April 10, 2017
Interesting Statistics Regarding Small Businesses and Websites
Many small business owners assume all they need is social media to market their venture. Nothing could be further from the truth, even in today’s social media driven world. Experts agree that websites remain a critical element in small business marketing plans. Today’s consumer is data driven, and many research a company online before they solicit it. This fact brings about an interesting discussion, as do the statistics that show there are still many who do not leverage this powerful marketing tool.
Businesses and Today’s Shopper
Some business owners have stated they don’t have a website because their industry is unique and there isn’t an online market for it, but experts disagree. Even if a company does offer an unusual product or service, the days of cold calling a demographic are gone. Gone are the days of generating leads via other non-digital methods as well. Millennial and Gen-Z are the target markets, and they will look for businesses online only, not accept sales calls or print solicitations.
Missing Out on a Valuable Tool
The results of a recent survey as reported by CPA Practice Advisor on Mar. 14, 2017 show that despite today’s target market, small business websites remain a rarity. The 2017 Small Business Digital Marketing Survey asked 355 U.S. small business owners to participate. Forty percent of the participating businesses had 10 or fewer employees, 27 percent employ 11 to 50 people, businesses with 51 to 250 employees accounted for 25 percent of the responses, and those with 251 to 500 staff members rounded out the remaining 8 percent.
Of these businesses, only 50 percent bring in $1 million or more in annual profits, and experts might argue that part of the reason why is because 31 percent use social media only. They do not have a website, and their location seems to influence their decision to avoid such an online presence. It appears small business in the Midwest do not place as much importance on websites as businesses in the South, Northeast, and West.
When tallied, the survey results revealed that only 58 percent of Midwestern business owners had websites. Seventy-two percent of business owners in the South had websites, 73 percent in the Northeast had them, and 77 percent in the west had a personalized site. Why is there such a discrepancy between the Midwest and the rest of the States? Experts say many businesses in the Midwest consider websites a waste of time and resources.
This Being Said…
This being said, experts are quick to point out the advantages of having a small business website. They include increased local and global market saturation; cost savings, including digital sales and conversions, branding a business in-house, and saving money on labor and facilities; and the ability to track marketing campaigns with analytical data right at the owner’s fingertips. It’s much easier to market a business online than offline these days.
The numbers are in, and despite what the experts say, many small businesses still do not have their own websites. This doesn’t make sense when it is so easy to build one and establish a positive online brand. After all, this is what today’s shoppers want, and they want it mobile-friendly, too, by the way.