Yext Tips To-Go: Building a Strategy for Re-Opening following COVID-19

At Yext, our mission is to help businesses provide brand verified information everywhere. We want to enable our customers to provide the most important facts to their customers – and the broader public – wherever and whenever they are needed in a simple and effective way. 

In this blog post, we’ll highlight key features in the Yext platform that we believe will equip you with the foundational knowledge that you need to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information possible during the reopening period as we begin to come out from the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, let’s highlight the latest updates from major Publishers:

Latest Updates from Google My Business (GMB) as of April 29th.

  • Review Response Re-Enabled: The week of March 16 2020, Google temporarily disabled Google reviews. Now, review response is supported on Google, meaning customers can respond to all existing Google reviews from Yext. At this time, users are still unable to leave new reviews. However, Google is slowly opening up reviews being allowed on listings, so you will likely see new Google reviews start to trickle in.
  • Temporarily Closed Flag Supported via API: Google now supports updating the Temporarily Closed flag via the Google My Business API. So updating the Temporarily Closed field in Entity Edit under Knowledge Graph will result in a Temporarily Closed banner appearing on your clients’ Google My Business listing.
  • Additional Attribute Support for All Businesses: Google is helping businesses communicate their pickup and delivery options to customers. Now, all businesses can add “Pickup” and “Delivery” to their Business Profile, which Google will display more prominently in Search and Maps. This is supported via API, so you can take advantage of this under the Business Details section in Knowledge Graph.
  • New Listings Fields for Health Systems – COVID-19 & Telehealth: To make healthcare information more accessible through Google search, Google added two new listings fields – COVID-19 and Telehealth. Now, health and medical professionals can include a link to help patients easily find any relevant information. For example, including a link in the new Telehealth field can direct patients to find long-distance contact, care, advice, reminders, education, intervention, monitoring, and remote admissions.

Other updates in the network

  • Facebook is now supporting delivery and pickup attributes 
  • Other publishers are also continuously working with us on adding support for those attributes or other fields that could make it easier for businesses to show how they can reopen

Note: If you would like more information on these updates, please reach out to your CSM for more details.

 

Leveraging Listings to Reopen Locations

To ensure locations are reopened successfully, please follow these steps in the Yext Platform:

  1. Confirm that the holiday hours, the new native temporarily closed field, and the custom temporarily closed field (if created) are all cleared..
  2. Once cleared, check that your normal Business Hours are correct.
  3. Set the Closed Flag found in the ‘Internal Use Only’ section of the Knowledge Graph to “No”.  If the field is already set to “No”, you will need to first update it to “Unspecified” and click ‘Save.’ Then, change the flag to “No” and click ‘Save’ again.

Note: If the listing is unavailable, you can troubleshoot this by first identifying which publisher has flagged an issue. The issue could be as simple as updating the dimensions of an uploaded photo, or shortening a description. If you need more assistance, please contact your CSM.

 

Leveraging Additional Fields in the Knowledge Graph 

You can also leverage the the following Knowledge Graph fields to highlight that you’ve reopened a location:

  1. Use the “Featured Message” field to reinforce urgent information, e.g. Location Open [DATE].
  2. Change “Business Description” – Note: This field has a 750 characters max.
  3. Create Folders and Labels to make Bulk Edits easier. To do this, see this help article
  4. Populate information into the following fields for them to be available in your Listings:
    • Dining Options
    • Delivery and Takeaway Services
    • Curbside Pick-up
    • Telehealth (Healthcare customers only)
    • Covid-19 Links (Healthcare customers only)
    • Appointment Booking (available to certain categories)

 

Leverage Local Posts

To help businesses provide COVID-19 related updates, Google is temporarily enabling the local posts feature for businesses with 10 or more locations via API. These posts can only be used for COVID-19 related updates at this time. 

Note: To be eligible for this feature, businesses must have verified their GMB listing before February 15, 2020.

To view more information on leveraging local posts, view this article

 

Update Your Pages

While updates to your core information  in the Knowledge Graph , such as opening hours, will be pushed to your Yext Pages, you can use additional features specific to Pages to ensure you’re providing as much information as possible to your customers.

The following features can be updated for Pages:

  • Update site banner message to include relevant COVID-19 Updates
  • Update Call-to-Action (CTA)
    • Note: This should be used if you have changed your business offerings to delivery, click and collect, etc.
  • To answer questions about your organisation’s COVID-19 preparedness plans on third-party sites like Google and Bing, you can create optimised FAQ pages, for information, such as:
    • What is [your brand] doing to prepare for coronavirus?
    • Will [your brand] help centres continue to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Note: To add FAQ pages, you will first need to add FAQ entities to the Knowledge Graph. For the steps on how to add FAQ entities, please see Create an entity FAQ.

If you are using Self-service, we have compiled a list of all the modules you can use on your pages. To see the full list, please view the Pages Module Glossary.

Note: To add new modules to your page or update the content of existing modules, see Customising Your Pages or contact your CSM.

Image: Example of an Alert Banner related to COVID-19 

 

Additional Yext Support Resources

As a reminder, the following resources are available to you:

  1. Documentation / Articles
  2. Email the Team
  3. Platform Status / Updates

The CSM team at Yext has a mission to enable you to push information out to your website and publisher network quickly via the Yext platform. We’re here to help you with any questions and provide the assistance you need during this time. We wish you and your teams the best during this critical moment. 

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