SMEs must improve web presence to grow business

Over 25 percent of small businesses do not have a website and 10 percent claim that they are unlikely to have a website in the future, according to a new survey conducted by research firm Clutch. Of the small businesses that have a website, only 56 percent have a responsive design website that is mobile friendly. However, the survey also showed signs of improvement, as 23 percent plan to increase website spending in 2015.

The research also found that many small businesses are not utilizing existing digital marketing strategies. Only 53 percent of small businesses reported that they actively work on social media, 45 percent on search engine optimisation (SEO), and 25 percent on online advertising.

“Having a strong online presence is kind of as important as having a professional looking business card,” explained Andrew Ruditser, co-founder of web design firm MAXBURST, remarking on the survey results. “In my opinion, you cannot effectively compete or market yourself without a website; you must have one.”

Ted Risdall, chairman and CEO of Risdall Marketing Group, felt that the survey findings highlight an opportunity for small businesses to grow their authority online.

Risdall said: “Digital marketing campaigns are often a lot less expensive than other types of campaigns, I think that it actually lowers the entry point for a lot of clients that want to start doing something meaningful. That first something meaningful is having that store front online and being there when people are searching for the kinds of things you do.”