by Daniel Burstein
, Director of Editorial Content
Research firm Clutch conducted a survey to determine the digital marketing trends within small businesses and asked 259 survey respondents …Q. How do you expect spending on your company website will change in 2015 compared to 2014? Include spending on Web design, Web development and hosting. Do not include spending on marketing, such as Google AdWords
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Website spending largely remains flat for small businesses …
Almost two-thirds (64%) of small businesses (companies with less than 500 employees) indicated that their website spending will remain flat.
… but the World (Wide Web) is not flat
The companies that are not increasing their website investments face a significant challenge because the digital ecosystem is constantly changing and evolving.
For example, Google's recent search algorithm update (hyped as "Mobilegeddon") favors sites in mobile searches that look good on smartphones.
This could be an especially big challenge for small local businesses since 36% of consumers are extremely likely to use mobile search to find a local business, product or service. This is according to data we published in the April 14 Chart of the Week
Even beyond the front end, keeping up with technology on the back end of the website can impact the overall operation of marketing, sales and the entire business.
"I think updating to a mobile-optimized website is pretty common," Ted Risdall, Chairman and CEO, Risdall Marketing Group, said. "A couple other things that we're seeing a lot of: one is wrapping marketing automation efforts and lead tracking efforts into their website efforts, so more on the back end."
Companies must continue to learn about customers and improve the customer experience
Businesses must also continue to learn about how to best serve customers. This can be done through A/B testing on their websites — if they have the budget.
From these discoveries, businesses can bring in new technology to help improve customer experience on their website while continuing to keep up with competition (especially larger companies with optimized user experiences, like Amazon).
"Small businesses want to improve the user interface for their front end user. That's their main concern," Garry Kanfer, Vice President, Big Drop Inc., said. "Since technology is changing, there are different kinds of animations, different kinds of over-effects. The user experience definitely changed from what it was even five years ago. They (small businesses) see their competitors having a better site, a better user experience, and they feel that they should invest and do the same as their competitors or be on the edge of their competitors."
Plus, small businesses must also compete with larger corporations to give people a reason to go visit the site in the first place.
"We also see a lot of clients now moving toward more compelling types of content for their website, such as video and infographics, that take a little bit of resources to implement and create," Risdall concluded.
SourcesClutch.coRisdall Marketing GroupBig Drop Inc.
Related ResourcesSubscribe to MarketingSherpa Chart of the Week
— Gain access to the data and discoveries you need to better serve customersLocal Marketing Chart: How do customers search for products and services?Small Business and the Web: 2015 Digital Marketing Survey
(via Clutch)Websites Prep for Google's ‘Mobilegeddon'
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