Senior SEO Consultant

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This article was originally published on November 9th, 2018 – however, in May 2020 Google has updated the process on how to get Drive-Thru hours on your GMB officially, so I’ve updated this article to avoid misinformation.

Google My Business is a must-have tool in a local SEO’s arsenal.

Actually, scratch that, in any SEO’s arsenal – I use it to influence brand real estate on SERPs, and I use Google Posts to show off where I’m speaking next, new blog posts, and other cool things.

However, one thing that has started to appear in Google My Business listings (notably in America) is split opening hours, such as this example of Velocity Credit Union, in Austin TX.

But as you probably know, in Google My Business you can only edit one set of opening hours – so how is Google discovering these split business hours for different services at the same location?

Adding Secondary Hours To GMB

As part of a new update to Google My Business listings, and potentially in response to enforced changes in user behavior, GMB webmasters will soon be able to add “secondary hours” to their Google My Business listings.

Secondary hours include and cover drive-thru hours, takeout only hours, visiting hours, collection/pick-up hours, and hours for the elderly only shopping.

This feature is believed to be made official in mid-May 2020.

There are some examples of this already in the wild, such as for the Whole Foods Market in Columbus Circle, NY – but it’s not clear if this is from the new GMB features, or a Knowledge Graph pick-up, similar to the Anchor Bank example below.

Google My Business listings now displaying special secondary hours, manageable from the GMB dashboard.

 

Drive-Thru Hours On GMB Aren’t New

From analysis of how a few companies have been achieving this historically, including Velocity Credit Union and Anchor Bank, there is a strong correlation between three things resulting in Drive-Thru hours being presented on a Google My Business listing.

For a long time there has been no guaranteed way of implementing this on your Google My Business listing, or even managing them – for example, Anchor Bank who had achieved them didn’t even know how to change them!

Google’s official stance on populating these hours was:

The different hours are pulled automatically by our system since that business has separate pages for public facing departments. We can’t guarantee that every business will get their hours listed like this on the Knowledge Graph, but in order to have it you’ll need to set up separate pages for each department so our system can find the information.

From this Google statement, we know it’s part of the knowledge graph – and we also know that Google is processing individual locations on a URL by URL basis, so multi-location businesses need a separate page on the site listing business details and not a single “master” location page.

The Correlations

This also supports the correlations that I’ve been seeing. These correlations being:

  • Structure (contact page where you’d expect it in the top nav, URL to read “contact” or similar for single locations, and correct structure for multiple-location businesses)
  • Contact page itself presenting information upfront (nothing hidden in tabs, expandable <div> classes – in most cases – or in unrenderable JS)
  • Plain HTML tables and semantic HTML (list items, structured data)

Looking at the Velocity Credit Union page, their Google My Business listing used in the link example is on 610 East 11th Street in Austin.

Now the URL from the Google My Business listing just goes to the homepage, and all locations are listed on a single page in an expandable <div>, which isn’t amazing but Google is still processing and understanding the relevant information enough to trust it and pull it through to the Google My Business listing – this is one of the exceptions to the correlations (i.e. page structure and expandable <div> classes).

Using simple HTML for a table, Google is able to understand it, much like it understands lists (ordered and unordered) and accordions enough to use them for featured snippets.

 

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Last Update: May 2020

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  • Brian Hilson

    I haven’t been able to get the drive through hours working on a clients website, and I’m wondering if you have any other tips. So far I’ve tried:
    -Creating separate pages for each location, had those pages indexed

    -Putting the hours info in tables
    -Nothing hidden with javascript, etc.

    Any other tips you can provide? The last thing I can think of is adding structured data, but this would only apply to open hours, not drive through, as there’s no official schema for drive through.

    • Dan Taylor

      Hi Brian,

      It’s a bit a of strange one unfortunately as there is no guaranteed way to get them to appear. As highlighted in the article, Anchor Bank have them appearing as part of their knowledge graph but don’t know how to change them.

      From experience, structured data won’t help as it’s not officially supported — I’d focus on creating signals external to the site to show the two sets of hours to further influence the knowledge graph.

      Dan

      • Brian Hilson

        Ok, thanks for answering my question anyway. I have a feeling that at some point in the relatively near future they will offer the ability to change this directly, or define a way to structure the data on our websites so it can accurately be pulled in.

        I called Google business support, and the only advice they had was to add the hours to external sites like Yelp, Facebook, etc.

        • Dan Taylor

          Hi Brian,

          Exactly – having the information in as many places as possible will help influence the data set that is being recognised by the knowledge graph, similar to how citations work within local.