Kathy Gibson reports – GoDaddy is expanding in South Africa, and is offering local SMEs the low rate of just R10.00 to register a domain.

“We this is a very aggressive price,” says Stefano Maruzzi, vice-president: EMEA at GoDaddy.

The GoDaddy service allows companies to register domains, build websites and even integrate email and social media marketing – all online and in a simple, template-based format.

“It is a very clean, very easy user interface,” Maruzzi says. “We work hard to make sure the experience on the site resonates with what customers in South Africa want.

“Plus the pricing is attractive.”

Globally, GoDaddy has more than 18-million customer worldwide and more than 77-million domains.

The company is not new to South Africa: local customers have been able to buy .com domains from GoDaddy for as much as 20 years. It is now more aggressively targeting the South African market, particularly SMEs.

Maruzzi believes the service will resonate with local SMEs for a number of reasons: there are 250 000 small business in South Africa; there is government focus on creating job opportunities and fostering entrepreneurism; and 98,5% of the economy comprises SMEs, delivering 28% of all jobs.

GoDaddy has already seen considerable growth in its .za domain business: the customer base has grown 25% year on year; revenue has grown 13%; new customers are up 39%; Website Builder (WSB) signups are up 15%; and marketing investment are up 25%.

By formally entering the market, GoDaddy will engage more closely with small business owners and entrepreneurs in South Africa, and offer more tools and support to help them build a powerful online presence and grow their business.

“As small businesses fuel the South African economy, our official launch here signals our commitment to supporting this vibrant entrepreneurial landscape, which plays a critical role in helping to drive prosperity and creating jobs,” says Maruzzi. “Our integrated suite of online tools makes it easier for small business owners and entrepreneurs to leverage the power of the internet to help their business become more visible.”

A recent GoDaddy survey of 250 South African small business owners indicate that time, budget and online knowledge represent significant barriers for them getting online. Of those who have created websites, GoDaddy’s online tools were chosen for their competitive prices, ease-of-use and high reliability.

GoDaddy’s South African website offers products and services targeted for South African customers in local currency, and includes 24/7 customer care with local telephone numbers and online chat options available.

The GoDaddy Website Builder tool enables people, with little technical experience, to design a mobile-optimised website from the start. Website Builder is designed to be “mobile first”, allowing people to build and edit their website directly from a mobile device. Website Builder enables people to build, strengthen and grow their online presence and business. An intuitive design interface and integrated features like search engine visibility, social media, and e-mail marketing, help aspiring entrepreneurs to build and manage a fully-integrated digital presence for their venture.

GoDaddy offers an extensive top-level domain inventory worldwide, as well as second level domains such as .co.za. GoDaddy also offers an aftermarket platform where users can buy and sell domain names. Other integrated tools include security products, such as SSL Certificates for websites that help protect the transmission of customers’ data while helping to gain customer trust, and continuous website monitoring protection services.