Mar 032011

The Getting Australian Business Online initiative is a great move from Google and MYOB to make it easier for the 50% of businesses who don’t currently have a website to get an Internet presence.

MYOB’s Chief Executive Tim Reed identifies the three barriers to small business getting online as being fear, time and cost.

All three barriers are addressed by this service; it’s free, simple and takes around half an hour to configure.

The results are fairly basic, a business ends up with a template that shows their location, contact details, some links and a basic description of the enterprise. It won’t win awards, but it is a basic web presence.

While GABO is a good idea, and strongly recommended for smaller businesses, it isn’t the right solution for all as it doesn’t include an email address, has few customisation features and most of the local search features have to be configured separately.

There are other cheap options available, registering a domain name for around $20 year and then using Google’s free Blogger platform is a straightforward alternative and there are other options using hosted WordPress, Weebly and Squarespace.

Given you get a free domain out Getting Australian Business Online, it’s worthwhile signing up if your business doesn’t have a website, however keep in mind there are cost effective alternatives that offer more flexibility and that all important email address.

Our workshop, Web for Beginners, takes business owners and managers through the process of setting up a Getting Australian Business Online account as well as signing up with the key local search services. Places are still available for our March 24 workshop.

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