Google's Get Your Business Online is an initiative that Google began rolling out last year and now has a presence in many states within the US and in several countries internationally. State programs are ongoing in Vermont, Texas, and Michigan, among others, offering free websites for businesses along with trainings and education on how to effectively manage their website. The same has been done in developed international markets like the UK, Canada, and Ireland.
The sites that are built for the businesses typically remain free for a year and businesses then have the option to continue it for a fee. The education and trainings that are offered come in several forms, from guidebooks and how-to slideshows available on each programs' website to seminars and in-person trainings offered in different locations covered by the program. These programs provide information that is often industry-specific so businesses can maximize their initial web presence specific to their needs. Additionally, the trainings orient businesses to advertising using AdWords which addresses paid search and how to track website statistics using Google Analytics and further understand visibility reports using Google Webmaster Tools.
The programs are generally the same from country to country but do offer slightly different features and perks from one to another. For example, the Ireland initiative offers a €100 AdWords trial, whereas the British program provides businesses with a .co.uk domain for 2 years at no charge. This overall initiative is an effort by Google to get a web presence for the immense number of small and medium-sized businesses that don't already have one, which is an excellent opportunity for these companies to grow their business, widen their reach, and ultimately increase revenues. It also situates these businesses as future customers of the many products that Google offers, like AdWords, and data-supplying users to such applications like Google Maps and Google Places. This additionally grows the usage of the applications, their relevance, and the data that is accumulated for them. Each party walks away benefiting from this initiative.
Also benefitting from this program is search engine optimization companies that can further assist these businesses to optimize their web presence both domestically and internationally. The addition of all these businesses to the web increases opportunities for SEO as well as expert management of both paid (advertising) and organic search campaigns coordinated to work in conjunction with one another. The trainings and tools offered in the program provide great start-up assistance, but once beyond this point, managed assistance from an outside entity is extremely important. SEO is an ongoing practice and many businesses only do the initial work to get their web presence up and going, and in these cases, progress is quickly lost. The expert SEO company that partners with these businesses can keep them atop rankings and engaged in successful online advertising.