Is Your Small Business Website A Dinosaur? [Research]

Small Business: 5 Cheap Ways to Be Findable

dinosaur While small businesses are often considered nimble and digitally adapt, the reality is that most SMBs are dinosaurs in terms of their online presence across digital media.

By not keeping up with evolving consumer behavior that’s increasingly mobile-based and socially networked, many of these businesses are missing profitable opportunities because prospects and customers can’t find or contact them the way that they want to—fast and on-the-go via digital and mobile devices.

SMB DigitalScape’s analysis of over 1 million SMB global websites in fourteen countries, of which 700,000 SMBs were in the US, revealed that most small businesses aren’t findable where their prospects are looking for them.

  1. 60% of SMB websites lack a toll-free or local phone number on the first page of their website.
  2. 75% of SMB websites lack an email link on the first page of their website that allows prospects and customers to contact them.
  3. 66% of SMB websites lack a form-fill option to enable prospects and customers to request information.
  4. 93% of SMB websites aren’t mobile compatible and don’t render successfully on smartphones or tablets.

Many of these problems are associated with older websites created by third parties years ago. SMB owners are often unaware that their websites’ shortcomings will drive potential customers to seek other more user-friendly alternatives. If your business information changes frequently, it may make sense to use an easy CMS (content management system) like a blog so that you’re not paying your web developer every time you need to tweak your information.

Small business information checklist

For small businesses, it’s a cheap, no-brainer to ensure all of your marketing assets contain the following information, even if you use a third party to create them.

  1. Have a phone number. To ensure your phone number is recognizable as dialable on a mobile device, employ dashes. Skip the fancier dots and spaces. Here’s how your phone number should look: XXX-XXX-XXXX.
  2. Include your physical address. Prospects may just be checking where to find your retail location.
  3. Present a map (or store locator). Remember your goal is to get prospects and customers into your location.
  4. Set your hours of operation. Post when you’re open. This helps reduce phone calls and lost opportunities.
  5. Provide an email address. Let people contact you if they have questions or other business. For example you can use an info@example.com. This is particularly important if you’re not open 24/7 which most retail establishments aren’t.
  6. Provide a contact form. This can be a general email or can gather more specific information.
  7. Add social follow links. If you’ve got an active presence on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest, let prospects know. Also, make it easy for them to share your information!

5 Cheap ways to be findable (aka Where to place your small business information)

Include your business information on these five marketing channels. Where appropriate, ensure that they’re mobile optimized.

  1. Website. Where possible, ensure that your business contact information is available on every page. Also include a tab or navigation item called “Contact Us.”
  2. Email. This includes your emailings to prospects and customers. Make sure that you collect email addresses where appropriate. It also includes your regular business email signature file. Ensure that every communication helps your business promote itself with your URL, address and phone number.
  3. Receipts. Leverage the power of your receipts to keep your business top of mind and encourage customers to return to your establishment.
  4. Social media. Let your social connections know how to contact you in the real world.
  5. Printed materials. Don’t forget to include your business name and information on every piece of collateral you hand out. (Think old-fashioned rubber stamp.)

Remember—Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. If your business information requires clicking into or searching through your site, you’ve lost a business opportunity!

What is the state of your small business website and what are the challenges you face? 

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

Even though Content Marketing World is finished until next September, you can still get all the content from 2014's exciting conference. The CMWorld On Demand package includes: Audio and video from the 2014 keynote sessions, audio and PowerPoint presentations of all the breakout sessions, over 40 audio sessions from the leading B2B and B2C brands, as well as keynote video performances. CMWonDemand

Social Media Marketing World — San Diego — March 25-27, 2015. Social Media Marketing World Register Now and Save $480!   Limited time offer.

Register Now for the Intelligent Content Conference.

Intelligent Content Conference

An annual gathering of the best and brightest content professionals on the planet. People who know the secrets (and are willing to share them). People who value content as a business asset. People who have made it their life’s work to develop repeatable, systematic approaches to producing amazingly effective content.


Free Webinar!

How Small-to-Medium Businesses Can Join the Content Marketing Revolution

How Small-to-Medium Businesses Can Join the Content Marketing RevolutionJoin the discussion on Tuesday, December 2 - Time: 2 PM (EST) / 11 AM (PST) to learn how small and medium sized businesses don't have to have an entire content marketing organization (or budget) to be successful in content marketing.

Joe Pulizzi, Author and Founder of Content Marketing Institute and Werner Mansfeld, President of NetLine Corp, discuss realistic and actionable methods for your company to get awareness, consideration and sales leads using marketing content – without the budget or resources of an enterprise-level organization.

Date: December 2nd, 2:00 pm EST/12:00pm CST/11:00 am PST

Here are just some of the questions you'll get answered:

  • What is content marketing and why is it important?
  • What do I need to have in place to compete effectively using content marketing?
  • How do I drive sales leads and get a positive ROI using content marketing?
  • How can my small business (or budget) compete with my larger competitors using content marketing?
  • What can I start doing today to start seeing results?

Joe Pulizzi and Werner Mansfeld are experts in Content Marketing and Content Syndication. Learn from their combined experience how to take advantage of content marketing for your business, no matter the size.

Register for this Free Webinar today!


 

 

Related Articles

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/6830898388/sizes/c/in/photostream/

Tags , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Todd Lohenry

    Thank you, Heidi. I find the tool http://getlisted.org very useful for showing clients where the gaps in their small business online presence are…

  • robertrizzo

    Nice checklist, Heidi. Very shareable. Thanks!

  • http://www.RiaEnjolie.com/ Tony Smith

    Thank you so much for great post.I think every small business owner must read this for increasing their online presence & growing their business.