Google+ Business Free Website
Google will automatically use the information and photos from your Google My Business listing to create a site that you can customise with themes, photos and text. Your free site will automatically update whenever you change your business information or post new photos. Your website will also be optimised for display on desktop, laptop and mobile devices. Read more.
Elements you can edit
- Text fields, like “Headline” and “Description”
- Photos: On the website toolbar, select the Photos button to upload images to the gallery. You can change your cover photo from clicking the “Change cover photo “ button in the preview. The cover photo you select for your website will be the same one that appears in your Google My Business listings.
- Business information, including business name, address, hours of operation, phone number and business category. Note: Edits to business information won’t appear on Google Maps until your business is verified, though you can still publish your website.
- Links to external sites, such as for ordering or reservations
Optimise your website Tips from Google
To make your website appealing to customers, consider these best practices:
- Your cover photo will appear when customers find your business on Google, so be sure to select a quality photo that is relevant to your business.
- Photos should be in focus and well-lit.
- Use other photos to show what your business offers, such as your products, services, photos of your team or location. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you may want to show photos of different kinds of food you prepare and the interior of your restaurant.
- Use the text editor to highlight your products, services and unique value to customers.
- Your “Headline” should stress your main selling point and invite readers to learn more about your business.
- Use the “Description” and “Summary header” to briefly expand on your unique selling point.
- Use the “Summary body” to offer relevant information. For instance, if you’re a restaurant, you may want to offer a few sample menu items. If you offer a repair or professional service, you may want to explain what kind of jobs you perform and stress qualities such as dependability, response times, experience or value.
- Also use the “Summary body” to link to other pages, such as an online ordering or reservation system, your Facebook page or other pages where customers can learn more about your business.
Using the Info item on the side navigation menu, you can enter or change basic business information.
- Make sure that it is easy for customers to contact you. Include the hours that you’re open, the correct business address and the correct contact information.
- Enter any “Amenities”, “Highlights” and “Offerings”, as well as payment and reservation policies, so customers know more about your business and know how to reserve and pay for your services. These do not appear on your website but are useful to add to your listing.
- You can also include shop codes, labels and an AdWords location extension phone number.
Search Engine Land Review The New Google Website Builder
Some of you may heave heard of Search Engine Land, an American company offering a wealth of SEO tips and tools on their website and blog. Here’s their review of the new Google website builder.
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.
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.
SEO Lady Google Website: http://seolady.business.site/
Within the website builder, you have multiple theme options. You can select the color scheme and font that best fits your business branding.
You have the option to edit site elements such as Headline, Description and Body content.
You have the ability to change your site address, buy a custom domain or unpublish your website.
Beware The Pitfalls
UNCHECK the box which pops up already pre filled. If you don’t uncheck this box your Google+ Business listing will no longer go to your website.
No Thanks to buying a custom domain
There’s no need for you to do this, obviously Google is taking this opportunity of offering something for nothing to upsell it’s services. Cheeky, but understandable.
So, how does the Website Builder hold up, particularly with regard to SEO best practices? Here are my thoughts.
- Easy to create a website.
- Can be highlighted as your website on your Google My Business Profile.
- Easy to add custom cover photo, images, etc.
- Includes Google Map embed and highlights contact and business hours info.
- Can easily be managed in your Google My Business Profile.
- One-page site, no option to create additional pages.
- No ability to add custom page titles and meta descriptions (or any type of meta, for that matter).
- No Analytics integration.
- Lacks social sharing buttons.
- Lacks the ability to add structured data markup. Local Business Schema being the most relevant for small businesses.
- Cannot add alt text to images.
- Cannot add additional call-to-action buttons.
As you can see, there are quite a few negatives from an SEO perspective. Hopefully, Google will continue to update and expand this tool to provide businesses with more robust functionality.
Read the original article here