For many small businesses, the Digital Age is just beginning

by | Mar 9, 2020 | Marketing, Public Relations

It’s hard to imagine doing business in the 21st century without an online presence, but here we are entering the century’s third decade and new research from portfolio website Visual Objects reveals that a significant number of small businesses are just this year creating a website for the first time.

Despite the increasing popularity of e-commerce, nearly a third of small businesses (29 percent) say they are planning to startusing a website this year. Another 60 percent say they plan to more heavily rely on their website as a marketing channel for their business in the next year.

ICYMI, websites help to increase the visibility and credibility of a business to potential customers searching for relevant products and services online. “Your website should be your number one salesperson, 365 days a year, 24/7,” said Lauren Williams, founder of Harmony HR Experts, in a news release. “Everyone buys things on the internet all the time. Even if your business is providing a service, you must have a way to sell it on the internet.”

For many small businesses, the Digital Age is just beginning

29 percent of small businesses say their website needs improvement

Like any other tool, businesses should be revisiting and constantly optimizing their website for present-day use.

Website improvements include:

  • Increased page speed
  • More detailed search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Clearer call-to-actions
  • Better mobile design

Page speed is increasingly important

Make sure your website is fast—especially on mobile,” said Krista Neher, CEO of Boot Camp Digital, in the release. “Mobile speed will not only impact the experience that people have with your site but it also influences social media posts and your rankings in search engines.”

33 percent of small businesses say websites help them achieve their goals

One in three small businesses (33 percent) say their website is the marketing channel to which they most attribute their success, coming second to only social media (37 percent)—suggesting that websites can give small businesses a boost in achieving their goals if done correctly.

For many small businesses, the Digital Age is just beginning

Ronii Bartles, operations and marketing consultant at Ronii Bartles Consulting, advises businesses to be selective about what they put on their website. “I find that small business owners want to share everything on their website and asking the website visitor to ‘buy now,’ ‘contact me,’ ‘download this thing’ is too overwhelming,” Bartles said, in the release.

“When someone first lands on the home page, what is the one thing you want them to do?” Bartles added. “Then take away all the other stuff.”

By having one clear call to action, small businesses can get more out of their website.

Small businesses will pay more attention to their websites in 2020

Websites can help small businesses stand out among competitors and expand their customer base.

More small businesses plan to invest time and resources in 2020 into making sure their website is a tool that can help them succeed.

For many small businesses, the Digital Age is just beginning

Read the full report here.

Visual Objects surveyed 500 small business owners and marketers. 

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter