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Are you having a hard time dealing with your technical team for your small business and want a website that displays your services and opening hours? Does it need to be difficult? Absolutely not. Luckily, with Google being a technological powerhouse for many tools, they’re also helping local businesses with tools such as the (Google My Business) GMB Website Builder. This step-by-step guide will help create a website with the Google My Business website builder tool for free and publish it for your customers to see.
This is a comprehensive guide that isn’t going to solve your SEO problems or create you the best site in the world. It’s simply a tool built by Google to allow small and local business owners to get their information online fast. The beauty of the Google My Business Website Builder is that it’s not technical at all. Well, unless you want to connect a custom website name(also referenced as a domain name). Then you may need a tiny push. – We can help; pop a comment or get in touch.
Something to note before we begin, the Google My Business website builder does not currently support eCommerce. You would need to link it to a place where you may have a store—for example, eBay, Etsy, Amazon Store, to name a few. We will run an instance of this as we go along, stick around.
Before we dive right in, do you have a Google My Business Listing?
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a tool created by Google for local searches. The tool helps visitors discover more from their local area by displaying a result of those nearby businesses that match the search query. If you are new to Google My Business and do not have a listing, see our comprehensive guide to creating one for your business.
Why Use Google My Business Website Builder?
- Google My Business is completely free. For any business owner, this is music to their ears! As a perk to having a Google My Business listing, you have full access to the website builder. In the later stage of this article, we will see what’s possible.
- On a day to day basis, running a business can be tricky. Where do you find the time to call your developer or website designer to make some updates? With GMB’s website builder, it’s all at your time and convenience.
- Cut out the complications of wanting to list your services and tell your customers what you do. The GMB website builder extracts the information in your listing and populates it in the structure of a website. – Pretty fascinating, I must say. It’s also a one-page website, which means you cannot create more than one page for your website. Google has simplified it all. You’ll see what I mean shortly.
Set Up Your Google My Business Listing
Setting Up Your New Business Website
What you’ll need
- A Google Account
- A Google My Business Listing with information about your business
- A coffee or tea. It’s time to rock out a new site!
Quick note: You do not need to wait to verify your Google My Business listing before creating your website. You can keep going with this, and when your postcard from Google comes with the code, you can then verify your account. Also, if you’re setting up a new GMB account, they’ll ask you along the way to create a free website based on the information you provide. Be sure to tick this if you see it! – It will take you to the builder set up along the way.
Step 1 – Your Dashboard
Google customises all dashboards based on the business. For example, someone who has a restaurant might have bookings and a menu, whereas someone who sells a service may have services and products. Be sure to have inputted your information correctly.
In our example, we’ll be creating a nifty stationery store with some dope pens.
Step 2 – Choosing Your Theme From The Website Builder
The website builder comes pre-packed with a bunch of themes you can choose from and apply. Now, it’s important to remember that there are limitations to the builder. For example, we do not have the flexibility to change our colour palette or update the font face. It’s pretty much a ‘use what you get’ type of scenario here.
At the time of writing this post, there are ten themes you can choose from for your quick business website.
The themes will provide your website with the primary look and feel it. It’ll give people a vibe when they first land on it, so be sure to stick closely to what fits your brand imaging the most. For example, in my case, I’m a stationery store that retails in daily pens and other forms of stationery.
I’d be looking to go for something fun, sophisticated and inspire visitors to want to buy my awesome pens.
The ‘Retro’ theme looks pretty cool to me, connects me to fun, writing, school stationery. Our product is going to be flying off the shelf!
Step 3 - Edit
The edit section doesn’t technically allow us to edit all the information on the website. We can only edit the button, headline, description, summary header and the text of that summary. It sounds pretty limited. That’s because it is. For the other information on your website, Google gathers that information from the hours you fill, posts you create and more.
Step 3.1 - Choosing Your Button
Google’s website builder allows you to add a call to action of your choice from the options it provides. The options presented are different and range from business to business. In just a moment, I’ll show you two examples of the call to actions it provides—one from our pen store and the other from the restaurant business. You’ll have a pretty good idea of what is available out there.
Step 3.2 - Headline
By default, Google will populate the name of your business as the headline. You can change this to whatever you want. Typically, this is where companies put their attractive messages. Some clearly state what they do. For example: “We sell awesome pens you’ll love to use every single day”.
Step 3.3 - Description
Putting down a description can be something more about your business. It can be an attractive offer if you’re running one. Google would recommend including your business name and the area that you are serving within that description.
Step 3.4 - Summary Header & Summary Body
As you fill out this information for your business, look out for the little tips Google gives in the small text above the fields you’re writing in. The summary header is essential because if the information is good enough to represent your business, it’ll help them rank you locally even better.
On the right-hand side of the Google website builder, you’ll not see a change until you scroll further down, and you can see a light grey box where you have the opportunity to let your customers know about your services and products! Remember to keep this information attractive and engaging.
Step 4 - Updates
On your Google website for your business, you will see a section on the right-hand side that displays updates. From your Google My Business listing, every time you create a post or an update, it will be shown here. Posting updates is a great way to keep your customers up to date with your business and display new offers and promos.
Step 5 - Reviews
Reviews are a great way to build credibility for your business. Your visitors will see what your customers are saying about your establishment with Google Reviews.
Your website would get automatically updated based on the information submitted to your Google My Business page. Testimonials instil trust among future customers who are looking to visit you or buy from you.
Step 6 - Photos
Using your website builder, navigate to the photos section to add images for your products or services. On your Google website builder, you’ll be able to add as many photos as you like.
Pro Tip: Avoid using too many stock photos; your customers will connect to your real food photos and your real pen photos that they can see themselves enjoy and use.
In a thumbnail form, the photos uploaded about your products and services appear in the section named ‘gallery’. It’s essential to make sure that you do not use too many stock photos but photos that are real for your business. In my example, I have not taken these awesome photos. I’ve just borrowed them from Google.
If you find it hard to get some images, check out these top 3 resources for royalty-free images.
What are royalty-free images?
These are images that you can use free of charge without having to pay for them. Designers and photographers upload their best work for free so people can use them on social media, marketing campaigns, websites and more.
It’s nice but not mandatory to credit these designers and authors for their work. It’s the ecosystem of helping out others online.
Canva – Collaborate & create amazing graphic design for free
Unsplash: Beautiful Free Images & Pictures
Free Stock Photos: Pexels
Step 7 - More
The more section has three components for your website. We will dive into each one of these in just a moment. This section in Google’s website builder provides settings to your site, not entirely used for customisations on design.
Step 7.1 - Publish
There are two ways of publishing your website. There is a big juicy blue ‘publish’ button on the top-right side and from the ‘more’ section. Once you hit this button, it will make your website live to the web address assigned. We’ll talk about your website name in a bit of detail momentarily. Let’s keep moving.
Step 7.2 - Getting Customers
Google has always been helpful when it comes to helping business owners with their accounts, websites, ads and more. They’ve implemented a section to help businesses get more customers with various techniques. We will not be going into this too much, but just a mention for your exploration. The section encompasses:
- Promote your site on Google
- Describe your business and offerings
- Add more photos
- Share your site
Step 7.3 - Website Language
The website language section is pretty nifty; many people find it hard to change their language of the websites. Google provide this great tool to allow you to set the language for specific groups.
For example, If you’re creating a website for the people of Spain, you can change the language to Spanish. Why is this beneficial to know? You’ll be attracting a particular audience to your website, and it makes all the sense to have a language that they will understand fluently. If your website is easy to use and understand, you’ll notice that you’ll convert more traffic and get more leads.
The dropdown in this section does come with limitations on the languages available, but I suppose these are the most common ones. If your desired language does not show in the Google Website Builder language dropdown, leave it default.
Step 8 - Updating Your Website Information
Excellent, so far so good. Across this guide, we mentioned that the website information is pre-populated based on the information you provided during the creation of your listing.
The information on your website is available for updates at any time, do not worry too much if you made a mistake or need to update something later. Whenever you update this information, your site gets updated automatically.
Here’s the cherry on the cake, on your smartphone, download the Google My Business app. Having the app will help you stay on top of your reviews, opening hours, posts for updates and more. Super easy. Also, if any information gets updated on this app, guess what! It updates it on your website too. Pretty cool if you ask me.
Step 9 - Your Website Name
To complete your website, you can add a unique name using the Google Website Builder. To do this:
- Select the pencil icon near your website name
- add your desired website name
- hit ‘publish’ when you’re ready to go live with your site.
If you have a custom domain name for your business, you can use this too.
Now that you’ve got your website all ready to go, it’s time to start sharing it and promoting your business! You should now create an excellent site for your new or existing businesses using Google’s powerful website builder. The information you input into your Google My Business page will reflect on your published website, saving you a bunch of time along the way.
To make the most of your site, be sure to post regular updates of your business using your Google My Business Dashboard on your browser or via the GMB mobile app. Posting these updates will help keep your content and customers up to date.
Now that your website is ready, it’s time to start attracting customers to your website and generating fantastic leads for your business. Regardless if you’re a serviced based or product based website, your customers can either contact you or start hitting on the ‘Buy Now’ button on your products.
You can take your website to the next level by using Google Sites. Google Sites is powerful and a little more advanced than the website builder we just used. You have more flexibility and can build your multi-page site, from scratch, for free.
We’ll be making a step-by-step guide on this soon. Are you interested in taking your website to the next level? Join our list of small business owners who love to be notified of the new guides, tips and tools that can help grow their business.
Most frequent questions and answers
If you cannot see your business listing or the website builder tab, you may have not actually created a location for your business. Once you’ve got your business listed, you should see it on your dashboard.
If you’re still stuck, feel free to get in touch and we’ll do our best to support you.
If you’ve created your website on Google’s website builder, your website will automatically be linked to your listing.
If for whatever reason your website is not displaying on your local listing. Copy your URL and paste it into your ‘info’ section of your site.