by Ella Cicero, Account Manager and Google My Business Champion
Google My Business is my champion topic here at Broadplace, so maybe I’m a little biased about how great it is. But Google have just added something that I think will make it even more appealing to users. You can now add in special hours for things like bank holidays, when the business is temporarily closed or if you need to change to an irregular schedule. All on the iOS version of the GMB app. This is a major step forward; before you could only make these changes on the desktop portal or uploading a spreadsheet.
For anyone unfamiliar with Google My Business, it’s the useful information that pops up about a business when you search for it. It’s free for anyone to use and isn’t too complicated to set up. It can provide customers with useful information such as store location, driving directions, opening hours and more.
Other useful additions to the iOS app version include a drag and drop menu to change category and phone number; a quick way to easily indicate that your business is permanently closed; and a new support for landscape mode.
What Does That Mean For My Business?
Well, heaven forbid, but imagine something drastic happens and you have to close the business for an undetermined amount of time or have to change your opening hours dramatically due to lack of cover… You can do that from your iPhone or iPad.
OK, so How?
Firstly, you’ll need to have entered your regular opening times. You have a number of options on how to set the special hours
- Via Spreadsheet
- Set Hours That Extend Into The Next Day
1. Set Special Hours Via Spreadsheet
For updating existing locations only without any further amendments, simply fill out the shop code and special hours columns, and leave the other columns empty. Don’t worry, Google will let you know if you accidentally add another location.
In your bulk upload spreadsheet, locate the “Special hours” column.
Enter the affected days and their special hours in the following format, with “x” to designate an all-day closure. You can enter hours in 24-hour format:
or AM/PM format:
Separate each set of hours with a comma. To enter multiple sets of opening hours in one day, separate the sets into two entries, with a comma in between. For example, the following represents hours for a business that’s open for two distinct periods on 26 December 2015:
2015-11-26: x, 2015-12-25: x, 2015-12-26: 10:00-16:00, 2015-12-26: 17:00-18:00, 2016-1-1: 00:00-00:00
Save and import your spreadsheet. Your special hours will appear to customers on Google only for the designated days.
2. Set Special Hours Online
Login to your Google My Business account, click on the location you want to update from the list view.
Go to the Location Details page and click the new ‘special hours’ section.
Select the date you want to change and put in the opening and closing times for that day. If the location is going to be closed all day, click the ‘closed’ button instead.
Don’t forget to click ‘apply’ when you’re happy with the changes. Nothing will update if you haven’t hit ‘apply’.
3. Set Special Hours That Extend Into Next Day
In these instances it’s better to split the day up, running up to midnight for one set and then another set starting at midnight the next day.
For example, if your business is open from 7:00 p.m. on one day until 5:00 p.m. the next day, enter your hours as follows:
2015-11-26: 19:00-00:00, 2015-11-27: 00:00-17:00
In this case, your regular hours for the second day will be ignored in favour of the special hours. If you want to keep any of the next day’s hours, make sure that you enter them again in your list of special hours: