2011 is set to be the year of websites for small businesses according to a recent study by Zoomerang and GrowBiz Media.
The study, reported by eMarketer, indicates that while overall marketing budget investment will remain at the same level in 2011, investment in websites and website marketing will receive a higher allocation of the budget.
The graph below outlines which areas of online marketing a small business currently concentrate their budgets spend on.
In 2010, 27% of small businesses (with 1000 or less employees) spent at least 30% of their marketing budget on online marketing and this is set to rise. 17% of the respondents in the study said they planned to increase the marketing budget for their website in 2011. Email marketing and social media won’t be left out either. 15% of small businesses said they will increase their email marketing spend and 13% will increase their spend on social media.
Over half of small businesses have a website but many of them are not using them to their full capacity. One of the most effective uses of a website is lead generation and capture. This entails making interested visitors fill out a web form so that you can contact them to discuss your services. Sound pretty straight forward? Well, I was astounded to see that only 35% of respondents use their website to capture leads. Also, if you wanted to contact a business, where would be the first place you go to find their contact details? For me (and the majority of consumers) it would be a visit to the website. Surprisingly though, only 45% of websites are used for customer service.
This data indicates that the vast majority of websites have a lot of room for improvement – lucky businesses are willing to spend more in 2011 to achieve this.
Zoomerang has an overview of their study in PDF format here – feel free to check it out.