I’m sure we all know a small business that could use some help right now. Depending on your level of comfort, there are several ways you can help businesses, including shopping there, ordering takeout or dining in for restaurants, writing reviews for them, buying gift cards from them, and posting about them on social media.
Another way to help that seems underutilized right now is taking photos! It’s one of my favorite things to do, so I may be slightly biased, but it’s such an easy way to provide details to others. I learned about this and so many other useful features of Google Maps when I was invited to attend Connect Live 2018 with 150 other Local Guides! Here a few categories to focus on for your photos, using restaurants as an example.
Some businesses might not have a visible or mobile-friendly website, so having clear photos of the menu can help bring people in and let them know if it’s a place they want to go.
Many people love to see the presentation of the meal and want to see the dish names included with the photos of the food.
Let others know if there is outdoor seating, covered patio areas, pet-friendly areas, etc.
Photos of handicap parking spots, entrances and accessible seating options helps others feel confident in visiting.
Especially now with the constantly changing environment of COVID, having a current photo of the hours of operation is crucial.
Photos showing how the business is dealing with requirements as far as masks being required, capacity limits, and required reservations are all incredibly helpful to help everyone be prepared for their visit.
Suggesting an edit
If you have never suggested an edit on Google Maps, it’s not hard and takes less than a minute. Just navigate to the page of the business, click on “suggest an edit”, then enter in the information you want to change. You can suggest an edit for the address, phone number, hours of operation, website, and business category. You can also mark it as temporarily or permanently closed.
Note: Google reviews all edits for accuracy before they are approved to go live, so if you upload a photo showing proof of your suggested edit, it is more likely to get approved. I have submitted edits for several local spots lately that had the wrong hours listed, OR they were listed as temporarily closed but were actually open! I hated knowing all the business they were probably missing out on by people thinking they were closed.
I have also edited a few spots that were listed as open, but were actually closed due to COVID. This can be very frustrating, especially when you travel a long distance to find a business closed, so I’ve started calling to verify status most of the time.
It’s a great feeling when your edits get accepted and you’re able to help small business owners present accurate details to the world. With all that businesses have to worry about right now, keeping their Google page up to date is probably not something they have as much time to keep up with, so let’s help them out when we can!
See below for a visual of the “suggest an edit” process.
Do you utilize Google Maps often? Do you think you’ll try the “suggest an edit” feature? I’d love to hear about other ways you’re helping small business owners during this time!
Thanks for reading!