The new 2016 state of small business websites Restive study hit the streets in late August, and it’s an eye-opener for small business owners.
2016 State of Small Business Websites
This Restive report looked at 5000 small-business websites, choosing the The Inc® 5000 fastest growing private U.S. companies. A thorough review of these sites provides a very plausible indicator of the overall state of small-business websites in general, as well as their readiness for an increasingly mobile future.
2016 State of Small Business Websites – The Findings
I could understand this a few years ago, but as we barrel into 2017, that is sending a very wrong message to your “potential” future customers.
The good news is less than 5% use a separate “mobile” site. That was a popular option 3-4 years ago, but even Google recommends against it, telling you “responsive” is the way to go.
The bad news. In a separate 2016 study by smallbusiness.com showed that nearly half of small businesses do not have a website. And 1/3 answered that it’s “not relevant for their industry”. HUH? Say again?
A website would never not be relevant to any business.
No matter what type of business you run, you have customers. It’s necessary to have some sort of information online, at least a page describing who you are, what you do, and offering contact information. It’s essential to have this information indexed and shown to those looking for you, otherwise you’re relying on third party recommendations that rarely come with email or phone numbers. Even if you only have a few clients a year, or think that people won’t search online for your type of products/ services, there will be someone looking for you, and you should try make every effort to make that process easier.
2016 State of Small Business Websites – Observations
- The cost of not having a website is much higher than the cost of building a website.
- All small businesses can benefit from a website. Whether it’s a one-page site or a comprehensive interactive website, every business in every industry can benefit from having some type of web presence.
- For those small businesses with a website, there are always areas to improve on within a website to maximize its visibility, credibility, and usability.
- Small businesses need to make their websites mobile-friendly and further optimize these sites for mobile engagement.
- Blogs need to be on the same domain for SEO.
- Both usability and website performance (download times) should become a priority for small business website improvements in 2016 and beyond.
- Small businesses that have a website will continue to benefit and those that have a mobile-friendly, user-friendly, optimized responsive websites will beat out competitors as they offer users a higher quality website experience. Between a lower bounce rate, and a higher engagement time (both measured by Google for SEO), a mobile-friendly site will win hands down over a desktop otimzed site.
Websites/Social Media/Content Marketing
Lastly, a study of over 1100 small businesses showed that 43% wanted to focus on improving customer experience and retention while 28% are going to invest in methods to acquire new customers. Nearly 70% of those looking for new customers named social media and/ or content marketing as their first choice.
How it all works in one paragraph.
Your website is the anchor. Your mobile responsive website adds an ‘update/news/promotions/blog to your menu. Content is then created using appropriate text, images and video, in a way that makes Google Yahoo and Bing think this is a new page to your site (for every blog post) causing it to be indexed as a separate page on your domain. Additionally, a picture or video with a “snippit” of information about the post is shared to social media channels, driving clicks directly to your blog which happens to be on your website domain (with your main menu featured prominently). You now have a new visitor that came to your website from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…meanwhile, after a few days or weeks, that post should start showing up in Google searches. That happens when the post has professional SEO. This opens two inbound marketing channels; social media shares and Google search returns.
And that is, in a real nutshell, small business content marketing.
But it depends on mobile-responsive website, creative content writing, professional Google Best Practice SEO and social media optimization/ management.
And this is what we do at Web It 101.