Google recently announced the sunset of its G+ content sharing platform. The formal end date for the consumer version is April 2nd, 2019. Here’s what you need to know, and what action you should take to keep your web presence up to date.
What this means for your chiropractic website
The first thing to do is check your website for links to Google Plus. Social media icons in the header and footer are the most common locations for G+ links. You should also check any social sharing options on your website for Google +1 features. Those +1s will not work once the platform has been shut down.
Did you know? Google started shutting down unused Google+ pages in March of last year, so this announcement should not come as a surprise. There is a chance your page has been deactivated already, so make sure to check for 404 ‘page not found’ errors.
Check in with your chiropractic website provider to see if your social links are up to date. You may as well check them all while you’re at it — Broken links to Facebook, Yelp, and Twitter reflect poorly on a business.
The proper place to point your G+ icons to now is Google Maps. Patients can use your map listing to read your online reviews, look at photos, check office hours, find driving directions to your practice, and even call you directly from the mobile search results.
If you’re not sure what to look for, schedule a call with a ChiroHosting online marketing expert.
Why this is actually a good thing
When Google+ launched in 2011 it was intended to compete with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Eight years later, it's clear to see that Google+ was not the winning platform.
The removal of Google+ helps simplify the landscape. Google+ will disappear like the other former Google networks, such as Google Places, Google Local, and Google+ Local. Finally, these names are irrelevant and we can focus on the ones that matter:
- Google My Business (GMB)
- Google Maps
Think of Google My Business as your access point to control your business information, and Google Maps as the public-facing profile that patients see on the web.
Google+ might be a ghost town, but Google My Business is thriving and rolling out new and advanced features for small businesses all the time. If you haven’t already, you should really take ownership of your Google listing today. This will let you create Google Posts to place a call-to-action in the search results. You can also respond to your patients’ Google Reviews. That’s a great way to show patients you care, which will increase user engagement and drive more traffic to your website.
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