The novel 'COVID-19' coronavirus has dropped the world on its knees. With many people urged to stay at home and work from home, the streets are quieter and a lot less crowded.
This trend impacts is brick-and-mortar businesses.
Those businesses that are traditionally opening their doors on the side of streets offering products and services to customers face-to-face in an office or store, are taking a huge hit with the coronavirus pandemic.
And this can seen in analysis on Google My Business, as many of them experience a sharp decline in performance.
According to Reputation.com which analyzed more than 80,000 listings in the U.S., found that impressions are down an average of 59% across all verticals.
With impressions being down, clicks on their Google My Business listings are also down. And that includes clicks to driving directions, clicks to websites, and clicks to call a business.
In other words, Google My Business listings across all industries were negatively impacted by COVID-19.
"Automotive and retail – two businesses absolutely rocked by the pandemic," wrote Reputation.com on its report.
Clicks to driving directions saw the biggest drop, down 60% across all verticals; clicks to website visits from Google My Business listing are down 31%; clicks to call a business did not drop off that much, as they’re only down by 21%.
Overall, the amount of clicks are down by a total of 37%.
However, the data shows that at the end of March the line was more flattened out, meaning that the worst may be over.
This suggests that customers are starting to come around to seek out businesses that remained open during the pandemic. What this means, customers are still engaging with businesses, even if they can't visit the location in person.
“As they shelter in place, they might be calling rather than driving, or it’s possible they want to visit and are calling to verify your hours during COVID-19.”
Retail businesses too, are starting to improve.
"Why? It’s possible the data reflects people showing an interest in shopping again after stocking up in March and sheltering in place," the study says.
But for restaurants, they are experiencing a different story, as of the moment of Reputation.com's study
Impressions for restaurant listings are still down but clicks are way up. Clicks to restaurants were up in March as more people started to order their food online.
“At first, it was not always clear that it was possible to order from a restaurant, or whether restaurants were even open. As consumers sorted out their options, they began to call restaurants to place food orders.”
Phone clicks were tanking around the end of March, but are still up compared to other industries.
The study shows that Google My Business listings still play an important role during the pandemic.
With less people walking or driving around, people are still using Google My Business to find businesses to answer their needs. And this is why it's important for businesses to keep their listings updated.
Data shows that people who are searching for a business tend to engage with it either by calling or visiting the website.
So it’s also wise for businesses to keep the content of their websites updated to ensure that user's queries can still be answered.
"Regardless of your industry or region, it’s crucial that you manage your GMB listings. People are still using GMB to learn about your business even during the pandemic, and Google has been shifting quickly with changes in how your data can be managed. Be ready with accurate data and informative content when those searches pick back up," the report says.
To come up with this report, Reputation.com said that it arrived to the final percentage change figures after taking a single week day and comparing it to the average of four previous comparable week days.