What It Is
“Get Your Business Online” is a new free tool available through the Google My Business Platform.
The tool allows you to create a single page website from within your Google My Business account, with limited time and effort. This tool allows you to:
- Create a single webpage using a templated design (several to choose from)
- Add your business name and a description of your business
- Add a phone number and address
- Add photos of your business and your logo
- Add business hours
- Get a free domain & web hosting (for a year)
This new offering is being slowly phased in and may not be available to all users in Canada yet.
What We Like
- Looks easy & straightforward
- May be a good option for very small businesses who do not have time or money to invest in a website (but see below)
- Integrated design with Google My Business means everything is in one place
- Templates are simple and attractive
- It takes only 10 minutes to setup (but see below)
- The design options are very limited, you can only create a single webpage (some reports say up to 3).
- The domain name contains “google” and is not custom to your business (unless you pay an additional fee)
- After a year, your will have to pay the partner hosting company (varies by country) a fee to keep your site up and running.
What We Are Concerned About
We are not sure how these pages might be treated in the search rankings.
Generally in SEO we don’t expect a single-page, brand new website to outrank long-standing competitors in the search results. However, since this is a Google product, there is a chance it may be handled differently, in the same way that ranking factors for Google My Business listings are different than ranking of website listings.
The AdWords Express button
Although this is likely the primarily motivation of Google providing this product, you are unlikely to have good AdWords success with this tool. Campaigns that are directed to a single-page, generic site are not likely to have good quality scores. This will likely lead to more frustration with AdWords than profitable results.
It will be very easy to make the mistake of creating a new website when you already have one. Depending on how the Google search algorithm treats these new websites, you could end up negatively impacting your existing website by creating one of these sites. We hope to learn more about this in the coming months as we monitor how these listings are treated in the search results.
An Influx of Frustrated Customers
Okay, we are not concerned about this really. Easy fixes in the digital world are rarely successful long term. A single page website may perform well for a while, but to remain competitive you will eventually need a proper website that aligns both with your customer’s expectations and the search engine algorithms. We expect that once your “Get My Business Online” website is up and running, you will quickly realize its limitations. This is where we often step in with clients who have similar sites (like on Wix or Squarespace) and recommend converting the website to a more functional platform like WordPress or Drupal.
What are your thoughts on Google’s Get Your Business Online? Are you thinking of trying it?