One of the most important parts of running a small business is being able to advertise your products or services online. This will allow you to connect with a global audience. To make this process easier, many people turn to a site builder.
At first glance, Google Sites might seem like an excellent option for you to explore, as it’s offered by one of the largest technology companies in the world. But, there are several reasons why it might not be a good choice for a small business owner. Here’s why Google Sites aren’t great for small businesses;
- There are Two Different Versions
- Limited Functionality
- Limited Data
- Harder to Track Marketing Efforts
- Difficult to Adjust Your Domain Name
Let’s take a closer look at each of these points, one by one. This will give you a better idea about some of the issues with this product, and some of the reasons why it might not be the right choice for your business.
Two Different Versions
When you’re a making small business website, you need to make sure that everything you need will be in one place. This will make the process of building a website faster and easier.
This is especially important if you own a small business. Often, you won’t have time to switch between the different applications to use all the different tools. However, if you’re using Google Sites, you might not have any other choice.
Several Google functions are dispersed across multiple different products;
- Blogger – which allows you to write blogs
- Google My Business – This will allow you to create a profile for your business, which shows up during a local search for related businesses in the area.
- Google Web Designer – This allows you to create ads to promote your business.
Though many of these functions aren’t directly related to building your site, it can still be difficult to keep them all in mind when creating your website.
The bigger problem is that you’ll need to choose between the classic version and the new version of Google Sites. Both of these have pros and cons. For example, while the classic version has a longer learning curve, it offers more functionality.
However, it’s likely that you’ll soon be forced to use the newer version of Google Sites, as the classic option is being phased out. However, if you were accustomed to using the classic version, you’ll need to transfer all your work to the new platform.
Given Google’s history, it’s likely that there will eventually be a new version of Google Sites released. When this happens, you might find yourself faced with the unenviable task of migrating to the new version.
On the other hand, other website builders tend to have just one version to choose from and give you many tools included in that product. This can often serve you better over the long term.
When you’re building the site, you want to be able to customize everything. This will ensure that your website will look exactly the way you want it to.
One of the biggest selling points of Google Sites is that it’s easy for you to get started. In a few minutes, you’ll have your site online and ready to share with the world. However, this comes at a price. The Google Sites format often makes it harder for you to change aspects of the site.
Some of the biggest functionality limitations are;
- Not every part of the template can be changed
- You can’t add any CSS
- You can’t edit any existing CSS
- It’s difficult to edit any embedded details
With so many sites on the internet, many people want to create a custom site. This will ensure that you’ll be able to stand out. However, since the functionality is so limited, it can often be harder for you to change the design elements on Google Sites enough to create something truly unique.
Compounding the problem is the lack of templates that you can choose from. This means that you’ll need to use something that has likely been used thousands of times.
When you’re designing a site, you need to consider the type of data that you’ll be able to gather. Good data collection will make it easier for you to improve the site in the future. For example, you can see how long people spend on each page, telling you whether or not they’re interacting with the content in a meaningful way.
However, the Google Sites format can make it harder for you to gather the type of data that you’ll need to optimize your site. Typically, Google Sites will work with Google Analytics. This means that you’ll get access to functions like;
- The number of page views you receive
- The actions that a user performs during each session
- Whether visitors come to the site as part of a campaign
While this is a good place to start, you’ll often need more features to make sure that your site will be working properly. Generally, other website tools will be able to offer more in-depth analytical information.
Hard to Track Marketing Results
If you’re running a business, you’ll need to be able to track the results of your campaigns. This will tell you which ones are working and which ones aren’t. This will ensure that you’ll be able to spend your money wisely.
However, Google Sites might be limited in this aspect of site management. There are several key elements that are missing, such as;
- You can’t add Facebook Pixel
- No Share Buttons
- Adding Redirects is Difficult
Without this information, it will be harder for you to get the full picture to decide how you’re attracting traffic.
To make matters worse, some SEO aspects might be limited. For example, you might not be able to edit the metadata. This can make it harder for the search engines to find and recommend your site, potentially limiting the amount of traffic that you’ll be able to receive.
Hard to Adjust Your Domain Name
Finally, if you’re running a business website, you’ll need to make sure that you’ll be able to have a memorable domain name. This will ensure that your customers will be able to remember your site and search for it in the future.
However, it can be difficult to change your domain name. Typically, a Google Site will be sites.google.com/domainname. It can be hard to change this structure. In many cases, you’ll need to be able to upgrade to a premium G Suite account to do this.
Thankfully, this could be a minor problem. There may be a future update that will correct this issue. For now, though, it remains an issue that will make it harder for you to create an optimum website.
So, considering these limitations, do you think that Google Sites is a good option for a small business owner?
If you’re a small business, it’s more important than ever to have a reliable website. This will allow you to attract people from all around the world.
Today, there are more sites than ever that allow you to create a site yourself. However, not all of these services will be created equally.
As we’ve seen, while Google Sites might be one of the most accessible options, there are a few reasons why it might not be appropriate for a small business owner. Often, deciding to use another website builder will save you a lot of time and money over the long term.
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