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The holidays are chaotic for everybody – consumers and businesses alike. It’s easy to let details slip through the cracks, like updating your local listings with your holiday business hours. But the last thing you want, is to annoy a customer who actually took the time to check your hours, only to find that you are closed.
A report on local business listings conducted in 2018, asked people what issues would make them lose trust in a business when searching online. Over 50% of the respondents said that incorrect business hours would make them lose trust. This is why it’s important to keep your business hours updated in all of the major search engines.
Let’s see how to update your holiday opening hours on the big players in local business listings:
First, go to the Google My Business login and the Info section. Scroll down to see your normal business hours and your special hours. Click the ‘Edit’ button next to this section and you can choose which days you are open, which days you’re closed, and if you have special hours on any of those days as well.
On Yelp, you will log into biz.yelp.com and go to Manage Your Listing. Go to the Business Information section and scroll down to the hours. You’ll see that there are normal business hours and your special hours. You can click on ‘Add Special Hours’.
In Bing, you can go into your listing on bingplaces.com and there’s a place to Edit Special Hours. Check the box that says, “Yes, I want to provide working hours for special days”. You can see that you’re closed, or you can actually put in special hours for that specific day. When you’re done, click ‘Submit’.
One more note… I want you to know about Facebook and Apple, two of the other big search engines out there.
On Facebook, they don’t yet have a special hours’ section. If you go to your page, go to Settings and click your page Info to see your hours. The week of the holidays, you may want to go in there and update your hours manually, but you’ll have to remember to set them and reset them afterwards.
The same applies to Apple. In Apple Maps Connect, you cannot set special hours, but you can go in and edit those hours. You can change your hours to your holiday hours, and then change it to the normal business hours.
Updating the hours for more than one location can take hours. Other than Google, there isn’t a strong option for making bulk changes to your special hours on the other listing sites. You can add special hours in Google via a spreadsheet upload, but it’s still time-consuming and can take up to 3 days for Google to approve your changes. Attempting to make bulk changes to the hours for all your locations can get messy and may result in the loss of customers – or worse – your listing could become unverified. An estimated $10.3 billion worth of sales is lost every year because of inaccurate listing information.
As a part of our SO Connect Listings service (which keeps your business listings up to date on various platforms, including Google, Bing, Yelp, Facebook and Apple), we update holiday hours for you. If you don’t want to take the time to do this yourself, get in touch! We’d be happy to manage your local listings for you all year ’round, holidays included.