Tuesday, 27 November 2007

UK survey reports on wasted websites

A recent survey of 400 UK small businesses conducted by Microsoft and research company Vanson Bourne has revealed that 62% are not using search marketing and, of these, 33% of business owners thought that search marketing was too complicated, 44% thought that search marketing was too time consuming, and 55% thought it too expensive.

The report estimated that, as a result, UK small businesses could be wasting some £3 billion on websites that cannot be found in search engine results. So, having spent hard earned money on website development, many companies are failing to capitalise on this investment, even where they are aware of the need for continuous promotion and have some knowledge about how to go about it.

Unfortunately, it is not enough to build a business website in the hope that customers will simply stumble across it. There are billions of web pages on the web and each one needs to hold its own for specific content or else its presence needs to be advertised in some way. All small businesses in the UK - and elsewhere - should therefore ask: are we currently marketing our website effectively enough? Should we be testing PPC search marketing? And is our business website optimised and visible in search engine results pages, even for the most niche terms relevant to our market?

Small businesses can gain competitive advantage by building search marketing, website optimisation and other online marketing methods into their overall marketing strategy. Some 76% of the UK businesses surveyed that invest in search marketing do report an increase in sales. And, if done well, marketing through online channels can compare very favourably in terms of cost, return on investment and responsiveness with using traditional offline marketing.

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