Updated: May 3, 2020
Just recently, Google launched a program known as Website Builder within Google My Business.
This was a step directed at assisting startups to create websites at an easy and affordable process.
So how much is it?
This tool is entirely free to use, however, to have a custom domain like .biz, .com, or .net, customers will have to buy one of the domains merchandised through Google domains.
So here's the scoop,
Website Builder comes with some impressive features, but the most notable one is the fact that it is free to use.
At an extra cost, this tool will give a custom domain name, and it will be able to update automatically based on what information you provide your Google My Business page.
Website Builder is also very easy to use and even manage it on your mobile phone.
Once you complete the steps below, you can go ahead to place your ads in AdWords, which can be a great ROI.
To use the Website Builder, it is very important to note that you will need to have a verified listing on Google My Business.
Advantages of the Google's Website Builder
It becomes very easy to create a website once you have this great tool. Once you have this tool, it can be highlighted as your website on your profile for Google My Business.
This tool is very easy to manage in the profile for Google My Business. With this toll, adding custom cover photos and other images becomes very easy, and besides all, it is very mobile friendly.
Website Builder comes with an embed of Google Map and can also highlight the information on business hours and information.
But it's not all good
It is only available with a one-page site and therefore restricting a choice of designing other pages.
The tool also cannot add the titles to a custom page as well as Meta descriptions or even any kind of Meta. This tool does not have buttons for social sharing; not even Google +.
The Website Builder cannot also include structured data markup and can also not add alt text to a particular image.
These are just some of the few drawbacks of using this tool, from the SEO perspective.
Should Startups Use the Google My Business Website Builder?
This tool can work best for those who do not have the time to create a sizeable, few pages website on established platforms like WordPress or Shopify. It would also be great to buy a custom domain as opposed to using the default URL. If you already have a custom domain purchased elsewhere, eg. GoDaddy or Network Solutions, you could forward the domain and setup Forward with masking. This option will allow you to enter Meta Tags for search engine crawlers to follow the following fields:
Title - Displays at the top of the browser window and in search results (title can be no more than 80 characters)
Description - A short description of your website to display in search engine results (description can be no more than 150 characters)
Keywords - A list of comma-separated keywords that describes the content and purpose of your website (keywords can be no more than 500 characters)
For more on this, get in touch with DKM Agency
Step 1: Add and Claim your Business Click on START NOW. Already have a Google My Business Account? Jump to Step 6 and sign in to your Google My Business account and go to the dashboard of your business listing on the platform.
Step 2: You are brought to a page that requires you to sign in with a gmail or business email account. If you do not have an account created follow these steps to great a gmail account. Click Next twice in this step
Step 3: After signing into your new account to claim your business you need to fill out the information that is required to locate and claim your business. When choosing your category select your service that is your top priority. You can add others later. Click Continue
Step 4: Click on the checkbox to authorize that you can manage and verify this provided information and Click Continue
Step 5: You will be given 1 of 2 or 2 options to verify your free business listing with Google. One option is by telephone or the second option which is postcard in the mail which takes 7-10 days. Sometimes you are only giving the option for postcard if it is not a recognized business number.
Step 6: Once you have claimed your Google My Business account or have signed in to your already claimed business account. You need to Click on Website in the left side navigation strip.
Step 7: Click on GET STARTED to create a free and customizable website (landing page) based on information from your business listing. Once you click on the button take a sip of your coffee or wine
Step 8: Click on the blue check-mark on the right hand sign of the purple box. NOTE: Your site updates automatically whenever you change your business info in Google My Business
Step 9: The fun begins and you may Click on the pop up box to the left that says "Pick a theme for your site"
Step 10: Select your theme that best represents your business/brand and Click on the gray checkmark
Step 11: Once you have clicked on the checkmark for your theme a new option will appear which is "Tell your story." Click on the blue circle
Step 12: Fill out the Headline (which technically is the title tag & h1 tag). Fill out the Description. Chose your primary button (CTA: call-to-action). Fill out the summary header and summary body (did not find a character limit). We are not exactly sure which of the Description, Summary Header or Summary Body is used as the description in the search results. Once this information is filled out Click on the gray checkmark
Step 13: Load up this section with your best and most memorable photos. Whether you are a contractor, hair salon, restaurant, tax advisor etc. DO NOT LEAVE THIS BLANK. Pictures are worth a thousand words and they complement the landing page.
Browse photos from your computer and upload. Once you have your photos uploaded you can Click on Select. You can always add more later.
Step 14: When you are all done customizing your site, simply Click on PUBLISH. Once you click on publish the box will disappear so just click on PUBLISH again.
Final Step: Create a website address for your site/landing page OR Buy a custom domain (this option is seen after clicking on next). IF you already of an established website attached to your domain you need to UNCHECK the box that says "Make this my website address on Google Search and Maps." If this is checked off it will change the URL on the GMB profile and send traffic from the search results and google maps to this landing page. Once you have chose a website address Click on Next.
Please share your landing page domains below in the comments; more site traffic never hurts and who knows... our site traffic may be your next customer!