Setting your business on Google My Business to ‘temporarily closed’?

With the crisis around the Corona virus, many businesses are closed either by force or voluntarily. Changing your opening hours on Google My Business (GMB) to notify customers of your changed hours of operation is not only a nice gesture to your following, but also great for your ranking in Google Search because active business entries in Google My Business are favoured over stale ones.

However, with rules and regulations changing over days, keeping up with the changed business hours is a little time consuming. There is also an option to mark your business as “temporarily closed”… Wouldn’t that do the trick too or does it affect your rating on Google negatively?

In light of the Corona crisis, Google has changed the way it interprets these settings and due to these changes it is safe to mark your business as “temporarily closed” if it’s for more than two weeks.

Google adjusts reaction to Google My Business opening hours

Google will not drop you from search results and will not filter your business out just because it is closed. While it used to do this to more accurately reflect the state of businesses, there are so many shops that are closed now, that they changed this behavior and better serve the businesses during this crisis.

Source: searchengineland.com/

Be careful with sensitive data over Zoom

With everyone suddenly turning to video chat, Zoom has seen an astronomical usage increase. However, several security experts warn that Zoom can tap into the data that you’re talking about and is able to link this data to information from Google, Apple, Facebook and others to turn it into targetable advertising.

Doc Searls, co-author of the influential internet marketing book The Cluetrain Manifesto last century, today warned [cached] Zoom not only has the right to extract data from its users and their meetings, it can work with Google and other ad networks to turn this personal information into targeted ads that follow them across the web.

Source: https://www.theregister.co.uk/

Update: if you’re using Google GSuite, then you may be better off using Hangouts Meet. It’s normally reserved for Enterprise customers but now released to the general public.

There is also a browser plug-in that avoids having to install the client version of Zoom.

Update2: Alternatives for using Zoom that are better at keeping your privacy private.

Update 3: ArsTechnica and Wired have a great write-up

Brand New Colorful Website for BY AMI

by ami

Marking the first year in operation, BY AMI has certainly had a dream start by any standard! The restaurant was all over the media and Instagram is full of the colorful dishes and InstaWalls that his friend Jeroen van der Wier has made inside the restaurant. You really have to see these 4 meter high paintings yourself to fully appreciate them.

Needless to say Ahmed wanted his website to more closely reflect the image and style of the restaurant, his dishes, drinks and InstaGram account.

BY AMI – Urban Bistro

So I made him a new website by switching to a new theme that puts his (blog) posts front and center to shamelessly show of his colors at first glance. At the same time, the redesign puts more emphasis on mobile-first paradigm through Google AMP, a high-speed mobile experience that is natively supported in WordPress, because more than half of BY AMI’s visitors find the restaurant by discovery rather than by name. This way, everyone wins.

Finally, showcasing BY AMI’s dinner arrangements and services in a way that lets Google add semantics to the search results, I added Structured Data from schema.org to the site. Now, Google’s search algorithm can intelligently add various data about baby showers, theater arrangements or business offers to present a user with more targeted search results.

If you’re inspired by this project and would like to know how I can help your website, get in touch with me and create your site on WordPress.com. I can jump in later and help you continue it and will finish it in no time!

WordPress.com

WordPress Implementation for Inspired Psychologists

inspired sxm

I’ve recently completed a WordPress implementation for two psychologists on Sint Maarten, who needed an experienced but fresh look to give advice on their proposed site map. While able to make the site themselves, there was already so much to do that they would be launching quicker with my help than they would be able to do by themselves.

My experience with creating websites and analytical skills also helped create their main menu and page content. This way, they just need to add content and be done with it.

inspired sxm
Inspired SXM Psychology & Consultancy

The two friends and colleagues both share an “inspirational” love for their profession and I wanted to emphasise the no-nonsense approach of the two ladies. The language is very personal and direct and the site has ample opportunity to showcase their work with individuals as well as provide businesses with consultancy.

Buffalo Wings SXM

buffalo wings sxm

It was a pleasure creating the website for the best place on St Maarten to get Buffalo Wings. Talking with Victor gave a lot of energy to help set-up a website where people can find menus, see photos of the dishes, get to know the product line that Buffalo Wings SXM has to offer and find a clear location and opening hours of the restaurant. This is a rare thing on St Maarten and something that more venues should do for their prospective visitors and guests.

Buffalo Wings
Restaurant | Bar | Sports

After having established himself as the go-to place for buffalo wings and creating 24 homemade sauces to match any style, flavor or texture you might be in the mood for, Victor is expanding his product line with delicious burgers, wraps, arepas and Venezuelan parilla. But he also wants to let people make their own famous buffalo wings by selling deep frozen, marinated, ready to cook wings and ribs for backyard or poolside birthday BBQs, family gatherings, company cookouts or beach picnics.

buffalo wings sxm
Buffalo Wings St Maarten

The website was set-up on WordPress.com for reliable hosting with high uptimes, automatic WordPress software upgrades, great security features, free SSL certificates with each domain and best-in-class antispam functions to fool contact form spammers.

I integrated Google My Business and Search Console, so that Victor has a good understanding of how people end up on the website or what they searched for to get there. This will help him create better focused social media ads and which promotions were successful and which not.