Google’s Get Your Business Online Program Offers Free Websites to New Mexico Small Businesses
Nearly 55% of New Mexico small businesses do not have a website. Google would like to change that with its Get Your Business Online program, a global initiative to help small business owners launch their own websites and get more active on the Internet.
New Mexico is one of the latest states to go live under the Google Get Your Business Online program that’s being rolled out state-by-state across the U.S. Partners include the New Mexico SBDC, SCORE and Intuit.
Although the program benefits might vary slightly state-to-state, the common benefit intended to motivate smaller companies to get involved is Google’s offer to help small businesses set up a free three-page website along with a free custom domain name and hosting for one year. After a year, businesses would be billed $2 per month for their web domains and $4.99 per month for web hosting services. (You can cancel these services at any time by logging into your account, navigating to your Account Summary and then clicking the link, “cancel this service.”)
Google will be offering training sessions for participants with Intuit’s site builder tool (that will include tips on how to grow and promote one’s business online) at a free event that’s open to the public:
- Date: August 9th
- Location: University Arena (The Pit) on 1111 University Blvd SE, NM 87106
- Website for registration: www.NewMexicoGetOnline.com
If you’re unable to attend the live event, you may also register through the website. But register asap as space is limited and demand for this service is likely to be high.
Why is Google doing this?
Google’s stance on the benefits of providing this free service to small business owners is that getting more businesses online provides the 97% of people who search for goods and services on the Internet with more accurate search results while giving consumers more choices.
Of course, anyone familiar with Google understands that their motivation for helping small businesses create websites and make their sites more searchable/visible isn’t purely benevolent. One of the program benefits includes a coupon worth $100 for advertising on Google Adwords, the company’s online ad network, which could potentially lead to more advertising revenue for Google down the road.
Is this a good option for you?
I just got an email inquiry on the WESST website from a gentleman asking if WESST was familiar with this program and whether there was a downside to participating. My response to him was that the program is designed for small business owners with little to no technical expertise, little time to research website developers and best practices, and little money to actually build a website on their own. If that sounds like you, then this is a great opportunity.
By the end of the free training session, you will have your own live three-page website. While the website might be a simple one, it’s the first step to help you get your business found online and to get used to having and managing a website. Down the line, you’re free to upgrade and add more pages. And, at some point, if you feel you need a more customized branded website, the program allows you to have full access to your hosting so you can upload any website or switch to a different host.
All in all, I think it is a very good initiative and from what I hear a lot of businesses are jumping on the opportunity.
If you know of a small business owner who might benefit from this service, please share this article or the website link with them.