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Don’t Get Lost in the Shuffle: A Guide to Google Business Profile Updates

an image with the words 'Messaging' in vibrant, bold 3D letters are at the top and center

Is your business listed on Google Maps? If so, you’ve likely benefitted from Google Business Profile (GBP). But hold on to your hats, business owners, because Google is making some changes! This guide will break down everything you need to know about the recent Google Business Profile discontinuations and how to keep your online presence thriving.

In March 2024, Google stopped offering website creation through GBP. This means those simple, one-page websites built through your profile are no longer accessible. While you won’t lose your listing itself, users trying to reach your website through your GBP will hit a dead end after June 10th, 2024.

But wait, there’s more! On July 31st, 2024, Google will also be discontinuing the messaging features within GBP. This includes both Google Business Messages (GBM) and the chat functionality. Previously, customers could message you directly through your profile. Now, they’ll need to find alternative ways to connect.

Subheading 1: Keeping Your Listing Up-to-Date is Key

While some features are going away, the core functionality of Google Business Profile remains. Here’s what you can do to ensure your listing stays visible and informative:

Update Your Contact Information:

Double-check your listed phone number, website address (if you have a new one!), and email to make sure customers can easily reach you.

Respond to Reviews Promptly:

Positive reviews build trust, while negative ones can deter customers. Take the time to acknowledge and address both.

Regularly Update Photos and Information:

Showcase your latest products, services, or promotions with high-quality photos. Keep your business description, hours of operation, and category selections accurate.

Subheading 2: Exploring Alternative Communication Channels

With the messaging features disappearing, you’ll need to choose alternative ways for customers to connect. Here are a few options:

Leverage Social Media:

Encourage customers to message you on your social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.

Third-Party Messaging Services:

Consider using a dedicated business messaging service like Whatsapp Business or live chat software for your website.

Include a Contact Form on Your Website:

Make it easy for visitors to send you a message directly through a contact form.

Subheading 3: Building a Strong Website Presence

Since website creation through GBP is no longer available, consider building a dedicated website for your business. This gives you complete control over your online presence and allows you to showcase your brand in a more comprehensive way.

Don’t be afraid to seek help from a web developer or utilize website building platforms like Wix or Squarespace. Once your website is up and running, update your GBP listing with the new website address.

Conclusion

While Google Business Profile is undergoing some changes, it remains a valuable tool for local businesses. By staying informed about the discontinuations and taking proactive steps to adapt, you can ensure your online presence remains strong and continues to attract customers. Remember, a well-maintained listing and a strong website are key to thriving in today’s digital landscape.

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