Coronavirus (COVID-19) Local Marketing Resources
Updated July 21, 2020
As the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve rapidly and new information is emerging constantly, businesses are looking for the best ways to keep their customers informed. We fully understand the importance of providing accurate, up-to-date information, and we will do anything we can to share information and serve as a resource for our customers and the community at large.
We are currently recommending the following actions/updates in order to maintain accurate business information and keep customers up to date:
- Update listings with special hours or temporary closures
- Update business descriptions to add custom COVID-19 messaging
- Publish unique services and amenities (e.g., drive-thru, pick up, delivery, etc.)
- Leverage Google Posts
- Add messaging to local landing pages
- Stay on top of reviews
We have compiled additional resources below and will continue to update this page as new information becomes available. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have. Our team is happy to assist you in any way we can.
As the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve rapidly and new information is emerging constantly, we will be continuously updating our website with the latest information and recommendations.
Wishing good health for you, your family and your entire organization during this difficult time.
Rio SEO Webinars
Binary Fountain and Rio SEO have teamed up for a special live presentation that will give you the framework you need to immediately kickstart changes to your customer experience touch-points. In this session, you’ll hear from Aaron Clifford, SVP of Marketing at Binary Fountain, as well as Jay Baer. Jay is the founder of the marketing and customer experience consultancy Convince & Convert, author of six best-selling business books, and a Hall of Fame keynote speaker.
Listen in as Rio SEO’s Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy, Ryan Weber, Director of Client Success, and Marshall Nyman, Account Director, explore trends that impacted brands during COVID-19 and our top takeaways to better help brands recover post-pandemic.
COVID-19 and the Future of Local Marketing [On Demand]
Even as brands grapple with dramatic shifts in demand, consumer behavior, and remote work practices, they are being challenged to respond with empathy to rapidly changing consumer needs in near-real-time. Listen as Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy at Rio SEO, Lauren Abramson, Account Director at Rio SEO, and Marshall Nyman, Account Director at Rio SEO, explore which COVID-related trends are impacting brands and how local marketers can prepare for ongoing or intermittent business interruptions.
Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 4) [On Demand]
Join Rio SEO’s Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy, and Ryan Weber, Director of Client Success, for part four of our ongoing series on the latest GMB and platform updates you need to know to bring your business’ critical local information to the surface when and where it’s needed most. We explore the local search trends impacting businesses during COVID-19 and share key takeaways from the insights we’ve collected through our data.
Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 3) [On Demand]
Join Rio SEO’s Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy, and Ryan Weber, Director of Client Success, for part three of our ongoing series on the latest GMB and platform updates you need to know to bring your business’ critical local information to the surface when and where it’s needed most.
Joshua Titsworth, SEO Manager at Vizion Interactive and Miranda Miller, Content & Digital Marketing Strategist at Miranda-Miller.com joined our own Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy and Mick Wilson, Vice President of Customer Success here at Rio SEO, for an in-depth discussion on how businesses can best set up now for post-pandemic success.
Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 2) [On Demand]
Join Rio SEO’s Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy, and Ryan Weber, Director of Client Success, for part two of our ongoing series on the latest GMB and platform updates you need to know to bring your business’ critical local information to the surface when and where it’s needed most.
Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 1) [On Demand]
As the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate, businesses globally have inevitably become affected and now face the challenge of keeping customers, communities and the general public informed. Join Rio SEO’s Krystal Taing, Ryan Weber, and Tyler Ludwig, for part one of our ongoing series on the latest GMB and platform updates you need to know to bring your business’ critical local information to the surface when and where it’s needed most.
Rio SEO Blogs & Resources
Local reviews are a top feedback channel for customers anytime but are a particularly important source of insight and bilateral communication in times of crisis. How can you pivot your local reviews management strategy to best meet the needs of your business—and the customers you serve?
The need for brands to be able to quickly pivot their local marketing efforts and communicate changes to their operations has become evident in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands must focus on their local presence to nurture your customer relationships. To help you better prepare and prioritize your local marketing efforts when the unexpected strikes, we’ve rounded up our top best practices for maintaining your local presence during times of ambivalence.
Now, more than ever before restaurants are relying heavily on delivery and takeout orders to make ends meet. Yet if customers can’t find accurate, up-to-date information on the services your restaurant brand is currently offering, you risk losing their business during a pivotal time. In this post, we will explore recent changes to GMB, what they mean for enterprise restaurant brands, and when/how to use them.
As we see more indefinite closures in the financial vertical, it’s pertinent to properly close or consolidate your locations in Google My Business (GMB). In this post, we will provide you with expert guidance on effectively closing branch locations, whether your locations are closing permanently or going through a consolidation.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprise brand marketers have had their priorities shift dramatically and often.
In this post, we share insights gained and lessons learned from managing local listings in a time of crisis for over 200,000 U.S. stores, offices, branches, and service areas. You’ll also find 6 tips to help you better manage your own local listings in times of crisis.
Brands are being challenged to keep pace and adopt these new terms into their local SEO. This raises a critical question all brands should be bearing in mind, does your online presence for each location meet the needs of shoppers as the pandemic continues on? In this blog post, we will share 4 SEO best practices from our local SEO expert, Chad Klingensmith, Senior SEO Strategist at Rio SEO, to help keep your Local Pages relevant and trustworthy.
We recently conducted a GMB insights study in which we analyzed local search data for more than 175,000 U.S. business locations throughout the pandemic, in an effort to help local businesses better understand how local consumers’ search behavior has impacted key discovery and conversion actions during the lockdown, and to prepare for any future unexpected business disruptions.
Local advertising has been in a state of flux since the Coronavirus pandemic took hold across the United States. Now, with the first phase of Opening Up America Again underway, brands are coming back with adjusted messaging and creative. We explore where you need to focus now, with resources to get you on the right track.
While the foodservice industry has dramatically had to shift its operations significantly to adapt to a new era of consumerism, many have been quick to adapt to new trends. We share expert insight into how local marketers can perfect their local strategy for these new restaurant services.
Lauren Abramson, Account Director here at Rio SEO, joined Krystal Taing, Director of Local Strategy at Rio SEO, in this exploration of which COVID-related trends are impacting brands and how local marketers can prepare for ongoing or intermittent business interruptions.
To keep your brand informed on the most pertinent COVID-19 listings features, we curated a list of the most important features and functionality related to COVID-19 on listings platforms and third-party directories, and how and when to use them.
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused such a massive shift in consumer behavior that brands are not only rethinking their marketing budget but in many cases their entire strategy. The local marketing keywords you may already be using to describe your services aren’t necessarily the terms consumers think to use when they need to find a product or service today.
Over the past several months, we’ve hosted an ongoing webinar series, Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic. These in-depth discussions feature our local search experts on local search trends impacting businesses during COVID-19, as well as key takeaways based on our experience supporting many enterprise brands throughout this time.
Our team of local marketing experts is here to help you elevate your local presence – from maintaining accurate, up-to-date listings and landing pages, to managing your brand’s online reputation and responding to customer feedback, to leveraging powerful analytics to inform your strategy – the Open Local Platform will keep you connected with your customers when they need you the most. Download the toolkit to learn more about our post-pandemic recovery services for enterprise brands.
As your brand plans to reopen restaurants or ramp up from reduced operations, communicating these updates to customers is mission-critical. Customers are looking to their favorite brands for guidance and reassurance as we enter this next phase of the Coronavirus pandemic. In this post, we provide three crucial local marketing tips to help guide restaurant brands reopening locations.
As the economy begins to reopen, businesses nationwide must communicate critical updates to their post-pandemic procedures, changes in operations, and safety protocols they’ll be adhering to ensure the safety of customers, as our society remains, understandably, still on edge. For those in the financial vertical, we’ve compiled the following local marketing tips for financial institutions to better prepare for their reopening.
As guidelines for slowly reopening the U.S. economy become more clear, enterprise brands must start planning for how to effectively shift their local marketing initiatives. In this post, we will share expert local marketing guidance and best practices on how to effectively prepare your local marketing efforts to convey the information searchers are in need of during these transitional times.
The following infographic offers an initial high-level view of how COVID-19 is impacting consumer behavior, from shopping trends to current mindset and beyond.
In these times of humanitarian and economic crisis, we look to the others for inspiration, guidance, and hope. We look to see how we can help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, entire organizations have committed to serving their customers and communities as helpers. Check out these other examples of brands helping others through COVID-19, how and wherever they can.
Here are 7 local metrics to tune in to as you gather the information that will help you make informed decisions around your business despite the COVID-related uncertainty.
Google recently announced that they are providing support for websites to add structured data to COVID-19 announcements. As enterprise brands seek new ways to communicate critical changes to their business operations.
We’ve analyzed our own data across many diverse enterprise brands, varying in industry and number of locations, to identify the top changes in consumer’s local search behavior.
As of Tuesday, April 7, Google has re-enabled review replies in Google My Business (GMB). Google has not yet re-enabled new reviews or Q&A, though the company says those will happen “over the coming weeks.”
In recent weeks, we’ve been closely monitoring popular search terms to better understand what consumers are searching for and what terms restaurant and grocery brands should be aware of. Based on our in-depth research, we’ve discovered the following trends.
Temporary store closures, updates in hours of operation, special hours to accommodate those at high-risk, and remote work have become the norm in recent weeks. We’ve compiled a checklist to ensure you’re aware of all the opportunities available to you to help you maintain accurate local listings during this time.
In this week’s update, we’ll cover the following local marketing updates from the past week: GMB temporarily suspends reviews & QA, new COVID-19 Google Post type, new GMB profile attributes for restaurants, and more.
In this post, you’ll learn powerful tips for managing your Yelp presence during COVID-19—and what actions you need to take to keep your customers safe and educated amid times of crisis.
In this post, you’ll learn the critical local marketing implications of this action for multi-location restaurant brands—and what you need to do now to protect your customers, employees, and brand reputation.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate and news changes by the hour, businesses must prepare to keep their customers informed with accurate, up-to-date information. These are our top four tips for keeping your listings updated with critical information.
In just the span of a few weeks, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has created significant concern as it continues to spread globally. We’ve compiled a list of our top four tips for reputation management to ensure you’re providing consumers with the accurate information they need.
Third-Party Platform Updates [External Links]
- Google (April 3): Introducing a new way for sites to highlight COVID-19 announcements on Google Search
- Facebook (April 2): Making It Easier to Display Temporary Service Changes on Facebook Pages
- Yelp (April 1): How businesses are using the COVID-19 banner to share updates
- Google (April 1): How restaurants can better assist customers during times of uncertainty
- Google (March 31): Helping health organizations make COVID-19 information more accessible
- Google (March 27): Get started with Google My Business for healthcare providers
- Google (March 27): Posts related to COVID-19 are now temporarily permitted for chains
- Google (March 25): Mark a location temporarily closed
- Google (March 20): Limited Google My Business functionality due to COVID-19
- Yelp (March 20): Yelp’s COVID-19 Response and Support for Local Businesses
- Yelp (March 20): Relief for restaurants and bars impacted by the Coronavirus
- Yelp (March 20): Updating your Yelp page: changes in hours, temporary closures, and take-out/delivery options
- Yelp (March 20): Coronavirus (COVID-19) resource hub for businesses
- Google (March 15): COVID-19: How we’re continuing to help
- Google: Businesses affected by COVID-19: Provide customers with updated info
Third-Party Articles [External Links]
- StreetFight (May 5): Yelp Revamps its Business Control Center and Releases Other Pandemic-Adaptive Features
- LocalU (April 7): Ability to Respond to Google Reviews Returns to Dashboard, App and API
- LocalU (April 1): COVID-19 notice Appearing on Businesses in Search Results
- Search Engine Land (March 31): Communication tips for local businesses during COVID-19
- Search Engine Land (March 30): Google My Business: When should you use ‘special hours’ vs. ‘temporarily closed’?
- Search Engine Journal (March 30): Google: Marking a Business ‘Temporarily Closed’ Doesn’t Impact Rankings
- Search Engine Journal (March 27): New Google My Business Guidance for Healthcare Providers
- LocalU (March 23): Google My Business Changes Due to COVID-19
- Search Engine Roundtable (March 17): Google My Business Using Duplex To Call Businesses To See Hour Changes Or Closures
- Search Engine Land (March 17): Schema.org adds COVID-19-related structured data types in version 7.0