Thoughts on Google My Business Website Builder

Google has now made their website builder available to all Google My Business users. I’ve taken some time to play around with it, and wanted to share my thoughts.

Before I start, let me share my biases, in case you don’t already know them.

I’ve been a user of WordPress since it’s blog only days, and have created more commercial websites in it than I care to remember. I’m a huge fan of its power, its flexibility and its openness.

I’m also not a fan of template driven site creation systems. Very rarely do they offer the customizability for my needs.

Unfortunately, Google My Business Website Builder doesn’t really do anything to change these biases.

First the good… It’s really easy to use. Setting up a “site” seemed intuitive, and I expect all but the most technically challenged business owner will be able to configure it.

It ties in nicely with one’s Google My Business listing. This shouldn’t be a big deal, but given Google’s lack of coordination across local marketing products, it’s a pleasant surprise.

Mike Blumenthal also points out that the product could be very helpful in the undeveloped world, where B2C hosting options are often limited. This could be very important to Google strategically over the long term.

And now the not so good…

The site cannot be customized for SEO purposes. This includes page tiles, meta descriptions, structured data markup, or image alt text. Ranking could be difficult.

No analytics, social sharing or real call to action buttons.

It’s a one page site. No sub-pages of any sort.

The only place I see this product being truly useful is for a “coming soon” type page. But, to be honest, that’s pretty easy to do with WordPress as well.