With the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are wondering how businesses are adapting to our new reality and if they are operating as usual. This is why businesses need to prepare their online presence for the various questions customers might have, such as if their operating hours remain the same, what products are available and if they are safe to use.

Why do we need to protect our online presence?


With the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are wondering how businesses are adapting to our new reality and if they are operating as usual. This is why businesses need to prepare their online presence for the various questions customers might have, such as if their operating hours remain the same, what products are available and if they are safe to use.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the VP of search for Local SEO said: ”Businesses need to work on modifying their store hours on their key profiles, like Google My Business (GMB) and Yelp as well as their messaging regarding what they’re doing about COVID-19 via Posts or descriptions in their GMB profile”.

This is particularly important for local businesses as the first thing customers will see is the business directory listing, as can be seen below:

CleverClicks Business Directory

What can we do about it?

Local businesses are urged to review their listing across GMB, Bing Places and other web directories like TripAdvisor in addition to social media pages like Facebook. 

  • Businesses can do the following on GMB (Google My Business):

Update their business hours and temporary closures. This can be done manually through GMB in order to be accurate on Maps and Search. 

Create local posts. By creating local posts on GMB, businesses can keep their customers informed about the status of their business. By posting regularly, customers will feel confident that the information is still relevant. These posts stay live for seven days and are shown on Maps and Search. 

  •  On your business site:

Updating FAQ Pages. Many businesses, such as restaurants, will need to address the common questions regarding how their business practices are adapting to COVID-19 due to the restrictions.

For example, FAQ sections can be used to detail who comes into contact with the company products, the policy changes regarding the existing purchases as well as how workflow has changed to emphasise safety. 

Dedicated pages for COVID-19. For businesses that are directly affected by the pandemic, it is advised to dedicate a page on your site or on your homepage explaining how you are adapting to COVID-19.

For larger companies, the media section of your site can be used to address this situation and outline the situation for your customers but make sure to keep this up-to-date. 

  • Product Feeds and Structured Data

What are product feeds and structured data?

A Product feed is a list of products and attributes organised so each product can be advertised, displayed and compared in a distinctive way. Whereas Structured Data is a code written in a specific format – basically Schema.org – written in such a day that search engines understand it.

Businesses will need to adjust product feeds and structured data in order to provide their customers with the latest information about their events and products. 

Product availability is encouraged to be up-to-date to as close as real time customer demand changes as possible to inform customers of product availability. This includes product feed pages and product schema on company product pages. 

Event Status. To be used by event organisers to set the event status to Event Cancelled or Event Postponed. Google advises event organisers to maintain the start date as the date of the event until the new date has been confirmed. Once the new date is confirmed, the event status can change to Event Rescheduled and the start date can be updated. 

Now-virtual Events. VirtualLocation should be used for events that moved from in person to online and the event attendance mode should be changed to Online event attendance mode. 

Special Announcements. These were motivated by the pandemic and created with organisations such as schools, healthcare providers and local government in mind. It allows for date-stamped textual updates with certain web links to associate the announcement with the situation. 

Why do we care?

As an SEO and PPC agency we want nothing more but for local businesses to remain as unscathed during this time as possible. Incorporating these changes and markups into a business’s online presence will ensure that the company remains relevant to the current pandemic the world is facing. 

These changes are necessary to inform business customers about the actions taken by the business during this time, the product availability as well as easing the mind of the consumer that their local brands are doing their part to make a difference during this difficult time.

We encourage all local businesses to make the change to their online presences to stay relevant and adapt to our current reality.

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