A March 2015 study by Thrive Analytics has found that small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) in the United States are seeing more success with their websites in terms of boosting customer engagement than with any other marketing or outreach channel. In addition, January 2015 research conducted by HubShout also pointed to strong interest in website development by SMBs. Here are some other important takeaways from the two studies.

Thrive Analytics Study

  • Of those SMBs canvassed, 45 percent reported that their company website was the most effective marketing method they were using to date (as of January 2014). This compared to 39 percent of respondents citing the effectiveness of Facebook and other social media sites, and 26 percent of print yellow pages. The effectiveness of the company website beat all the other marketing channels (everything from email marketing to online ads and blogging) by 30 percentage points or more.
  • Nearly half of the SMB respondents in the survey (49 percent) confirmed plans to increase their marketing budgets for 2015, with 36 percent planning to increase spending on company websites. This was the highest percentage for all channels looked at in the study. Social media, mobile advertising, online display ads, and paid search were each cited by around 33 percent of respondents.
  • SMBs don’t update their websites as much as they need to or would like to, with a lack of time being the most cited reason for this oversight. Around 31 percent of those surveyed were most likely to update their company website on a quarterly basis, with fewer than 25 percent likely to make those changes on a monthly basis. Around 16 percent of respondents reported updating their sites daily, while 29 percent updated their sites weekly.

HubShout Research

  • When asked to evaluate what services SMBs would need the most for 2015, a notable 64 percent of SMBs across the world cited web development. In fact, company website development and enhancement beat every other category by quite a bit, including social media (at 38 percent) and content marketing (at 37 percent).

Reference:

eMarketer. “SMBs Put Their Money Where Success Is: Websites. Company Sites Are the Most Effective SMB Marketing Method.” 4/7/15.

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