About the Campaign

What is Google offering Kenyan small and medium businesses?

We are offering an end-to-end solution to help businesses get online which includes:

  • A free, easy-to-build, professional website
  • Free hosting on yourbusiness.kbo.co.ke subdomain
  • Free website hosting on yourbusiness.kbo.co.ke
  • You can purchase a customizable domain for Ksh3000 VAT inclusive for year. This comes with 10 customizable email accounts (to match your domain).

We are also providing access to tools, resources, support and training to ensure businesses have all the assistance they need to get online. You can view the Terms and Conditions here.

Is it really all free?  What’s the catch? 

Yes.  Hard to believe but true!  We are really giving all this away for free - the website tool, hosting, resources and support, and with a subdomain on yourbusiness.kbo.co.ke. We are committed to helping small and medium businesses get online, so this is our way of fueling the online ecosystem in Kenya.

What is a domain?

A domain is your place on the Internet.  Your domain name is your unique address where people can find you and information about your business.  Every website published through us will be hosted under our sub-domain (e.g., mybusiness.kbo.co.ke. However, you can decide to purchase your own customised domain name (e.g mybusiness.co.ke) which can be done after you setup your site. 

If you choose to purchase your own domain (mybusiness.co.ke), you will have to renew your domain name every year at a fee of Kshs 3000 per year inclusive of taxes. 

What is hosting?

It’s one thing to create a website, and it’s another to have it accessible via the Internet.  “Hosting” applies to how your website is stored, along with many others, on a digital server that allows for connectivity to the Internet.  Your website must be hosted in order to be accessed by users.  Your website and the hosting of it are free for as long as you own the site.

I have several small businesses.  Can I get a website for each of my businesses?

Yes, eligible small business owners can get a free website, free subdomain name, and free hosting for each of their small businesses.

What is Business Sitebuilder?

Google’s Business Sitebuilder is a tool that we created to help businesses create professional-looking websites.  It is a simple step by step tool that you can use to create functional website in the matter of minutes.  It contains templates and features that allows you to customise your site to match  your business profile and you can add images, photo galleries, videos and products and service listings at your convenience.

About Being Online

 

Do I really need a website?  My business has been ok without one.

Every day more Kenyans are gaining access to the Internet, either on their mobile phones, tabs and pads, or computers.  As of today, Kenya's internet base is approximately 12 million and that number is expected to continue grow.  Kenyans that are online are there for many reasons, social networking, learning or gathering information.  The Internet is fast becoming a reference point for getting information on businesses these users want to transact with.  In other parts of the world, businesses that have gone online have grown at a rate 4 times faster than those that don’t.  Getting online for small businesses has helped them break down the barriers of doing business, opened them up to new customers in their local areas and globally, and most importantly in their own neighbourhoods.  Imagine how you may be right next door to one of your best customers and you may not even know?  Getting online can help people who are looking for you business to find your business.

I’m not an IT professional, can I really do this myself?

Yes.  As one small business owner put it, “Getting Online using this tool from Google was just as simple as setting up an email account”.  We have worked hard to create a set of tools to make getting online easy for you.  We’ve also provided online and in-person support and resources to guide you along the way.  We want you to spend less time creating a website and more time focused on doing business.

How does getting online help new customers find my business?

Having a website enables your business and information about your products and services to be available 24x7.  Whenever a potential customer searches for your business, they can get the information they need even when you are not right there.  A professional website helps potential customers discover what sets your business apart from others like it and gives them a level of confidence in what you have to offer.  Whether you have a storefront or run a professional service, a website is relevant for your business because now you don’t have to miss out on any new business opportunities.   

What does a Google Maps listing do in helping customers find my business?

Millions of people search for businesses on Google. Your listing will also be available through Google Web Search, Google Maps, Mobile search, and Google Earth.  On any of these services, if someone searches directly for your business name and city, your listing will most likely show up.  We also may show your listing for searches for your business category or other related terms.

With Google Maps, you can help customers find out exactly where your business is located and they can also get directions from where they are travelling from right to your front door.

About Getting Started

How do I get started?

To get started you will need a few things:

  • A Google account (e.g., a Gmail account)
  • A phone number
  • A computer or Tab with access to the Internet
  • About 90 minutes

If you have not done so already create your website now

How do I get back Business Sitebuilder to finish my site?

If you loose your connection or log out and want to finish your site up later, you can simply come back to this site and click on the 'Sign In' button at the top right corner of every page. Log back in with your Google account username and password.

Will e-Commerce functionality be included in the future?

Getting Kenyan Businesses online is about helping businesses in Kenyan overcome the first major barrier which is to create a web presence.  We have deliberately made the website simple - with the information that customers ar elooking for online.   The tool does offer a shopping cart, and you can begin to use that now to collect orders from customers.  We will continue to do our part to enable businesses do more online with time.

Is my site automatically added to the Google search index? Do I need to do anything for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Yes. Your website is submitted to Google's index as soon as you make it public in Business Site Builder.  However, it may take a few weeks for your site to start showing up in search results.  Once your site is indexed, you site will begin to appear when people search Google for words that appear in your website. Therefore, be sure to use works that your customers would use to search for you when describing your business.

Is the .co.ke domain name mine to keep?

Domain registrations are valid for one year from the date of purchase. Every year you will need to renew your registration in order to keep your domain.  Your domain registrar will give you advanced notice when it is up for renewal.

 


About Training

Can I get training on the website development and the web tool – Business Sitebuilder?

Yes.  For those who may require additional assistance, or who want to learn more about web development using Business Sitebuilder, we have engaged a vendor –  – to provide training.  

How much does training cost?  How long is the course?

We have worked with to provide you with a 2-hour web development course using our Business Sitebuilder.  These courses will be offered free. Check the training section for more information on courses available in your area.