On Monday we covered a report by Google showing that fifty-five percent of small businesses don’t have a website. Did you read that? Over half of them don’t have a website. That means that over half of the small businesses in this country (or at least of the 3800 surveyed) aren’t being represented properly when a potential customer searches for them. Misrepresentation can, and often does, cost sales.
Reasons, as the article pointed out, vary from owner to owner. Many are afraid their business would grow to unmanageable levels too quickly. Others fear that they don’t have time to keep up with the site. Others still simply don’t see their business growing based on the internet. While none of the reasons here are things to actually be concerned about, they are the reasons most commonly given. They’re also the road blocks holding many business owners back from their dreams.
Most of the world uses Google to find out about anything they need, from clothing to new restaurants to their next dog groomer. When a business owner refrains from having a website built, they are withdrawing from a fantastic opportunity to represent their company in a way that will help them build new business relationships and grow their revenue. They’re essentially cutting off their own leg.
Like their real legs, most small business owners can’t afford to cut off a revenue leg. They need to collect income from any area available to their company. And, if you pay attention to the stats, you’ll discover that a web presence is a pretty strong leg, supporting a large portion of the total revenue for a website. Here are just a few facts (from Pew Internet and American Life Project, May 2010) that might surprise you:
- 78% of Internet users conduct product research online.
- 40% of US smartphone owners compare prices on their mobile device while in-store, shopping for an item.
- 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog.
- Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic.
- Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
What’s most amazing to me is that, despite all this, business owners still choose not to have a website. What’s worse is that of the ones that do, many choose to not update it or use it effectively. If you find yourself among either of these groups, we can help. Have a look at some of our satisfied clients, then start a conversation with us about building your web presence. Feel free to leave us a comment about your small business web experience. See you next Friday!