As of this week a free Google Business Website can be yours in as little as 5 -10 minutes. The site is offered by the Google My Business platform that previously was a combination of the Get Your Business Online (GYBO) effort from Google and the Google Local Directory listings (Google Map listings).
I tried the tool out today on a client’s listing. The result looked good, so I made one for my own website. I also made a “how to” video as I built the page for my site and if you want a step by step that way you can see the video at this link.
To build a free Google Business Website follow these steps:
- Go to Google My Business and sign in
- Either create or claim a listing for your business if you do not already have one.
- Now that you have a verified listing you open the “Manage Listing” link
- On the menu on the left side of the screen select “Website”
- Select a color/font theme from among the 10 offered
- Edit your business name and tagline and add a business description, save.
- Add photos and or change your cover photo
- Set your domain. Either use a Google supplied subdirectory based domain with your company name as an editable part of it or buy a custom domain from Google Domains.
- Review and publish your new website.
Testing The Site
The resulting website is not bad looking and because I could create one for my business on a custom Google link and provide my own title and description I feel it will not compete with my main website. Instead I think it will do what I would want it to do and fill another spot in search results with my company name which might otherwise have been occupied by a competitor’s website link.
As with other web properties you can enhance this free Google business website with links to your main website and/or social networks too. Additionally it is good to employ best practices on this site in terms of SEO as well. I wanted to see if Google put their money where their mouth is when designing these sites. Google is a big proponent of proper web design that allows websites to load fast and efficiently on desktop and mobile. They have developed various free tools that allow website owners to see what needs to be improved.
One such tool is the new Google Mobile Friendly test which combines the old mobile friendly test with the Pagespeed Insights test. It measures on site SEO elements and provides a numerical score from one to one hundred. The scores are also color graded (red, orange, green) according to how well it scores. A good website should strive for green scores across all 3 elements of the test (mobile friendliness, mobile loading speed and desktop loading speed). It is hard to get 100% on all 3 categories but it is possible to get a green score on all three.
I ran my new free Google business website through the new mobile friendly tool. It scored a 94 (green) on Mobile Friendliness, a 74 (yellow) on Mobile Speed and a 84 (yellow) on Desktop Speed. I can’t totally blame Google for that though as one of the things that the test said needed fixing was optimizing the images and that is something I could (and should do). If I do that all 3 scores on the test may very well be green.
All in all I think these are nice little websites. If you already have a website they can make a nice addition to your web presence. If you do not have a website they can be something to get started with. I am pretty sure that you can also use these websites as landing pages for Adwords Express advertising campaigns and that is likely another use that Google envisioned for them. If you need any help setting up your Google My Business listing or your free Google business website feel free to contact me.