What’s the Best SMB Website Builder? Part III: Go Daddy Expands

This is part III in our series on SMB website builders. See the whole series here

We’re starting to sense a pattern. Website builders continue to expand their functionality to gain competitive edge and “one-stop-shop” appeal. This is done for all the reasons explored in Part II of this series, such as greater ARPU and retention as SMBs get locked into a broader range of operational support.

For all those reasons and several others, Constant Contact this week expanded from its email marketing core product to website services. Now Go Daddy is expanding in the opposite direction. Its website builder GoCentral has launched a new set of marketing features and moniker: “Websites+Marketing.”

As the simple/obvious branding suggests, this entails a suite of marketing features that join the core website builder. It includes email marketing, SEO and social integration. The latter syncs website and marketing activity to Facebook and Instagram, while dashboard tools manage reviews across Yelp and GMB.

The expansion play is supported by Modern Commerce Monitor data (explored yesterday and below) that indicate SMBs are interested in single-source providers for several functions. 79 percent of SMBs express this sentiment while only 38 percent use 1-2 providers, signaling an opportunity to close the gap.

GoDaddy sees this opportunity and is in tune with the trend. Director of product management (and former SMB owner) Heidi Gibson said as much to TechCrunch, stating that an SMB website is increasingly just one component in “a whole ecosystem that comprises your online presence.”

Meanwhile, other features in the new bundle include GoDaddy Insight. By aggregating data across its network, GoDaddy programmatically evaluates and scores SMBs on how they stack up. More importantly, it details an action plan to improve scores by working with all of the new features in Websites+Marketing.

In addition to marketing features, the Websites+Marketing suite updates GoDaddy’s core website builder. This includes Site Makeover, a feature that gives SMBs a quick grid view that previews how their site would look across several stylistic templates. This saves time, versus checking them one-by-one.

Lastly, SMBs that sell things online can manage product listings across several online marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart and eBay. This functionality comes from GoDaddy’s acquisition of Sellbrite, and further widens its capability and appeal to different types of SMBs (e.g. retail & apparel operations).

“Where you need to be will not be the same answer for every kind of business,” Gibson told TechCrunch. “Our target customer is not just a small business — they’ve got one to five employees… they don’t know what they’re supposed to do, they don’t know what’s effective.”

In addition to features that are purpose-built for a maximum range of SMB functions and verticals, GoDaddy’s new pricing follows the same principle. Websites+Marketing is available in four pricing tiers, which start at an SMB-friendly $10 per month and go up to $25 per month.

We’ll be watching closely for the traction it gains among SMBs, as well as any further expansion from GoDaddy and anyone else in the SMB website-builder landscape.

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