Google officially launched its free website builder within Google My Business. Is this tool for you? Let's take a look at the pros and cons of this new Google feature.
To create a free website with Google, you need a Google Account and a Google My Business listing. If you do not have one yet, it will only take you 5 minutes to create one, as explained here👇
Once your Google My Business listing is completed, Google will immediately display a preview of your website. Isn't this really nice of them? ... 😉
If you already have a Google My Business listing, you should find the "website" tab in your menu.
With a website builder within Google My Business, Google targets local merchants, self-employed and micro-businesses for which a single-page website is enough. Do not look for e-mail captures, complex navigation or advanced layout features. You will not find any.
Why bother then? Because a Google My Business website will be automatically updated as soon as you change any information in your business listing.
In fact, your Google My Business website mostly relies on the information included in your listing to propose a first version of your site so you can modify it ... a little. Allowed modifications include cover image, color palette, typography, page title, description and more detailed presentation.
To add photos, you will browse your previously downloaded photos or upload new ones. Every new image will also appear on your Google My Business listing.
After you publish your site for the first time, Google My Business will ask for a domain name for your site. If you don't already have one or don't want to use the one freely provided by Google, you will be able to buy your own domain name directly from Google My Business.
By enabling local and small businesses to easily and affordably create websites based on information provided in their Google My Business listings, Google primarily targets small businesses without website and without technical skills to create one. So, initiative is great ... and market is huge! In less than 5 months, 120.000 small businesses have already created their site in India!
If Google's offer is limited to a single page with few modification possibilities, this page will be enough for many small companies with no precise objectives in terms of digital marketing. In their case, indicating opening hours and putting a direct call button summarizes their marketing strategy. And it's okay like that.
But for any business with a strategy that goes beyond local search results in Google Search and Google Maps, it will not be enough.
No place for a logo, a title overlapping with a personalized visual, no navigation, no external links, no SEO tools ... These are limitations that will not cut it for more digitally advanced companies.
But Google's goal was probably not there.
After all, the latest screen summarizes Google's intention behind its website builder. Every new business that creates its first website with this tool is another potential customer for Adwords, Google's tool for paid advertising. 😅