Google Holiday Hours

Set Your Holiday Hours On Google

Google Holiday Hours

From malls to cab companies to babysitters … pretty much everyone adjusts their hours for the holidays.  Whether the reason is an early closing for a staff party or extended hours to make the most of last minute shoppers you want your customers to know.  Fortunately Google yesterday announced in their help forum that they’re allowing you to tell them just that.

Essentially in your Google My Business account you now have the capability of adding special hours, that is – hours that are outside the standard hours of operation that you will have set. What’s more, you can schedule up to 365 days in advance.  The screenshot they have provided to illustrate this feature displays it’s value.

Google holiday hours set.

You can clearly see that because the holiday hours were set it is clearly shown to the searcher.  A special point of note is that even if you were working your regular hours on Christmas Eve you’d want to set holiday hours to confirm such as not doing so can result in something that looks like …

Google holiday hours not set.

Here we see that Google doesn’t know whether you are or are not available during these hours and thus wants to let their visitors know.  This is especially important for restaurants and similar companies that are open on major holidays.  Not doing so may cast a doubt on whether you are open but confirming will let people know right away that you’re available.  Let’s also consider that if I enter, “chinese restaurant” into Google on Christmas day – do you suppose they will favor a site that they know to be open to appear in the results or will they just default to their standard results?  In the interest of aiding their visitors they’re more likely to rank a site they know will be able to serve their visitors well.  Further, as a searcher would you click through to a company you knew to be open or would you chance it on one that just might be?

While there is zero confirmation that this is or will be a ranking signal this is one of those great spots where doing something that may be a signal now or in the future also serves your visitors well and further – is incredibly easy to do.  In fact, it takes about 5 minutes.

Google describes how to do so here.  Their simplest instructions regarding setting them through your Google My Business account are:

  1. In your Google My Business account, select the location for which you want to set special hours from your list view.
  2. On the “Location details” page, scroll down and click in the “Special hours” section.
  3. Choose the date when special hours are in effect and enter the opening and closing times for that day. Click the box next to “Closed” to indicate that the location is closed all day. If you are open 24 hours, enter 12:00am–12:00am. If you enter closing hours past midnight, make sure to set them properly.
  4. Click Add another to add more special hours for the location.
    * For two sets of special hours on the same day, enter them in separate rows. For instance, if your business is open for a period in the morning, closes for lunch, and reopens in the afternoon, enter these special hours in two rows.
  5. When you’ve finished entering all of your special hours, click Apply. Your special hours will appear to customers on Google only for the designated days.

They also offer the option to upload changes via a spreadsheet.

I’m sure we can all see the value in this so what are you waiting for … it’s time right now to get a jump on the tasks that your brilliant marketing will make you too busy to deal with when the holiday season is in full gear. 🙂

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