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Golden Google is business owners’ holy grail

Websites and social media are the two most important areas of digital marketing for businesses.

At the end of April, we sent out a survey to find out how coronavirus and the lockdown have changed how businesses market themselves online. We wanted to know more about how the pandemic has affected businesses so far and what plans they are making to keep themselves visible to their consumers.

Here at Advance Online, we know about the importance of having a website and the value of it being current and functional, but we wanted to know if people are thinking differently about their ‘online shop window’.

We’re pleased to say they are and if you too are thinking about how to improve your digital marketing, you’re not alone.

We discovered that the main focus was for businesses to update or improve their websites with the aim of ranking on the first page of Google.

Delving a little deeper, we also discovered that whilst many had some budget to do it, the majority would appreciate a buy now pay later offer or no deposit / lump sum to get them re-launched and back to trading. A bit of financial assistance now, to get them through these early days; which is exactly what we are now offering to help steer them through and survive.

Our MD Malcolm Porter, said: “The data revealed that now more than before, businesses were aware of the importance of having a website. It was really pleasing to see that 7 out 10 of businesses had been able to keep trading and although 3 out of 10 businesses had temporarily ceased trading, none had closed permanently. The data was encouraging, in that many had the budget and a keen interest to use their websites and digital marketing to push their businesses through to survive the pandemic.”

Here's what we found out:

80% of businesses had been negatively affected by the pandemic
70% were still able to trade
40% of them were definitely going to be making changes to services and operations in response to the current situation.

Eight out of 10 businesses have a plan in place for recovery
7 out of 10 business owners said their website would be their primary marketing focus. Social media and ranking on the first page of Google closely followed.

Almost 10% of the businesses said they didn’t have a website – of these, the majority, 75% said they would now be getting a website. Just a handful said they still had no need for one.

Before coronavirus:
70% of businesses thought their website was either important or very important in promotion and generating leads.

After coronavirus:
86% want a new website or to update their existing website with additional services or new functionality such as ecommerce, new content, live chat and videos.
Most said they would use professional help – and had budget to do it.

25% said they were happy with their existing website and that no changes were required.

Golden Google

The majority of business owners said that it was ‘Very Important / Important’ that potential customers could find their business in the natural listings on the 1st page of Google. 75% said that they didn’t know if their business ranked on the 1st page of Google. 28% said that their business did not rank at all on the 1st page of Google.

Survey respondent stats:

The survey was carried out from 27th April and 7th May 104 businesses completed the survey 83% of business owners who completed the survey are either sole traders or employ up to 5 people 79% of businesses had a turnover up to £500,000 90% of the respondents are based in the South of England 70% were still trading 30% were unable to trade

Malcolm added:
“These results highlight the significance that digital marketing will play for the majority of business owners as they try to ensure that their business continues to trade, as we all move through the various stages of recovery post Covid19. What is crystal clear is that business owners clearly recognise the combined importance of having a great looking website that appears on the 1st page of Google. Most business owners have told us that they believe their website is more important than ever in terms of generating leads and that the natural listings on the 1st page of Google is the single most important place for their business to be seen to generate these leads.”

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