The latest survey of small business’s internet marketing practices reveals that although many business owners know what it takes to improve search engine rankings, a considerable number have neither the knowledge or experience to make sure their business websites maximise the potential of both local search optimisation and the social media. The survey carried out on the behalf of an online directory listing company was conducted by Gary Hennerberg, an internet marketing consultant and President of the Hennerberg Group. It found that although small business owners knew what they needed to do to help their businesses grow; they struggled to manage to put this into effect.
The statistics reported by the survey are actually quite enlightening. Overall, 80% of small businesses have a website, with 50% reporting good results. However 30% were less than satisfied with their websites performance and conversion rates. The remaining 20% of businesses don’t have a website, but, of these, 16% are planning on one sometime in the future. According to Hennerberg:
“The survey suggests that small business owners know what online marketing initiatives should be done to grow their businesses. But when they get into the actual implementation of website optimization or social media, they realize they don’t know how to do it on their own,”
Interestingly the study also found that 25% of small business owners had their website built by a friend and 19% are “do it yourselfers” using a template. 20% outsourced it to a local development company.
“Some 44% of business owners either build their website as a ‘do it yourselfer’ using a template, or they lean on a friend to build their website,” said Hennerberg. “Some DIYers or friends might be well versed in how to build and optimize a website for traffic, but for many that’s probably not the case, and for those small businesses who fail to optimize their website, they risk not tapping the full potential of their online presence.”
The study found that generally, business owners are happy with the quality of the design, appearance and content of their websites: over 60% in fact. But unfortunately about 60% were either dissatisfied with, or are unsure if they were getting, high enough search engine rankings and visitors to their websites. Although 41% believe their websites bring exposure, 28% weren’t actually sure what their website was doing for them, and were forced to accept that they needed help from SEO professionals.
“The study reveals that small business owners realize they need the help of a marketingprofessional to get better at marketing their businesses, and they know what they should improve their local search optimization and use of social media,” said Hennerberg. “But most don’t know how to make these improvements.”
More than 40% reported they needed help with small business SEO for their websites for better and more effective local search rankings. Nearly 37% said they also needed help using Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Almost 35% confessed to needing help with email marketing promotions, and 33% believed they needed assistance to help them build inbound links to their website. While templates and other online tools might empower the “DIY” website builder and social media user, they couldn’t bestow the technical know-how and expertise needed to maximize any given website’s potential. Sometimes it pays to consult the experts.