Despite the fact that the Web is nearly twenty years old, many small and medium sized businesses (SMB) still have a limited and ineffective online presence. In fact, an analysis of 1 million websites worldwide last year highlights the inadequacies and explains why so many businesses are failing online.
1. Not Built for Mobile Devices
FACT: 93.3% of websites for small to medium sized businesses are not mobile compatible and will not display correctly on mobile devices including smartphones.
Internet content consumption is changing and increasingly the content is being viewed on portable devices including smart phones and tablets rather than just desktop computers. Your website must be ‘responsive’ to these smaller screens and change appearance and layout based on the size of the screen the website is being viewed on. Nearly all phones sold today are web enabled ‘smart phones’ and ensuring your website is compatible with this device is vital.
2. Social Media Missing
FACT: 80.5% of SMB websites have no social media links – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
If your business lacks fans or followers you probably haven’t connected your social media accounts to your website. Social media can be a powerful marketing tool but if there’s no audience then you’re not going to get the traffic or results. When writing a blog post you also need to share the content with your social networks and automatically push the content out through your social media channels.
3. Email Fail
FACT: 74.7% of SMB websites lack an email link on their homepage for potential customers to contact the business.
Email provides customers with an instant response mechanism for their queries and they expect to be able to contact you 24/7 at the click of the mouse. Not having an email link on your homepage denies them that immediate option and you’re also missing the opportunity to field questions from customers and collect email details of prospects.
4. Opt In Box
FACT: 65.7% of SMB websites lack a form-fill option so that consumers can request information.
SMBs should build opt in and enquiry forms into their website, but only one third of sites incorporate this feature. Those forms can also be connected to a CRM system that collects a prospect’s email address for future follow up and communication.
5. The Phone Number
FACT: 56.3% of SMB websites have no toll-free or business phone number listed on their homepage.
Although email tends to be the preferred form of communication these days (and that address is missing from most SMBs homepages), some questions are better answered by phone. Not listing a phone number on your homepage makes it more difficult for customers to contact you which is one of the primary reasons you have a website.
FACT: 56.3% of SMB websites have no keyword information for search engine discovery.
If you have a website that no one can find, it defeats the whole purpose of building a website. Customer searches on Google should form a significant amount of your website traffic. Keyword research and creation, on-site optimisation, and off-site link building in industry directories and other relevant sites are essential elements to drive traffic to your website. Improving your ranking with the search engines like Google is critical if you want your business to be found. A recent study suggests that the first 3 places on page 1 of a Google search get 61.5% of the traffic and only 8.5% of traffic filters through to page 2. If you don’t appear in the first 3 organic listings you’re almost invisible.
Addressing these six issues will certainly help you attract more traffic to your website but they are just the basics.
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