Google offers a free one-page website builder designed for small businesses.
Anyone with a Google business profile can use this tool to create and edit websites in minutes on desktop or mobile.
Since Google’s website builder is an extension of Google Business Profile, you will need to have a full list in order to use it.
Information and photos from your Google Business Profile are pulled automatically to create a basic site, which you can customize with themes, images, and text.
Each time you update your Google Business Profile, the changes are also applied to your website.
How to create and publish your website
You will have the option to create and publish an auto-generated website when you first claim your Google Business Profile.
As you claim your profile, Google prompts you to create an associated website.
If you have already claimed your profile, follow the steps below to create a website.
To create your website:
- Log in to Company Profile Manager.
- Open the profile you want to manage.
- Click it Website menu to create your website.
Follow the instructions on the screen. When you’re satisfied, you can go ahead and post it for the world to see.
Most of the content will be pre-populated, but you can customize it to your liking.
You can edit these elements of your site:
- Theme: Choose from a selection of predefined options.
- Text fields: Such as the title and description.
- CTA button: Select the primary action you want customers to take, such as requesting a quote.
- Pictures: Choose a cover photo.
- business information: Update your business name and contact information.
- Links to external sites: link to other relevant URLs.
- menu items: Restaurants may list menu items on their website.
You can come back and edit the above sections of your website at any time.
How to link other people to your website
Once your website is published, you will no doubt want to share it with your customers and build links.
By default, sites created with Google Business Profile will follow the domain structure: “your company name.company.site”.
If you want a more shareable URL, you can purchase a custom domain from your Account Settings menu. Google will automatically connect your site to the domain you purchased.
To purchase a custom domain for the website created through your Business Profile on Google, publish your site and click “Buy Domain” when prompted (or in your Account Settings menu).
You can then search for domain names and purchase a domain name.
If you choose not to purchase a custom domain, there is no cost associated with using Google’s website builder. Website hosting is free, with or without a custom domain.
Once your site is published, updating it is as easy as updating your Google Business Profile. Updates to your business listing will be automatically applied to your website.
Google’s website builder is limited by design, lacking many features you’d find in a more robust content management system.
However, that’s the tradeoff you get by using a free, user-friendly tool that also comes with free hosting. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s arguably better than having no website at all.
For more information, see Google Help Center.
Feature image: Cameron Prins/Shutterstock