Statistics show it’s not too late for small businesses to take advantage of their competitors online by simply not neglecting their websites.
It is very shocking to see just how many businesses, and small businesses in particular, are not using the right type of technology to grow and establish their business. Most worrying of all is that this technology is readily available and, if not completely free, it is very cheap.
You already know people use the internet to find anything and everything from the plumber around the corner or the best restaurant in a town on the other side of the globe. And it is also true that everyday people are becoming more knowledgeable about the internet, and that they use this knowledge to judge businesses.
As such, a business with a poorly maintained website or possibly lacking a site completely are judged as irrelevant. People assume that these types of businesses offer low quality products or a poor service. The reality is that how businesses use their website is of huge importance to the business in general.
Over half (54%) of all SMEs (small to medium enterprises) only update their website once every two months. This is a negligible amount of change, meaning visitors are unlikely to see any change.
Meanwhile, the reality is that those SMEs that do update their sites at least five times a month increase their traffic by at least 300%.
Furthermore, the majority (75%) of small businesses continue to forget about the importance of social media. Just 15% of businesses have Facebook integration, 6% use AdWords and even less than that use Facebook and Twitter.
On the other hand, research has shown that those SMEs that do use social media to their advantage can expect a 400% increase in their number of visitors, particularly if they use Facebook. Twitter, while useful, is less important
The reality is that SMEs are not using modern technology nor are they understanding online marketing properly.
- 51% of SME owners have some sort of technology to keep track of their accounting technology.
- 39% use software packages for scheduling and booking appointments.
• 14% use technology for customer acquisition marketing.
- 52% percent of SMEs still do not have a website at all.
- 56% do not spend any time measuring whether or not their marketing programs have shown any results.
With so many businesses neglecting their websites, you can see how much potential there actually is to grow online.
What Small Businesses Are Using
One reason as to why SMEs may not be using technology properly is because the number of choices available is overwhelming. In reality, however, it isn’t much work and the effects are massive.
As stated previously, having a Facebook account is absolutely vital when it comes to attracting new visitors, as is regularly updating a website. This is where many small businesses again come up with an obstacle. They believe they do not have the skills, manpower or knowledge to build a website. But in reality, they do and it comes in the form of WordPress.
WordPress is one of the best content management systems and it can be used by businesses of all types of sizes and niches. WordPress is a highly customizable and robust system integrating with social media outlets, ecommerce and pretty much anything else you can think of.
For those seeking a custom solution, hiring a WordPress developer to set up your site the way you want and need, will probably be the way to go. While adding specific plugins and hosting the site as a standalone website do cost a little bit of money, the return on investment is huge. As average traffic to a regularly updated website increases by 300%, as shown earlier, it should be clear why WordPress is the tool of choice.
A lot of people see WordPress as nothing but an Open Source tool, which automatically means that it is not suitable for businesses. While they often understand that there are some benefits to using WordPress for an individual, they think big brands stay away from it.
Nothing could be further from the truth. TechCrunch, the New Yorker, BBC America, the Official Star Wars blog, Variety, Sony Music, MTV News, Beyonce, eBay Inc and PlayStation.Blog all use WordPress, and that is just a few of the large brands that use this tool to spread their message across the world.
As a small business owner, shying away from social media and online marketing tools is a costly mistake. Big brand businesses all over the world are using their websites to grow their businesses.
Small businesses can learn from this by using low cost tools such as WordPress to become big publishers online. Don’t neglect your site, make it a huge return on investment!