Google Business Profile Websites to be Shutdown

Google is shutting down Business Profile Websites. What does that mean? What are those? Does this affect me?
Google Business Profile Websites are being Shut Down

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In the ever-evolving landscape of online presence, Google recently dropped a bombshell on businesses using Google Business Profile Websites.

If you’re a local service business like a contractor, landscaper, or plumber, this change directly impacts your online storefront. Let’s delve into the details and explore what steps you should take to ensure a seamless transition.

What are Websites Made from Google Business Profile (GBP)

Initially launched in 2017 as Google My Business Website Builder, this tool aimed to simplify web creation for small businesses. When it was released Mike Blumenthal created a great article about the new feature which you can find here.

You may have noticed prompts in your Google My Business profile encouraging the creation of a  free simple business website, when you created your Google My Business profile (now called Google Business Profile).

The website builder was accessible through the Google My Business dashboard and allowed businesses to craft a basic webpage swiftly.

It seamlessly integrated essential information, such as business hours, directions, and photos, from the Google My Business listing.

Despite its limitations compared to comprehensive web development tools, it served as a valuable entry point for businesses to create a basic online presence (which is becoming essential for any business today).

 

Should you be worried? Do you have one of these sites?

These websites often have domains ending in business.site or negocio.site. If your business website falls under this category, it means it was created using Google Business Profile.

If you’re unsure if you have a Google Website, follow these steps to check:

  1. Go to business.google.com to access your Google Business Profile.
    • If you don’t have a Google Business Profile then you don’t need to worry (But you DO need to get a Google Business Profile!😉)
  2. Select the “edit-pencil” beside your business.
  3. Click the “Contact” Tab
  4. Then click the “edit-pencil” next to “Website”

If you have a website made with Google Business Profile: You’ll find the website under “You have a website created with Google.”

If you don’t have a website made with Google Business Profile: You can add a link to your website, but the “You have a website created with Google” section won’t show.

 

Understanding the Transition: Google Business Profile Websites Shutdown

In a recent announcement, Google declared the impending shutdown of websites made with Google Business Profiles.

The change is set to take effect in March 2024, affecting sites ending in business.site and negocio.site.

After the shutdown, customers attempting to access these websites will be automatically redirected to the respective Business Profiles.

Temporary Measures: What You Need to Know

This redirection is not a permanent solution; it’s a temporary fix that will be in place until June 10, 2024.

Business owners have a window of less than six months to update their online presence and avoid any disruptions.

Google emphasizes the importance of updating your Business Profile with a new website address before the deadline.

To learn more about these changes directly from Google, you can check their official information here.

Why the Change? Google’s Perspective

Google explains that websites made with Google Business Profiles are basic sites powered by the information on your Business Profile.

The move is geared towards encouraging businesses to invest in more robust and feature-rich website solutions.

A strong online presence is critical for the success of all types of businesses (not just e-commerce businesses). Google encourages local businesses to create websites with specific localized content.

This falls in line with information on how Google selects which websites to show for Google searches. In order to be at the top of this list, businesses need to have the proper type of website.

Google’s Suggestions: Alternative Platforms

To assist businesses in this transition, Google recommends using alternative platforms for building a new website.

Some of the suggested platforms include:

  • WordPress
  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • GoDaddy
  • Google Sites
  • Shopify

What You Should Do: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Check Your Domain

Verify if your website domain ends with business.site or negocio.site. If it does, understand that it will be removed from the website field on your Business Profile in March.

2. Explore Alternative Platforms

Consider exploring alternative website-building platforms. Whether it’s WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace, choose a platform that aligns with your business needs. Or give us a call and we’ll help you decide what is best for you.

3. Update Your Google Business Profile

Take immediate action to update your Google Business Profile with a new website address. This step is crucial to ensure a smooth transition for your customers.

4. Manage Ad Campaigns

If your Ads campaign is linked to a website from Google Business Profile, update the link before March 1 to avoid disruptions. Alternatively, you can choose to pause your campaigns during this transitional period.

5. Handle Third-Party Domains

For those using custom domain names to direct traffic to your Google Business Profile website, manage the transition. Redirect your third-party domain to a different website before June 10, 2024.

6. Update any Other References to your Old Website

If you have business cards, brochures, signage, email signatures or any other forms of marketing material that contain your “.business.site” you will need to make sure that you update this material to your new website.

 

The Role of Your Business Profile: Beyond Websites

While the website shutdown is a significant change, it’s essential to remember that your Google Business Profile remains a crucial tool for your online presence. It’s a space to showcase your business, share updates, and connect with customers.

important marketing pillars for local businesses

Making the Most of Your Business Profile

  • Showcase your business
  • Encourage customer reviews and reply to those reviews
  • Share important information and updates
  • Use photos to attract customers
  • Provide clear contact details

How Marketing4 Can Help

Navigating these changes might seem daunting, especially for businesses heavily reliant on their online presence. At Marketing4 Contractors, we understand the importance of a seamless transition.

Our services go beyond conventional marketing; we specialize in building websites tailored to the unique needs of local service businesses.

We know that this change might seem sudden for some businesses who were not planning on investing in a website this year. That is why we have a Single Page Website offering.

What comes with a one-page website?

  • We’ll help you purchase a domain, it costs like $20 per year
  • Create a one page website that can grow over time
  • Connect a form that people can fill out
  • Create a Google Analytics and Google Search Console account
  • A website that can scale with you as you grow
  • Simple hosting
  • Simple maintenance
  • Additional support

We build all of our websites on WordPress. This is NOT the right solution for every business. If you connect with us and we think you’d benefit from a Shopify or Wix website … we’ll be the first to admit it!

Learn more about our single page website offering.

While we acknowledge the changes brought by Google, we see this as an opportunity for businesses to enhance their online presence further.

If you’re uncertain about how to proceed or need assistance in building a new website, contact us for personalized guidance.

Remember, change is the only constant in the digital realm. By adapting to these changes with a proactive approach, your business can not only survive but thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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