Small Businesses To Get Google Boost
Written by Ken Gaebler
Websites don't have to mean a money drain and hours of work, and Google is setting out to help the country's small businesses gain an effective presence on the web.
An attention to detail and close communication often are hallmarks of small businesses, but those attractions don't always translate to the internet, so Google's gurus are holding seminars to boost companies' online presence. The tech company has held events in Vermont, Texas and Kansas, and it has more scheduled in Iowa, according to the Kansas City Star.
Many small businesses may be hesitant to develop a new website because they perceive the project as costly and time consuming. Google plans to alleviate those concerns by helping attendees set up a site in just an hour. The three-page sites are clean and modern - albeit simple - and will run for a year free of charge. After the year, the sites will cost $7 a month, the newspaper said.
Businesses in attendance also will receive a free customized domain name and a listing on Google Places. Listings are key to business success because 97 percent of Americans look online for services and things to buy, but two in three U.S. businesses don't have websites, Google's director of small-business engagement told the Star.
"They’re digitally invisible," Scott Levitan told the newspaper. "They won’t show up on the map, and they will have no chance of getting that call."
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