Third annu­al Small Busi­ness Sur­vey from Clutch finds that small busi­nesses often struggle to cre­ate and main­tain a web­site

The sur­vey found that 31% of small busi­nesses choose to use social media pro­files rather than a ded­ic­ated web­site to cul­tiv­ate a web pres­ence. Oth­ers (23%) cite a lack of industry rel­ev­ance as the primary reas­on for not hav­ing a web­site.

How­ever, experts stress that a web­site is not only bene­fi­cial in every industry but also neces­sary. In the digit­al era, Inter­net searches are increas­ingly repla­cing cold calls and oth­er non-digit­al lead gen­er­a­tion. Without a web pres­ence, it is dif­fi­cult to com­pete for the Mil­len­ni­al and Gen-Z mar­ket.

In the old days, it was mainly entre­pren­eurs that were com­ing to the Inter­net. Now, more tra­di­tion­al busi­nesses – brick and mor­tars – are say­ing ‘We should get this figured out. Every­body else is on the Inter­net. I guess we need to be too.’ A lot of it is an edu­ca­tion pro­cess and cross­ing the digit­al divide.”

Alan Dale, CEO, Los Angeles Web Design, a boutique Inter­net busi­ness devel­op­ment agency spe­cial­iz­ing in web design

Small business websites

The Clutch sur­vey also reveals that loc­a­tion is indic­at­ive of wheth­er a small busi­ness has a web­site. Only 58% of Mid­west­ern small busi­nesses have a web­site com­pared to the South (72%), the North­east (73%), and the West (77%).

Experts inter­viewed about the sur­vey find­ings attrib­ute the lack of small busi­ness web­sites in the Mid­w­est to a com­mon per­cep­tion many indus­tries in the Mid­w­est have toward the Inter­net: they tend to view web­sites as a waste of time, since tra­di­tion­ally, their leads come from word-of-mouth refer­rals. In addi­tion, the Mid­w­est has tra­di­tion­ally been slow to cul­tiv­ate a cul­ture of tech star­tups sim­il­ar to Sil­ic­on Val­ley in Cali­for­nia.

Those small busi­nesses that do build web­sites place an emphas­is on mobil­ity and search engine optim­iz­a­tion (SEO). Nearly 80% of small busi­ness web­sites are now mobile friendly, one of Google’s major require­ments for web­sites attempt­ing to rank highly in their search algorithm.

The sur­vey included 355 small busi­ness owners/managers across the United States. Respond­ents answered ques­tions regard­ing their exper­i­ence with web­site own­er­ship as a part of the 2017 Small Busi­ness Digit­al Mar­ket­ing Sur­vey. 40% of respond­ents’ com­pan­ies have 10 or few­er employ­ees; 27% have 11–50 employ­ees; 25% have 51–250 employ­ees; and 8% have 251–500 employ­ees. 50% have an annu­al rev­en­ue under $1 mil­lion.

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Web­site Mar­ket­ing Flickr
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David Howell

David Howell

Journalist, Writer, Micro Publisher at Nexus Publishing
Dave Howell is Nexus Publishing. I have been working as a freelance writer, journalist and publisher for the last 20 years. I specialise in technology and business subjects. My work has appeared in the national press and many of the leading technology and business magazines.
David Howell

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