Google is Launching a New Website Builder for Small Businesses
The rumors have been confirmed. Earlier this June, Google released its own website builder feature that is available to every Google My Business account across the globe. The launch of Websites has been speculated for quite a few months, being first discovered in January when Google released a Beta version of its web builder in India. Now, it is available to everyone—but you may not have heard about it yet. Google is still keeping this hushed for some reason, without actively promoting or publicizing it. Here’s what we know:
Websites is now an option available on your GMB dashboard, through which you can build a simple, sleek website in under 5 minutes. Now, keep in mind that this is not your full-feature, multi-page, ecommerce website. This is a very minimal site that might be more comparable to a Facebook Page than a complex website. Basically, you pick a template, Google transfers over your GMB info (address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.), and you upload images.
Next, you have the option to keep the provided domain (yourbusinessname.business.site) or you can purchase or connect a domain that you already own. The website is then automatically formatted for mobile devices, and you are good to go!
You can then link your new website directly to your GMB listing, so when internet users search for your business and click the “website” option, they will be directed there.
From what everyone can speculate, Google’s Websites is meant to be a quick, simple site builder for small businesses who are just starting out and who need a basic website. This is a fast way to develop an online presence for business owners and entrepreneurs who are just beginning to dabble in the world of SEO.
If executed well, Google’s website could be phenomenal news for many business owners and web users. This product could provide a space for search engines to prioritize small businesses and their data, and could broaden the definition of small business marketing. However, there are still some flaws in the system. As mentioned before, the site building options are very minimal, lacking the ability to insert social media icons, structured data, title tag and meta-description editing, or even a simple call-to-action button, like “Contact Us.” When thinking about the multitude of rank signals that Google prioritizes (content, title tags, ease of access, outbound links, etc.), this website does not provide access to do a lot of those things.
Another issue particularly concerned with the long-term success of this program, is that Google is not advertising this. Even though it was just released this month, the wide majority of users do not even know about this. If this program is designed to target small business owners in small, local areas, they are not being targeted right now. This could be detrimental to this program.
We also still have questions about this new Google development. How will this affect rank signals, given the fact that the website builder lacks multiple features? Will Google give any sort of favoritism or preference to sites that are built with their system? Is this going to be a long-term, sustainable feature, or will it disappear in a year? When will this start being advertised?
Websites has a great potential, and could be a great gateway into the digital world for many small business owners and entrepreneurs. The ease and simplicity of this program could be a fantastic solution to many people. We’ll keep watching to see how this program evolves and keep you updated on the changes.
If you have questions on how to create a Google My Business account, check out our latest blog post that gives step-by-step instructions to get started. As always, contact Classy Brain for any of your SEO questions.
Read the original story here: http://blumenthals.com/blog/2017/06/13/google-mybusiness-website-builder-released-worldwide/