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Getting Your Business Online

July 18, 2012, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

Getting Your Business Online

In this day and age, if you're not online, you might as well not exist, right?  But as shocking as it may seem, nearly 60 percent of South Dakota's businesses don't have a website. 

Google is working to change that by helping businesses across the country create sites.

In the last 12 years, Amy Hornstra's salon, The Beauty Nook has grown in Tea.  It even has a new location.  But if you look online, you may not know that.

"Two years ago we moved to our new location and a lot of people are still looking us up and getting our old location," Hornstra said.

But Hornstra has been intimidated by the work and cost of starting a website with the correct information.

"I feel like I'm a little behind the times, but the Internet scared me and it's never been something I've known a lot about, so I'm anxious to know more and what do to," Hornstra said.

Hornstra will get help in figuring it all out at an upcoming Google event in Sioux Falls.  The "Get Your Business Online" campaign is going to all 50 states, including South Dakota.   

"We're going to bring people in, bring in resources professional in; it's going to be free, including domain name.  If you can't be online with an offer like that, you're probably never going to be," Ten Haken said.

Haken's online marketing firm is helping Google get the word out to small businesses in the state.  The fact that it’s free may be most appealing to small shops like Hornstra's. 

"I was looking at a couple thousand dollars for what kind of website I wanted to have built and information I wanted to put on that and for a small business that's quite an expense," Hornstra said.

The Google websites won't be elaborate, but they will help businesses get customers current information and maybe even grow. 

"Most small businesses just have a really basic need: services, hours, contact info, history of the business; basic web presence is what we're talking about and that's what small business needs," Haken said.

If you can't attend the event you can go to South Dakota Get Your Business Online to create your website. The first year is free, but after that you'll have to pay $2 a month for your domain name and $5 a month for web hosting.  But you can cancel at any time.

For more information on the August 6th event to help you create a website, click here. 

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