SMEs unhappy with their web presence but not investing to improve it

By Joe Friedlein

It’s heartening to find that SMEs understand that their website can be a valuable business asset but equally concerning that only half invest in promoting it more broadly. It’s a bit like setting up a new retail outlet and then only telling family and friends how to find you. In order to attract new customers and grow their businesses, these SMEs need to think like a big brand and make more noise online.

Of those businesses who do invest in digital marketing, just over half (69%) undertake this solely in-house, a third (31%) have some levels of agency support or outsource entirely. However, those businesses that seek external expertise are more satisfied with their online presence and visibility than those who undertake the work in house.

SME owners and managers were most familiar with the following online marketing disciplines:

• social media marketing (91%)

• email marketing (89%)

• SEO (79%)


and least familiar with:

• content marketing (52%)

• affiliate marketing (48%)

• inbound marketing (35%)

It’s understandably chicken and egg – lots of small and micro business know they need to invest in digital marketing and that it will grow their business, but they can only cut their cloth according to their means. If these businesses can’t afford long-term activity, then ensuring their website is well optimised is be a good place to start. That way, they have a solid platform from which to build on additional activity as and when they can afford it.






* The research was carried out amongst 188 SME owners and managers at The Business Show, December 2013.

About the author

Joe Friedlein is founder and managing director at Browser Media.

Browser Media was born as an SEO agency but has embraced the ‘inbound marketing’ philosophy. The agency has always practiced a PR-led approach to search engine marketing and modern SEO is now proving itself to be based on building authority rather than keywords and meta tags. Browser Media’s services include online strategy, SEO, PPC, online PR, social media and analytics/CRO. The company was founded in 2005 by Managing Director Joe Friedlein, and from humble beginnings has grown into a highly respected and award winning marketing agency that boasts a wide portfolio of clients including Scribbler, John Lewis, Colt, Scandinavian Airlines, Virgin Balloon Flights and Navman.

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