Google officially launched its Website Builder within Google My Business in an effort to help small businesses easily and affordably create websites. This is a great initiative, as there are many small businesses that do not have a website.
Google’s Marissa Nordahl made the announcement it in a Google My Business Help thread on Tuesday, June 13. Here is what she wrote:
One of the most common actions people take when exploring a Google listing is to go to the website, but we know that getting a website can still be a challenge for a lot of small business owners around the world: too complex, too expensive, too time consuming. Millions of small businesses (60% of small businesses globally) don’t yet have a website.
Website is a free tool that allows small business owners to create a simple, striking website in just a few minutes. It’s easy, and you can create and edit your new website from your computer or your phone!
The tool is free to use, but to get a custom domain (such as a .com, .biz or .net), you will have to purchase a domain through Google domains, or else you will be stuck with an ugly URL such as yourbusinessname.business.site — which, presumably, would be less memorable to users and lack the ranking potential of a .com site.
Some notable features of the Website Builder include the following:
- It’s free to use.
- You get a custom domain name (at an additional cost).
- It’s mobile-friendly.
- It automatically updates.
- You can manage it on your mobile phone.
- You can easily place ads on the site.
Note that you need to have a verified listing on Google My Business to use the website builder. A quick site:business.site check within Google shows about 113,000 results, which consist of both US and international small business owners. Business types include real estate, travel & tourism, computer training and software, summer camps, pest control and many others.
I decided to take a stab at creating my own site for a mock local business profile I created and verified. The process took me just over five minutes to get up and running. Here is what the site looks like: http://tony-seo-shop.business.site/
Here are some screen shots of the process for creating and editing the site.
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