise for any other day of the week. Don’t think it is important to keep your Google opening hours up to date? Here’s why: Google drove 93% of mobile search traffic in 2017*.
A Day at the Pool
My fiancé is currently 6 months pregnant with our first baby. She is an absolute champion when it comes to being pregnant. It’s probably something to do with her constant desire to prove she can smash every challenge that life coughs up. However, over the last few nights, she’s started to suffer from hip pain at night. It causes a lot of tossing and turning (and little sleep).
She woke this morning after another long night and decided that the best remedy this Labour Day was to head down to the local indoor pool and take a load off. Cue a quick Google search to confirm the pool was open, and excitement for the relief soon to be enjoyed.
Now I don’t know if you have been pregnant, or have been the partner of a pregnant woman before. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that at 28 weeks everything is a little harder to do. It’s not that it can’t be done, it just needs to be done with patience.
After an hour of getting ready, making sure she has everything she needed, double checking, remembering the towel, repacking, remembering the togs, repacking, and then finally getting in the car and driving to the pool, to then find out on arrival to find that the pool was in fact closed, was more than a little disappointing.
Don’t make that mistake
You would be surprised at the number of not just small but even large businesses that are still making this mistake. Google is now your shop front, and your opening hours is the sign on your door saying “We’re Open!” If a customer can’t trust the hours on your Google listing then what is it saying about your business?
Letting customers know what days you are open reduces frustration. The last you want to do is give a potential customer the chance to give you a negative Google review before you have actually had a chance to serve them.
Managing Google Opening hours
Claim your Google My Business Listing
The first step to managing your opening hours is to have first claimed your Google My Business (GMB) listing.
You may have already claimed your listing but forgotten how to access your account. For this, you will need to remember the email address that you used to claim the listing and try logging in using it. If you can’t remember the password then follow the steps for resetting your password.
For claiming your listing, or creating a new listing Google gives instructions here: Claiming your Google My Business Listing
Hot tip: Your email account should be the same one you use for your other Google services such as Analytics, Ads or Webmaster Tools.
Adding or changing your hours
Once you are logged in to your Google My Business listing you need to navigate to the ‘Info’ section and scroll down to the hour’s section.
There are two components to this section:
- Your normal business hours, and
- Special hours
In the first section go ahead and add your normal business hours, and make sure they are accurate.
Hot tip: if you sometimes open early because you happen to arrive in early, or maybe you run a hospitality venue which at times opens late when business is good, then be cautious what hours you display. Like in the swimming pool example above, you don’t want to leave potential clients disappointed and not wanting to return.
For me, it is better to err on the side of caution and put in the hours that you know you are open for service.
Adding Special Events or Public Holidays
The second section is where you can add any variances to your normal hours of operation such as public holidays or special events.
Google is very helpful when it comes to public holidays. They will send you a notification to your linked email address before the day asking if your hours need to be updated, but there is no point in relying on this. Go ahead and add all the days that you know you will be closed for right away, and then you only need to make changes if the unexpected arises.
Hot tip: If you are open on a day when all your competitors are closed, such as Boxing Day, then you can actually use the special hours to show that you open. Also go ahead and shout it out. Send your customers an email to let them know, and post it on your social media as well.
For step by step details follow Googles instructions here: Edit your business listing on Google
Remember Your Other Platforms
Your Google opening hours aren’t the only ones that need to be kept up to date. Remember to check your social platforms such as Facebook and keep them current as well, and don’t forget your website!
*statistic from NetMarketShare
NewyMedia is a digital marketing company based in Australia. If you need help claiming or setting up your Google My Business listing then we can help. You can contact us here, or sign up below to join our mailing list for more great tips and advice.