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Five moves to make before Google shuts your free business website

Google is stopping its free website feature for Google Business Profiles from March 1, 2024.

They shared this news recently, saying that Business Profiles websites will no longer be available. If someone tries to go to these websites after that date, they will be sent to the matching Google Business Profile instead. However, this redirection will only work until June 10, 2024. After that, trying to access these websites will show an error saying “page not found.” It’s a good idea for businesses using this service to make changes before these dates to avoid any issues.

The first step is to check your website setup. If your business utilizes a Google Business Profile website, your website’s URL would conclude with .business.site.

If it does, prepare for the transition. The transition will particularly affect the 78% of small businesses that rely on websites as a pivotal component of their marketing strategy, as revealed in Localsearch’s recent annual State of Small Business Survey. To assist small business owners in navigating these changes seamlessly, Localsearch, through its Executive Chair Daniel Stoten, offers expert insights and tips. 

In preparation for the impending alterations, here are some essential steps that small business owners with Google Business Profile websites should take:

Selecting an alternative solution

Choosing a new website provider is a crucial decision. Small businesses are advised to consider factors such as ease of use, cost, integration capabilities with marketing tools, security features, search-engine compatibility, and the provider’s reliability track record.

To continue having a website for your business, you could consider using a site builder, such as:

Wix

Squarespace

GoDaddy

Google Sites

Shopify

WordPress

Updating online presence

Once a new website is chosen, it is imperative to promptly update not only the Google Business Profile but also other online platforms, including Localsearch Business Profile, social media accounts, and any other profiles containing the website address.

This proactive measure should be executed before the March 1 deadline to prevent disruptions to online presence.

Adjusting Ad campaigns

For those running Google Ads or social media campaigns linked to their Google Business Profile websites, it is crucial to update the URLs in the ads to reflect the new website address. This adjustment should be completed before March 1 to ensure uninterrupted ad performance.

Customer communication

Business owners should proactively communicate with their customer base about the impending change in website address. Keeping customers informed about the transition will help them seamlessly locate the business online.

Ads campaigns linked to Google Business Profile websites

For Ads campaigns linked to a website from Google Business Profile, it is recommended to change the link before March 1 to avoid disruptions. Alternatively, businesses can opt to pause campaigns until the new website is operational.

Turnoff timeline for Google Business Profile Websites

Come March 1, Google will turn off all websites created through Google Business Profiles. Until June 10, visitors attempting to access the website will be redirected to the Business Profile. However, after June 10, they will encounter a “page not found” error.

Localsearch Executive Chairman Daniel Stoten says: “Maintaining a robust online presence is crucial for businesses in our increasingly digital world. A well-designed website serves as the digital storefront for a business, allowing customers to discover services, gather information, and engage with the brand at their convenience. With Google phasing out websites created through Google Business Profiles, it’s imperative for businesses affected by this change to act swiftly.”

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