In February, Microsoft launched Smart Pages, a free website builder service to help small businesses that may not have had websites. This was critical during the pandemic as more businesses were essentially required to be online. However, many SMBs don’t have the know-how or the funds to commission a brand new website. Based on customer feedback, Microsoft announced new features for the Smart Pages service this week.
Publish a Smart Pages website with no social and advertising tools required. “With Smart Pages standalone mode, you can create, edit, and publish your website for free — no payment information required. We know that not every business with a web presence is prepared to advertise online and want to give everyone the access to Smart Pages,” wrote Will Rivitz, Program Manager, and Cristiano Ventura Sr. Product Marketing Manager. If business owners choose to partake in Microsoft Advertising later, they can easily sign up when they’re ready.
New analytics features to figure out what works (and what needs tweaking). The new Smart Pages reporting feature allows marketers to track pageviews, clicks, and more all within the platform. “By tracking these metrics over time, you’ll see how the improvements and edits you make affect your customers’ experiences,” said Rivitz and Ventura.
Bing Place integration for local businesses. Marketers will be able to create a new Smart Pages website directly from their Bing Places account and integrate the two properties. “Customers viewing your business on Bing Places will be able to go directly to your Smart Page, where you can show even more information,” according to the announcement.
Why we care. Many small businesses operate without a website, utilizing Facebook pages and local listings as their “hub” for customers, but having your own property is critical to controlling your messaging, optimizing to reach your target audience, and driving in more critical traffic and potential customers. These updates open up the Microsoft Smart Pages website builder to help even more SMBs create an owned online presence and optimize it to drive more qualified leads and customers.