Businesses that don’t maintain their websites risk 54% loss of online revenue
Essentially, a website is an online storefront for your business, whether for a service or products. The pandemic has forced many customers to buy online, and businesses that have adapted and responded to that demand have fared well. But how much can a well-maintained online presence really influence long-term sales and revenue?
In their latest study – Can’t See The Web For The Trees – Yell’s team analyzed over a million small business websites and surveyed over 1,000 consumers to understand the impact of Covid- 19 on the services and tools they provided. , as well as the way they communicated with their customers.
How Important is a Website to Marketing a Business: Statistics
Research has identified an effective online presence as a key driver for sales and inquiries for SMEs. 80% of businesses said their website and social media presence were the most important aspects of generating leads and sales, followed closely by digital marketing and branding (both 79%) .
34% of businesses said they thought their website was unimportant before the pandemic, but now think it is important, with more than one in three SMEs (35%) believing their business wouldn’t survive without a website.
Consumers are increasingly visiting business websites early in their shopping journey. On average, 69% of consumers are likely or very likely to research a business online before making a purchase or booking a service. It’s not just a pandemic trend; 36% of those surveyed plan to do most shopping online even when a “new normal” returns.
Content is king
For the million websites analyzed, on average 15 months ago, it was the last time that an update or a change had been made, which shows that SMEs neglect to update them. trades and transport being the least frequently updated (both 20 months ago on average).
Yell research shows it could have a direct impact on online sales revenue, with study finding consumers spend 54% less per month on average on websites that haven’t been updated regularly. compared to those who did. Additionally, when asked what element of a business website would most likely increase their chances of making a purchase or booking a service from that business, 42% said it was operated from a website with up-to-date information.
The most common reason among SMEs for not updating or modifying their website was lack of expertise (34 percent of respondents). 31% of SMBs indicated that lack of time was a major factor, 30% feared that something could go wrong that could damage their current site and 26% thought they just didn’t have the money to contribute changes to their website. Interestingly, 51% agreed that it was expensive to update their website.
Speed is essential
Another extremely important factor for small businesses is site speed. The online world can be very demanding. Customers expect instant responses and fast deliveries. But more importantly, they want quick access to information. Websites need to be regularly updated and optimized for speed performance, with 36% of consumers saying they would be less likely to entrust their business to a business if their website was slow, and 9% also stating that they would post a negative comment about their experience. on social networks. This kind of reaction can snowball quickly and deter other customers.
Analysis of the 1 million UK SME websites found that on average it took 6.7 seconds for a business website page to go from a blank screen to a visually full state. The industries with the slowest websites were travel (7.7 seconds), family entertainment (7.7 seconds), and sports and recreation (7.5 seconds). The fastest-loading websites identified in the search were pet businesses (5.8 seconds), garbage businesses (6 seconds), and workshop businesses (6.1 seconds).
Designed for success
According to small business owners, design is the most important part of their website (48% of respondents). This is also reflected in consumer behavior, with half of consumers surveyed stating that they would be less likely to entrust their business to a website if it was poorly designed and 41% stating that they would no longer use that business.
However, website analysis showed that 13% of websites contained text that was too small to read on a mobile device. Additionally, 34% of businesses had a website with horizontal scrolling on mobile devices, which is a common complaint among mobile users. Alarmingly, almost 1 in 5 people (19%) were not optimized for mobile at all.
Stay up to date or face losses
It has been an incredibly difficult time for businesses across the country. The pandemic forced them to adapt quickly and led to widespread adoption of high-speed digital services. While these digital services have been crucial to the survival of businesses over the past 16 months, our information shows that this digital trend is expected to continue long after the pandemic. Therefore, having a good digital strategy is crucial for SMEs and an effective website will always be at the heart of it.
Our research highlights how important an effective website is in helping generate sales and leads, which is why Yell is thrilled to have improved their website product by partnering with Wix, combining our digital expertise and our customer service with one of the world leaders in the Web. development platforms to create easy to update, secure and professionally designed websites.
IT professionals can provide many solutions to avoid these potentially high revenue losses; make sure your website is fast to load, optimized for mobile, and presents up-to-date content and information for your visitors. These relatively quick solutions all contribute to improving the customer experience and service.
In uncertain times as a small business, why miss out on the online sales market just not having an up-to-date, good-quality website? With so many digital marketing experts available in-house, or agencies and platforms to support internal skills gaps, the solutions are there to ensure your website is a 24/7 storefront for your business and does not scare away sales or your customers.
Claire Miles, Executive Director, Yell