Marketing 2 min read

GMB to Become Even More Powerful Post-Pandemic

BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com

BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com

Recent reports suggest a decline in Google My Business (GMB) usage due to the COVID-19. But that could change post-pandemic.

Over the years, GMB listings have evolved into a point of communication between consumers and businesses.

Aside from adding information about services, listings usually feature store hours and closures. As a result, many marketers believe that GMB is an essential part of any local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.

In a BrightLocal survey, 68 percent of local marketing experts said GMB was more critical now than it was a year ago. Another MOZ study about Local Ranking Factors revealed that GMB signals were the top-ranking factor for the Google Local Pack.

More recently, businesses started using their Google My Business listing to share other information during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, Google recently launched some coronavirus-related announcements for businesses. These include Temporary Closures, New Operating Hours, Changes to Regular Service, among others.

Despite these improvements, GMB usage is currently experiencing a decline due to the current pandemic.

The Decline in GMB Usage During COVID-19 Pandemic

Driving direction requests on GMB has fallen significantly.

According to a recent report, driving directions on Google My Business are down 60 percent across all verticals. Similarly, website clicks and call clicks have dropped by 31 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

The data from Reputation.com also revealed a massive decline in restaurants, retail, and automotive. On the other hand, online shopping and e-commerce spending seems to have experienced an uptick in the last few weeks.

Several speculations suggest that this increase may be a result of the stimulus check that the IRS started cutting since mid-April. Another possible reason is the sense that the lockdown period may finally be coming to an end.

Google My Business to Become More Vital Post-Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, marketers should once again rely on GMB to bridge the gap between business and consumers.

They’ll use the listing to provide information about product and service availability as well as operating hours. What’s more, Google My Business will likely emerge as a more reliable and essential marketing tool than it was before the pandemic.

For instance, features such as Post — which businesses use for quick communication with consumers — may gain wider adoption. Furthermore, Google could rollout other tools to make GMB more useful in the coming months.

Read More: Google Explains how to Update Your GMB Information

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