A Free Marketing Website for Your Business on Google
Google My Business has a free website available to any business owner who has already has a Google My Business listing. In this post I cover how to build your Google My Business Website using the website builder. Note that most of the content from this post is a modified transcript derived from the video overview below.
Google My Business Website:
GMB Website Builder Introduction
We’re going to take a look at how to establish your own Google My Business website. The Google My Business website actually pulls in data to the website from your GMB listing. So make sure you already have a Google My Business listing already set up and optimized before you get started.
I’m going to walk you through the entire setup process using the website builder. It should only take a few minutes especially if you already have most of your business information in front of you.
I do recommend that most business owners set one of these Google My Business websites up for their business. There are a couple of tricks that you’re going to need to be aware of but it’s just good to have an extra presence for your business out on the web especially since this is a Google property, it can’t be a bad thing – and again, it’s quick and easy to do.
Google My Business Website: Step by Step
So let’s take a look at the steps that are involved in getting your Google My Business website set up.
As you can see here I am in the Google My Business interface and you might end up on the homepage but what we’re looking for is the website link on the left-hand side towards the bottom.
If you have multiple locations, you may see a link that says managed locations. If so, click that and once you select a location, you should see where you have an option to go ahead and click on the website link. This will open the website builder.
The first thing to discuss is that by default, with the Google My Business website, you get a business.site domain and click the pencil to edit the url. We have our site address which is flexleads.business.site. That’s my business name. I can modify the business name if I would like. I recommend that you don’t even bother editing this section.
Be very careful when editing this section that you don’t replace your main website with this GMB website. So we’re actually going to cancel out of this section. Once everything is done, go to your GMB Listing under the “Info” link and make sure that your domain name still ends in what it always has (usually “.com”) and not business.site.
So that’s the domain. If you wanted to, if you really liked this site, and again, I wouldn’t recommend this being your main site but you could make this a “.com” or a “.org” or “.net”. You can go ahead and set up a regular domain for this site if you so choose. Again, I wouldn’t do that and I would use this site as an additional presence out on the web for your business rather than a replacement for your main website. If you’re just starting out and you don’t have a website, this is better than nothing.
Until you have a chance to get a professional website setup, you can go ahead and use the website builder to create your Google My Business site and it’ll work just fine.
Let’s take a look at the site itself.
Website Builder Overview
Editing Your Business Site
Just a quick overview, you can see the publish button in the upper right of the website builder. We have my business name “FlexLeads” at the top center of the page. We have a header and hours up here. When you click on elements of the page, you’ll notice that a text editor pops up off to the left.
The “Contact Us” button is our call to action. We can edit that, and we will revisit that in just a moment.
You’ll want to edit the header photo and if possible, you want it to be consistent with the rest of your branding. Google My Business website pulls posts for my Google My Business posts. What I do with my posts in my Google My Business listing is I just provide brief summaries of my blog posts from my website that people can see when they search for my business and they see my Google listing. Those pull automatically into the Google My Business website.
Scrolling down a bit within the website builder, you can see that there are reviews that pull directly from the Google Listing. So when someone leaves you a review in Google, they appear on your site.
We’ve got a gallery here you can have up to 9 photos associated with your listing. Finally, towards the bottom of the listing, there is the location on a map along with the call to action button (contact us), business address, and business hours. All of this information is pulled from the GMB listing that you’ve already set up.
Choosing a Theme Design
First off in the left-hand column, we have our themes. There are 10 themes that you can choose from. When you select a theme, the text and formatting on your site changes instantly.
To modify themes, first select the theme button (A) in the image below. You can select different themes within the themes area (B). As you select a theme, the formatting on your draft site off to the right changes instantly. To save your changes when you make any edits in the Google My Business Website, you’re going to select the checkmark (C).
To edit the text on the site – click on text anywhere on the draft website panel (A) below, and an editing window opens up on the left (B). There are three main areas where you can edit text using the website builder- your Headline and Description up top – along with the summary header and summary body.
Call to Action Button (Google calls it the "Primary Button")
You have multiple options for your call to action button. Most small business owners will likely choose Call Now or Contact us.
This will display your phone number that is pulled from your business listing. If a user on mobile clicks this button, it will call your business phone number.
If clicked, the user will be prompted to send an email to the email address associated with the business listing.
Opens up Google Maps and shows directions to your location.
If your business provides quotes, you can use this button for prospects to submit a request for a quote. The form fields will capture the customer name, email, phone number and a message that the customer enters. Once the form is completed, an email will be sent to the email associated with your Google Listing.
You can enter a custom link for this call to action. If you have an online appointment scheduling app where customers can set appointments with you, you’ll want to enter the link here.
Message Us (SMS)
This will send a text message to the phone number from your Google Listing. To use this, your phone number should be a mobile phone that is able to receive text messages
Message Us (What’s App)
If you’re using What’s App, a message will be sent to the phone number in your Google listing.
Header Photo Image
Now let’s look at the header photo. I actually couldn’t find great information on what works best for header photo dimensions. If I do find that I’ll post it in the comments and also as part of the blog post. I think what works best for me was 1350 by 760. It looks pretty decent and it’s consistent with my main website branding so that’s good.
Updates and Testimonials (Google Reviews)
As you scroll down, you will see the updates that are automatically coming in from areas of your Google My Business listing. The updates section automatically pulls in posts from your GMB Listing. The Testimonials section pulls your Google Reviews into the site. Neither of these sections can be edited.
Summary Header and Summary Body
This is the area of the website where you really get a chance to promote yourself a little bit more.
So this is the summary header. You’ll just put a brief header for your section in the website builder, I kept it simple by just entering “About FlexLeads”. Note that you can add links and lists and even format the text within the Summary Body. It’s really the only place on the page where you can really talk about yourself in great depth. You can add whatever images are relevant to your business.
Photo Gallery and the More Button
Below the Summary Header and Summary Body is the photo gallery where you can add up to 9 photos relevant to your business.
To update your photos in the website builder, click on the “Photos” (A) button in the left panel
The more button (B) provides you with options to publish your site
After you have already published your site, the more button provides additional options to modify your site as shown below. You can make your business.site your default website in maps and GMB, you can also change the language of the site from the default (mine is English).
So what we’re going to do now is we’re going to go ahead and click the publish button and we’re out on the web. So let’s take a look and we can click flexleads.business.site or view site.
We’re going to view our site and you’ll see the header, posts, the custom information that we set up, and photo gallery map and all the other information. So it’s just that easy as long as you have everything set up beforehand. Again, the tricky part is that you definitely don’t want to accidentally make this the main domain that Google references in Google maps or Google search.
To confirm your main site is still being used in the listing, go to “Info” and make sure your main site is listed for the website (your main site probably ends in a .com, .net, or .org). You DON’T want the business.site to appear as your main site – unless you plan on using the GMB Site as your main website.
Pros and Cons of Creating Websites using the Website Builder
Okay, let’s wrap this up. Let’s talk about some Google My Business website pros and cons.
First off, it’s very easy to create your Google My Business website. It’s so easy in fact, if you already have a Google My Business listing, it’s going to pre-populate most of your website from your listing. It’s almost like a different way to look at the exact same information.
In fact, the Google My Business Website pulls the following information from your Google My Business Listing:
- Phone Number
- Business Hours
- Google My Business Posts
- Reviews / Testimonials
- Address and Map
Having this information pulled into the site makes it easy to have a mostly completed site when you get started.
The GMB Website also works on multiple platforms so if you’re struggling with WordPress or something like that, you don’t have to worry about this site looking good on tablet or on mobile. It’s already set up to do that. So there’s no extra work involved. It could be great if you’re just getting started. It’s just a quick, easy way to just get a presence out there on the internet. You can even put a “.com” behind it instead of the business.site.
There are a lot of limitations though. Let’s talk about the cons. It is a one-page website. It’s very rigid. You can’t customize a whole lot. There’s really only one section (the summary header and summary body) where you can add text and do custom formatting of text. You can’t really track user visits like you could with your very own website on WordPress or something like that.
Overall, it’s really not going to impress prospects. It’s just not really designed to do that. So it’s not going to convert any sort of paid traffic or any sort of visitors that you send to this because it’s not the prettiest website and it’s not designed for that purpose. It’s designed to just get a simple presence out there.
Website Builder Summary
So I do recommend that most business owners go ahead and just publish their own Google My Business website anyway despite the cons. It’s just so easy to set up and it’s another presence for your website.
For more information, be sure to take a look at Google’s official documentation here.
So I would say, go for it. It is a quick and easy way to expand your presence on the Internet. If you have any questions or comments, let me know.