Nowadays, if you’re not online, you’re not in business. 97% of internet users search for local services and goods online, meaning you pretty much need to have an active (not to mention, attractive) website to lure new business through the “door.” Not yet convinced to get your business online? Well, consider this: Over the next three years, businesses that make use of the web expect to grow 40% faster than those that don’t.
Understandably, many small business owners shy away from putting their businesses online simply because they don’t know where to start; building and managing a website can be intimidating, after all. It’s with this conundrum in mind that Google has launched their FREE “Get Your Business Online” initiative. Yes, it’s free!
In a nutshell, the “Get Your Business Online” program enables small business owners to build interactive websites. Better yet: Google will hold tech-shy business owners’ hands throughout the entire process, even going so far as to help you build your social media presence. Phew!
Interested? Here’s everything you need to know before getting started:
Sign up for Google My Business
When you sign up for Google My Business customers will be able to find your business in Google.com search results, Google Maps, Google+ and on mobile devices.
Build Your Website
Choose a design and customize it with a description and photos of your business. Then show the world with easy publishing and social media integration.
Choose a Domain Name
Choose a domain name and Google will take care of the rest. They’ll register your name and cover the hosting costs for the first year. Yes, that’s right. Your brand new website is free (at least for a year).
Now Accelerate With Google Academy
The Accelerate with Google Academy is a 12-week program designed to help businesses start marketing online. Participants will be provided with all the tools and training they need to create web ads, and will have access to live help and private consultations with industry experts. According to the program’s site, Accelerate is “customized, so by the end you’ll be ready to start meeting your business’s unique goals and making the most of the web.”