How Google is helping small businesses during COVID-19

Google is the most used search engine to-date but for many businesses, Google is much more than just a search engine; it is how these businesses generate sales and foot-traffic to their brick-and-mortar storefronts. With the recent crisis of COVID-19, many of these small businesses are either shutting down or making severe changes in how they continue their day-to-day operations. 

Google is supporting businesses by announcing that they will also be taking steps to help the small and medium businesses affected by the changing economy.  In an effort to help small and medium businesses Digiboost has concisely explained below the relevant highlights any SMB can take advantage of if heavily invested in Google currently.  

Google’s $800 Million Commitment 

On March 27th, 2020, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced in a blog post that Google will offer an $800 million commitment to support small and medium-sized businesses, health organizations, governments, and health workers who are on the frontline of this global pandemic. 

The money is broken up for each group, with the biggest package offered to the small and medium-sized businesses that have had an active Google Ads account in the past year. The total amount available to these small and medium businesses is $340 million. The money will come as an ad-credit within the Google Ads account. The credit will help to alleviate the drop in traffic that these businesses are experiencing. These ad grants will allow companies to advertise their services even when they may not have the budget to spend on expenses outside of their operating budget. 

Google My Business (GMB) Tells Businesses to Update Their Listings

For businesses that have a brick-and-mortar location, it is recommended to update your Google My Business account. Google has recently advised businesses to update their listings if COVID-19 is directly impacting their area. This update means that any company that is being affected by COVID-19 should go into their GMB account to update any necessary data. 

This data includes:

  1. Hours of operation
  2. Phone numbers
  3. Descriptions (Restaurants can list if they offer take-out)
  4. Adding a Post (Let users know what services you offer or what is available) 

Once these changes are made, they will show up on your business profile on Google Search and Google Maps. Remember, it’s vital to keep your customers up to date with the changes your company is going through.  

Special Announcement Schema is Coming To Google Search

On top of this $800 million commitment and Google My Business update, Google search will also be implementing a Special Announcement structured data type. This Special Announcement data type can let users know of any updates going on regarding COVID-19 (quarantine updates, SIP updates, drive-through testing center updates, and more.) straight from the Google Search results page. 

If you are unfamiliar with structured data types, you can click here to learn more.  

Don’t Waste Those Ad Credits!

If your business qualifies for the ad credit program offered by Google, do not let the free money go to waste. You can use these ad-credits to help your business generate more take-out orders or recoup lost business. As a business owner, it’s important to update your Google My Business listing and add Schema to your website, letting everyone know if you’re open or operating with adjusted hours. 

If you need help understanding the support offered by Google, give us a call to find out how we can help you.