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Small Businesses Embrace Online Marketing but Fall Short

by: Hostwinds Team  /  April 3, 2017

Today, most small business owners know that being online isn't a matter of "Should I" anymore. It's a must. And they're embracing that by having a website and using social media. But unfortunately, many aren't succeeding in being found online. They aren't confident in their online presence, and most don't bother with SEO.

Note: If you're interested in upping your online marketing this year, you might be interested in:

3 New reasons to consider Pinterest marketing

Understanding and tracking dark social

Small businesses not using SEO

According to Clutch's study, half of the small businesses aren't using search engine optimization for their website. SEO isn't a quick fix for anything but something that will pay off in the long run if done correctly. It can both increase inbound traffic (potentially new customers) to your site and boost your business brand and credibility.

And considering the sheer number of small businesses not investing in SEO, it could give you a significant advantage over competitors. Maybe this will provide you with yet another push to consider using SEO: Over 91% of all clicks made when someone searches Google for something will happen on the first page.

Considering the sheer number of small businesses not investing in SEO could give you a significant advantage over competitors. Click To Tweet

Small businesses using social media

According to Clutch's social media and digital marketing study, only 44% of small businesses surveyed are already using social media. 70% plan on doing so in 2017, and 80% say digital marketing is directly tied to their success. But of those using social media and digital marketing, nearly half say they're only somewhat effective at doing so.

If you're having problems managing your social media, take a step back and identify your goals. What are you trying to achieve with social media? Are you trying to increase your fans and followers to grow your audience? Are you using social media as a means for communication and support? Make sales?

Focus on one to start with and experiment with different social media channels out there. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest. They can all be viable, depending on what you're trying to do and who your target audience is.

16% are using social media but don't have a business website to support it.

Small businesses using one-page websites

Some small business owners who have a site to support their online marketing and social media use a single, one-page website. In some cases, that may be all that's needed. But the chances of a one-page site ranking in search results or getting customers to engage aren't excellent.

Take a look at your competitors' sites and other sites in your industry that are doing well. Chances are, they aren't using a one-page site.

Should you have more than one page? First, consider what are your customers looking for when they visit your site? Information? Sales, deals, or coupons? Information on products? Are they ready to purchase? If you aren't sure, Brand24 has an excellent guide for getting valuable feedback and information from your customers.

I'm not suggesting that you should create more pages just for the sake of having more. But if there's more that could be added that will be helpful or appreciated by your visitors, then yes, of course. Add it. If you decide to stick with a single page, though, I do recommend checking out Sonam Chhedon's tips for optimizing it.

Small businesses online and security

Most small business owners with a website online believe their sites are secure. But Symantec's 2016 Internet Security Threat Report reports that over 75% of all sites online have some security vulnerability that's not patched or fixed.

75% of all sites online have some security vulnerability that's not patched or fixed

Small businesses have no plans for online improvement.

This is quite startling, in my opinion. Nearly one out of every five small business owners had plans to engage in digital marketing in 2016. Everything on the internet moves fast, and things are constantly changing. You can't afford to sit still and do nothing while everyone else is out there experimenting, adapting, and growing.

What plans do you have in 2017 for your business site?

Written by Hostwinds Team  /  April 3, 2017