Have you ever sought out the website of a local business or restaurant and found either: no website exists at all OR the website that does exist is so poorly executed that it actually dissuades you from doing business with a firm?
Websites are, after all, a necessary tool in the branding and marketing of any business. That’s backed up by recent surveys showing that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) know this. A May 2015 report by 99designs indicated that 87 percent of SMB owners/managers agreed that positive customer perceptions of their brands were important, with 63 percent said that how customers viewed their brands was very important.
One of the biggest branding vehicles? Yes, that website thing. “It’s important for sites to be in tip-top shape, and 76 percent of SMB owners and managers said those that looked professional attracted better customers.”
Interestingly, according to eMarketer, “respondents from the nonprofit, entertainment, retail, and advertising and marketing industries were the biggest proponents of the idea that a professional-looking website attracted more and better customers, with percentages for each group hovering around nine in 10. With the exception of real estate, finance, and transportation professionals, at least two-thirds of respondents from every industry studied agreed with this statement.”
Now too many SMBs are struggling to catch up.
A recent Rocket Lawyer survey indicated that many small business owners are now increasing their marketing and brand efforts; in fact, it was cited as the top 2015 business priority by 35 percent of those polled.
In other words, the smartest SMBs are realizing that an attractive, functional website isn’t the cart that follows the horse — neigh, it’s a big marketing horse all its own.