Small U.S. businesses failing to optimize websites

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In the U.S., small businesses (SMBs) continue to show signs of trepidation when it comes to technology and there’s a huge knowledge gap between how important businesses view the internet (for their business) and how they are actually using it, says a new survey from Duda, the one-click mobile and website builder for small businesses. The findings coincide with National Small Business Week.

In fact, of those surveyed, 90% say that a website is important to their business, and yet, less than a third have made updates to them in the last twelve months.

Small businesses are also not getting their sites mobile-friendly. With nearly two-thirds — 63%– of cell phone owners now using their mobile phone to go online, it is imperative for small businesses to address this growing trend by ensuring their websites are fully optimized for smartphones and tablets. Yet the data shows that only 6% of small businesses have done so. That’s 94% of small businesses who haven’t optimized their existing website for mobile devices when the majority of people are using them to surf the web (and find restaurants, plumbers, chiropractors etc.).

However the knowledge gap isn’t the lack of desire; the survey found more than 65% can’t wait to get their site modernized. The problem lies in the false assumption that creating a new website, or adapting their current site, is a complex, expensive and time-consuming process. More than half of small businesses surveyed think it takes over two weeks to build a site even though many providers can build one in a matter of hours.

“Businesses have enough to worry about without having to become mobile designers and web experts,” says Itai Sadan, CEO, Duda. “Take mobile, it is now critical for most small businesses that their prospect customers can access their website quickly and efficiently on their phones. Most importantly, these small business owners also benefit from incredibly simple tools and widgets that are proven to drive business growth such as Click-to-Call.”

These unique features — Click-to-Call and contact forms — are key drivers of new customers and revenue opportunities for those small businesses that use them:

  • Click-to-Call: Allows users to tap a button to place a phone call to a small business’s phone number. This capability helps businesses generate more calls. BIA/Kelsey predicts that by the year 2016 there will be 70 billion calls per year to businesses generated from mobile search, including directories, apps and “traditional” search.
  • Click-to-Map: Helps potential customers seamlessly locate small businesses and obtain directions. Google’s study on mobile search suggests that 40% of mobile searches are for local services or resources, with three out of every four mobile searches being a follow-up action that includes research, store visit, social media sharing and a phone call.
  • Contact forms: Offers visitors to a small business mobile site to contact or inquire about a service.
  • Transcontinental Media G.P.