Let’s build you a website: Free websites for small businesses

Let’s build you a website

Efforts in the Middle East are shifting towards small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to accelerate overall growth. The role of SMEs is significant in terms of its contribution to GDP and employment rates in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The majority of enterprises in MENA are Micro and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises estimated at 19-23 million in number and comprising 80-90% of total businesses in most countries. The World Bank Group’s doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report says that:

The region is witnessing rapid improvements in terms of reforms to improve the ease of starting small businesses.

In 2016, 33% of small businesses in the region were at an advanced level of digitization, according to PwC, and this is expected to more than double to 72% by 2020. When it comes to SMEs using technology, we are aware of the challenges that they may face. Bearing that in mind, our mission is to help our customers turn their ideas and projects into real success stories. We provide them with the online tools and services to help them create and manage their business’s online identity and attract new customers. We focus on supporting SMEs on their online journey by providing inspirational and educational videos and articles to assist and guide them in building their digital identities.

Within this framework, we developed the “Let’s build you a website” project, where for a year we offer free websites for SMEs that are already operating.

An easy start with a free website, GoDaddy Website Builder

The feedback we received from our customers and the people we met through our activities showed us that many small businesses think that they don’t need a website for their business or that it would be very difficult and / or costly to set up a website. Within the scope of our project, where we offer a complimentary 12-month subscription to GoDaddy’s Website Builder to jump-start their online journey, our goal is to give them an easy start so they can experience the advantages of having a digital identity first-hand.

Think about it: you’re reading this article using the Internet, on your smartphone or laptop. You probably have a Facebook or Instagram or Google account. This means that you actually have a digital presence. In the digital age we live in, it is not enough for us to exist as a person or as an institution in the physical world because now everyone has a mobile phone and everyone is on the Internet. We communicate with our family and friends, most of the time through our mobile phones using the internet and through mobile applications, right? This means that businesses who want to reach their potential customers need to be where they are: online.

Bingo website homepage
Homepage of callusbingo.com that we’ve built for Bingo.

Okay, why do I need a website?

An estimated 50% of SMEs across Dubai indicated that they have a website. This means the other half is not visible, cannot be found online. Technology is constantly evolving, and small business owners struggle to keep up. Having a digital presence will help businesses grow, reach and engage with their potential clients.

Nowadays, young entrepreneurs are more tech savvy and they have a better understanding of the importance of being online. SMBs, on the other hand, are looking for a service provider that will assist them in launching their online identity through a do-it-with-me (DIWM) approach, where they can be provided with the knowledge and advice needed to launch and improve their online presence. That’s exactly what we strive to achieve with our project by building free websites for small businesses.

Consider this: when you need to order food, look for flight tickets or book a hotel room; where do you first search? The Internet, right? So, you should consider your website as your digital business card. When your potential customers search for the products or services you offer, they should be able to find you and find the information that they need to reach you.

With your website, you can be open 24/7, reach more people, and have an area of ​​your own on the Internet.

Being on social media only isn’t enough. You’ll need a landing page for your online marketing activities, and when you connect your domain name to your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you have the potential to combine all parts of your digital identity and gain more customers.

Go online with free websites from us!

free websites from GoDaddy process
Free websites process from GoDaddy

The focus of the project “Let’s Build You a Website” is to offer SMEs that are already in business but aren’t online free websites. Setting up your own website doesn’t have to be that difficult and complicated, but we know that sometimes some guidance makes things much easier.

Our project process is as follows:

  1. Application: Contact us through GoDaddy Gulf’s Facebook page, send us a message with the following information:
  • Your business name
  • Field of activity/ Industry
  • Year of establishment
  • Your business location
  • The answer to the question “Why do I want a website?”
  1. Evaluation: We will evaluate your request and get in touch with you.
  2. Pre-interview: We will setup a meeting with you to go through your expectations for the website, the necessary content and agree on the date to build it. We will take the content you want to include from you and we will handle the setting up process.
  3. Publishing the website: After completing the building phase, we will meet with you again and publish your website together. The moment we do this, you will be able to use the ready-made website actively.
  4. Announcement: We will be videotaping the whole process, and we will feature your business and website on our blog and social media channels; we’ll let more people know about you. See examples of customer stories we’ve made so far.

If you want your business to have a website, reach out to us.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We use the personal plan of our Website Builder tool for website setup. We give you this product for a year, along with the desired .com domain name (as long as it’s not premium).

Image by: Lauren Mancke via Unsplash.

Selina Bieber
Based in Istanbul, Selina is part of the GoDaddy EMEA team managing the Turkey and MENA regions to help grow the GoDaddy brand and business. With a background in marketing communications, Selina is passionate about small businesses, the entrepreneurial eco-system and leveraging digital technologies to get ahead of the game. Prior to joining GoDaddy, Selina led the PR activities of Facebook, VeriSign and Euler Hermes in Turkey, and was based in Amsterdam to head up regional media relations across Europe for a natural gas project. Selina is a self-professed foodie and travel addict.