VantagePoint Marketing Google My Business Theme

Google My Business Websites


FREE GOOGLE MY BUSINESS WEBSITE BUILDER

Should you build a free Google My Business Website?


Google My Business Websites are on the rise, and the question is- Should you build one? Google officially launched its Website Builder within Google My Business to help small businesses easily create websites, especially for those who don’t yet own their own website.

According to a Google My Business Help thread on Tuesday, June 13, 2017:

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. It 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!

First, let’s look back at how free website builders have been discussed as being counterintuitive to your online marketing goals. We’ve discussed the many reasons before why you should never use a free website builder.

  • Rented, Not Owned
  • Limited Pages, Limited Data
  • Poor Analytics
  • Poor First Impressions
  • Design Quality
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Responsive Programming
  • No Branding
  • Advertisements
  • No Support

And so on. So what’s different here?
What makes a Google My Business website so special?

Well, let’s begin with the obvious. It’s provided by Google. Every day, Google is providing new ways to improve their search engine results. With as fast as new websites are being added to the crazy-fast digital highways of the internet, Google needs you to provide as many breadcrumbs as possible to find their way back to you. This Google My Business Website is another one of those crumbs.

Unlike the other free website builders, this is a page designed to enhance your search engine optimization efforts. It is crazy simple to set it up, and offers direct opportunity to get your optimized content listed with the world’s most popular search engine.


The Test Drive

We were excited to give the new Google My Business website designer a shot when it was released in 2017. As a website design company, we’ve rolled with a number of Google’s design interface changes and were curious what to expect from the experience. It took just a few minutes to get going and with a little copy+paste action from our actual website, the new page was ready!

Take a look at our Google My Business Website http://vpointusa.business.site

The results?
It was so easy, there’s no reason NOT to do it!

 

Up-to-Date Information

We’d all love it if our clients and customers direct-dialed our website when they needed to reference our information. But the reality is that Google is most likely the first source of your business information for your audience. Whenever you update your contact information, operational hours or location, your Google My Business website is automatically updated for you. Bam, your information is streamlined along the first points of reference by those searching for you.

Website Design Costs

IT’S A FREE WEBSITE DESIGNER! That part is totally true. There are no costs to design the website or future costs for hosting the website. However, if you would like a custom domain (such as www.YourAmazingCompany.com), you will have to purchase a domain through Google domains at a minimal cost.

If you already have a website design you’re marketing with, you won’t need another custom domain and can use the Google provided URL to promote the page. But if this is your only website for the time being and you want to market this page, we strongly recommend a custom URL that is memorable for your audience. It’s worth the cost.

Website Builder Features

  • Free Website Builder- It’s Free!
  • Custom Domains Available.
  • Responsive Website Designs
  • Mobile-Friendly, yay.
  • Automatic Content Updates
  • Manage from Mobile
  • Market with Google AdWords

Note that you need to have a verified listing on Google My Business to use the website builder. If you don’t have a Google My Business Profile yet, or need assistance with managing your online presence, contact us today for your free consultation.


How to Build a Website with Google My Business

First, add your business profile and get verified, if you haven’t already. VantagePoint Marketing Google My Business Profile

 

Next, you’ll be prompted to start your free website with Google.

Google My Business Website Builder

Once you’ve entered Google’s Website Builder, there are four easy steps from here until your finished website:

  1. Theme: Each theme has a different heading font style and color combination to help customize the website design closest to your company’s brand identity. We went with the Nouveau theme for our page.

VantagePoint Marketing Google My Business Theme

2. Edit- This is where you get to share the fun details! Be concise and direct with your audience. Aligning your digital marketing and SEO with Google’s best practices is always your best bet for traffic. Include a bulleted summary of who you are or what you do. This is your elevator pitch, and the clock is ticking.

VantagePoint Marketing Content Development

 

3. Photos- This is the fun part! Make your website look as beautiful as your best images by uploading graphics that speak to your brand and service. Show off your latest projects and share an update team photo. This is the visual connection from your audience into who you are. Lacking on imagery that speaks for you? We’re happy to help you with an afforable onsite photo shoot with our photographer or custom graphic designs to enhance your brand.

Google My Business Website Adding Photos

4- Settings- Here’s a few more opportunities for your online marketing efforts.

  1. Your Site Address: You can take what Google suggests, or write your own GMB website address. You can customize the GMB url, but this will not give you a custom domain. (See next step)
  2. Buy Domain: Now THIS is the plave you can purchase www.YourAmazingCompany.com to advertize your new Google My Business website with.
  3. Publish Website: Encouraging words, aren’t they? Yes, it was that simple, my friend. We’re almost there.
  4. Site Language: Set your website’s default language for your target audience.
  5. Promote with AdWords: Marketing Strategists a callYour website is ready to market and Google has amazing Pay-Per-Click options to help you. Haven’t built a Google Ad Campaign before? Give our to ask about our PPC Management.
  6. Contact Details: The rest of the information, including your operational hours and contact info, is already populated from your Google My Business Profile. How handy!

Thoughts from Your Local Website Designer

How well does this website builder hold up to SEO best practices? We have a few thoughts:

GOOD STUFF:

  1. Easy to use.
  2. Nice, clean design.
  3. Mobile-Friendly.
  4. Optimized Images.
  5. Linkable Content.
  6. Includes Google Map.
  7. Includes Business Hours.
  8. Keyword Suggestions for Headers Available.
  9. Page Analytics let us know who has been here.

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
If this were your main website, we have a number of concerns.

  1. Single-page structure. One page is pretty limiting for providing content and encouraging a viewer to explore. The bounce-rate for these pages are likely very high (not a good thing).
  2. Call-to-Actions opportunities are lacking. Typical website designs offer multiple chances to encourage your visitor to engage with your website, which simply isn’t an option with this builder.
  3. Lacks Social Media sharing buttons. This is a bummer. Social media can play a big role in SEO, connecting you to your target audience through their favorite internet channels- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
  4. SEO Opportunities: This website builder doesn’t allow for structured data markup, alt text for images, custom page titles or meta descriptions. If that was a bunch of jargon to you, that’s okay. We can help. If you understood what we’re saying, you know how limiting that is for your SEO efforts.

However, if this is (which we hope) a step toward boosting your SEO for your current website, those negatives really don’t apply. Free SEO is Free SEO, especially when it’s this simple and effective. So, should a small business owner build a website with Google My Business Website Builder? In short, yes.

While we wouldn’t recommend it as a stand-alone website for most small businesses, we do recommend it as an SEO booster. In our opinion, every small business deserves to own their own website which is why we’re designed with a per-minute billing system to provide website designs on any budget.

Your Website is the Car. The Internet is the Highway. And SEO is the Fuel.™

The vehicle you drive online matters. While the Google My Business website builder is a fantastic SEO tool to boost your optimized content online, it may not be enough for your small business. Still not sure? Call 612.444.2211 for a no-obligation consultation about your online presence.

 

VantagePoint Marketing- Anoka, Minnesota
Rocky Borchardt
Founder/Creative Director
612.444.2211
rocky@vpointusa.com

Logo Fails: Hilarious Logo Design Mistakes

(Grown-up Content Ahead: NSFW)

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, and we can’t stress it enough.

Your logo design MATTERS.

There is a reason for companies to take a long time and put a lot of thought behind the creation of their logo branding.  You want it to tell a story and catch the eye of your audience.  These Logo Fails, however, are probably not telling the right stories (or at least we hope not!).  And they are probably catching the eye of a much larger audience, but not for the reasons they were hoping.  Some of these…seriously.  How did you NOT see that?

Arlington Pediatric AStyle (intentional) Catholic Church's Archdiocesan Youth Commission Catwear Clinica Dental Computer Doctors Institute of Oriental Studies Junior Jazz Dance Classes Kids Exchange Kudawara {jar,acu LOCUM Mont Sat Satellite Company OGC

Do you have any LOGO FAILS that you’d like to share?

Oh yes, this is the place to do it.  Contact Us with more logo fails and we’re happy to add them to the collection.  Strictly as a lesson of what NOT to do in logo design.  It certainly isn’t to poke fun at these poor, unfortunate, unsuspecting companies…

Why You Should Never Use a Free Website Builder

The Cheap or Free Website Builder:  Wix, GoDaddy, Yola, Weebly, DoodleKit…

Auto “easy” Website Builders? NO.  Just simply…no.

CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve decided to get yourself online! Maybe you’re going to try to make money with your homemade headband hobby.  Perhaps you’ve recognized your flair for free writing and have decided to share it with the world wide web.  Or maybe the time has come to get your business banking real bucks by being online.  No matter the reason, one thing stands true: You need a website.

Of course, just like everyone else, you’re on a budget.  Now what?  You could call a professional web designer, but WHY when there are all those amazing free or cheap website creators- right?  Wrong.  We know it’s tempting.  I mean, they are free or only cost a few bucks.  And they promise to be oh so easy.  So, why not use something that promises to be professional, cheap and easy?  We’ll give you more than a few reasons, all of which are in your best interest.


Google Unfriendly

This may sound a bit advanced, but trust us when we say that it is important to be verified in Webmaster Tools.  Basically, Google won’t be able to find you with these “free and easy” website builders.  Webmaster Tools help monitor your crawl rates, broken links, search traffic and site downtime.  These are important analytics to stay on top of to be sure your site is functioning correctly and working for you.  Not just looking pretty and sitting there where nobody will see it.

Flash

Many of these great little free website builders utilize Flash for their creation.  But no matter what the website creators say, Flash simply is not search engine friendly.  Even Google recommends against it.  But don’t take our word for it, CLICK HERE to read more about Googlebot and flash files.

Limited Pages, Limited Data

Most of these website creators only offer one page websites.  This means you aren’t allowed to create multiple keywords, page titles or meta seta to be indexed and found for other search terms.  It’s like throwing all of your keyword eggs into one itty bitty basket.  Or fight a war with only one type of weapon when the other side is using every type of ammo imaginable.  If you want to compete, you need to be confidently armed.

Poor Analytics

Inaccurate site analytics wont’ allow website builder users to get an accurate picture of their site’s traffic or performance.  Google Analytics is highly recommended for every website.  This is where you’ll keep track of accurate and realistic reports of how your website is performing.

Poor First Impressions

Your site is going to look very template-y.  These automatic website builders might be plug-n-play, but your viewers will be able to tell that your site isn’t custom.  Why?  Because it looks just like another website that they saw the other day.  And it doesn’t seem to quite fit your information right.  And it just looks… meh.  Websites are a staple tool in business today.  If you aren’t able to keep up to date and really invest in yourself, why should your consumer?  Your website is your first impression.  Do you want to convey to your viewers that you’re small, not really in it to win it, and unprofessional?  Probably not.  It’s okay to be small, but still know your worth.  Show your viewers your worth.

Design Quality

You’re still not sure that one of those cheap site builders might just be “good enough”, right?   Okay, we get it.  Well, CLICK HERE to take a look at a sample “quality free design” that you can get from somewhere like Wix: Seriously, take a look.

Mobile Friendly | Responsive Programming

If you take a look at our previous blog entries, you’ll see how serious we are about your website needing to be responsive.   “Responsive Websites” have special programming that allow them to automatically move and adjust to the size of the screen your viewer is using.  They could be looking at your website on a large desktop screen, a laptop, a tablet or a smart phone.  It doesn’t matter: You can be rest assured that your website isn’t just “good enough” on their screen.  YOUR website (if it’s responsive) is appearing on your viewers’ screens as if it was designed specifically for their screen.  This gives your viewer the ultimate experience and will keep them on your site.  If your website is frustrating and not viewing correctly on their tablet or smart phone, they are sure to find someone else’s website that will.  And if you use these free website builders, your website is certain to not work on your viewer’s phone.

No Branding

Without a personalized domain name, you’re immediately sharing with the world that you either A: Don’t know what you’re doing on the internet.  B: Don’t care about how you look on the internet.  C: Don’t have the money to look good on the internet.  It also greatly reduces your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) opportunities.  Plus, do you really want to be spelling out over the phone… “My website is www.wix.com…backslash…my..website…user…name”?  And try adding that long of a name to your business card.  Plus…the brand that is all over your site, is the brand of your website creator.  Should you really come second on your own website??

Advertisements

How amazing are you going to look with the great big flashing banner “THIS WEBSITE WAS CREATED WITH WIX.COM- CREATE YOUR OWN FOR FREE!” running along the bottom of your page.  It’s fine to have a link to the professional company who designed your website.  In fact, it’s important.  It shows you invested in yourself and are proud to share with everyone where they could follow in your intellectual marketing foot steps.  Plus it is an outgoing link on your page that is likely to be highlighted on your designer’s website (this creates important SEO Cross Traffic).  But do you really want that link to communicate “Hey, I got a free generic website to display my company online and you can too!”  You’re important.  And it’s okay to act like it!

No Support

Uh oh, there is a problem with your website.  Some of the information is incorrect or it’s simply not viewing right.  Time to hop on the phone and call that 1-800-TIME-WASTER for the automated menu that will get you to the call center associate who is still crabby because his cat coughed a hairball into his shoes this morning.  He can’t actually help you with your issue but after 15 annoying minutes and a pressured attempt to upsell you on something, is certain to get you over to a tech.  That tech may or may not take responsibility for the issue, but after about 45 minutes of your time, you might get your website fixed and functioning correctly.  Gee… that seems like a great money saver.
No.  It’s important to have a direct person you can call for real help.  Problems happen, that’s just reality.  So don’t dismiss the importance of having personalized tech support readily available because you are certain to need it at some point.


Listen, we know it’s tempting to try the free and cheap website builders.  They seem like a fast, easy and affordable solution to your website needs.  But honestly, it’s not worth it.  If you’re really on a tight budget, take a look for a local website designer who offers payment options.  You’ll get the professional design, SEO and Responsive Programming that you NEED, with a payment plan you can afford.  Your website will be designed around your content with SEO in mind so that your site can be a real tool that is actually working for your company’s best interests.

VantagePoint Marketing, LLC is happy to be that professional website designer to offer affordable options for professional website designs.  Don’t pay THOUSANDS for work that hasn’t been delivered! Pay-as-you-Go projects, and financing available. No Cancelation Fees, EVER. We’ll take care of you! 763.442.2584