How & why to set special opening hours

Local SEO Tips



Every holiday has its own must-have products: flowers for Valentine’s Day, bubbly for New Year’s, candy for Halloween. As last-minute shoppers look for holiday essentials, make sure they feel confident in your hours – whether you’re open or not – so they don’t lose trust in your brand.

Why set special opening hours?

Even though most holidays come around the same time every year, many people don’t shop until the last minute.

For example, Google searches for “bunny ears” and “chocolate eggs” hit their yearly high in the days around Easter. Some country-specific holiday supplies, like the Swedish Easter soda “påskmust,” are almost never searched except for their holiday season, as the Google Trends screengrab below shows:

Source: Google Trends

Source: Google Trends

So if you’re open during the holidays – when many of your competitors might not be – it’s important to let your potential customers know.

But it’s just as important to let your customers know if you aren’t open, because there are few things as frustrating as showing up to a business that claims to be open and finding it closed.

To cope with businesses not updating their store hours, sites that have business listings often show a disclaimer when they display open hours around holiday times. Since Google has the biggest share of business listing traffic in most markets, we’ll use a Google business listing as an example:

Source: Google Maps

Source: Google Maps


In the image on the left, “Christmas Eve might affect these hours” is shown because the business hasn’t supplied Google with any special open hours. Google does this so that a person seeing the info knows the hours might not be accurate.

In the image on the right, the green text saying “Christmas Eve hours” shows that the business has updated their info, so the person seeing that message can feel confident that the hours are accurate.


How to set special opening hours

There are many networks that display special open hours, and each requires a slightly different process to update them, so it can seem like a major task to set special open hours for all your locations.

The easiest method to set special open hours across many locations is by using a listings management service, like our Listings platform, which gives multi-location brands a one-stop source for setting special hours across all their locations. Once you set special opening hours in a listings management service, those changes will then be made across all the networks connected to that service (PinMeTo includes Google, Yelp, Bing, and many other major networks).

We’ve also heard of multi-location brands using decentralized techniques, like sharing a spreadsheet between store managers and the corporate headquarters and coordinating on who will update what info in which places. Brands that don’t centralize their listings management put themselves at risk of setbacks and inefficiencies, so we don’t recommend these strategies.

If you host your special opening hours information on your website, it’s also possible to share that info with search, social, and mapping networks through a listings management platform, by using an API connection. If your brand already updates their special opening hours info on their website, PinMeTo can integrate with your website, so you only have to update the changes in one place and it those updates will be reflected by the networks.


Looking for an easier way to set special open hours for all of your multi-location brand’s locations? Book a demo to see how PinMeTo can help you keep your online presence updated across all locations and platforms. 

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