Website builders have come a long way in recent years, but GoDaddy is taking things a big step further with a new tool that allows users to launch fully fleshed-out small business websites on their iPhones, Android phones and other mobile devices.
GoDaddy GoCentral, the new default website builder at GoDaddy, addresses many of the pain points that small business owners encounter when they try to piece together an effective website for their storefronts, salons, restaurants and other neighborhood haunts. Often, the excitement of establishing a web presence soon fades as users get bogged down on with tons of design options.
After studying how users interact with website building tools along with the strategies of its most successful customers, GoDaddy discovered that users were "spending time on the wrong thing," like attempting to craft a pixel-perfect homepage instead of focusing on the content, features and site functionality that's effective in drumming up business, Lauren Antonoff, senior vice president of Presence and Commerce at GoDaddy, told Small Business Computing.
Mobile-Friendly Sites in a Snap
GoCentral is a new approach to crafting a professional website. Sure, there are no shortage of options that help users fine-tune their sites, but the platform speeds up the process of getting started with a toolset that's powered by smart algorithms and machine- learning technologies.
Upon logging in, users are asked a couple of questions pertaining to their company's name and type of business, and then GoCentral takes it from there. Depending on the industry a user selects – there are a whopping 1,600 categories, a list that is expanding by a hundred business types per month – GoCentral provides users with a selection of engaging, mobile-friendly websites (they render expertly on desktop browsers as well) based on sites that are proven to draw traffic.
These near-complete sites are based on intelligence gleaned from popular GoDaddy destinations. Featuring professional photography from Getty Images, coordinated styles (fonts, color schemes and the placement of site elements) and relevant sections, they take the guesswork out of planning an attractive and engaging web experience.
GoCentral is such a departure from traditional tools that users don't even need a keyboard and mouse to create a site. Users can pull out an iPhone, Android tablet or practically any mobile device and launch a site, from start to finish.
GoCentral doesn't end there in its quest to helping entrepreneurs "through the [website-building] process in a much more enduring way."
Social Savvy, Marketing Moxie and Ecommerce Smarts
One of the toughest challenges small businesses face is keeping their Facebook pages in sync with their websites.
With access to Facebook's page-creation APIs (application programming interfaces), GoCentral makes it possible to create a Facebook business page "faster than [on] Facebook" proper, said Justin Tsai, senior director of Product Management and Head of SMB Presence at GoDaddy. Not only did his team help reduce teh steps it takes to launch a business page on Facebook, the integration makes it trivially easy for users to import content and images from their GoDaddy sites.
For users looking to promote their businesses or start selling online, GoCentral also integrates seamlessly with GoDaddy's marketing and ecommerce tools.
"Start building an email list by adding a Subscribe Now section to your website," encouraged Antonoff in a blog post. "Then use our built-in email marketing tool to send email campaigns that drive repeat traffic and help you build a following."
Acknowledging that not all small business owners are email marketing professionals and may not "what to write or who to send it to," Tsai noted that GoDaddy's email campaign tool automatically incorporates attention-grabbing content into promotional emails – just review, (optionally) edit and hit send. Mirroring their GoCentral sites, marketing emails sent by the platform are mobile-responsive as well, he reminded.
Similarly, the GoCentral Online Store simplifies setting up an online store, complete with product listings with up to 10 images each, payment processing, Apple Pay support, shipping and inventory management. To improve the chances that visitors will reclaim their abandoned carts, the system can send automated reminder emails.