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Stephen Logan

UK Small Businesses are Failing to Optimise Online Presence

2nd Aug 2010 SEO 2 minutes to read

A new study has found that 70% of all UK SMEs have little or no Search Engine Optimisation on their websites; so what’s going wrong?

If you’re a small business the Internet provides a unique opportunity to improve your brand’s visibility. Unfortunately though, it seems that many UK companies are still failing to optimise their websites.

ThomsonLocal.com teamed up with online analytics provide Analytics SEO to publish a report on the state of British business online and the findings don’t make pleasant reading. In their analysis of 1,000 websites, they found that 70% of companies with 50 or fewer employees had no form of SEO on their site whatsoever. As staggering as it is baffling.

Whilst SEO isn’t the only way to promote a website, it’s certainly one of the most effective. Search engines act as a funnel for targeted traffic, so ensuring a decent presence for the right terms can really pay dividends. If these latest figures are to be believed, then a significant proportion of smaller online businesses aren’t taking advantage.

82% don’t have a HTML Sitemap, 75% don’t even have an XML version. Meta isn’t great either, with 56% failing to write unique page descriptions and 35% missing page titles – the list goes on. All of this is probably instrumental in why 12% actually fail to appear within search results at all.

So why are people overlooking this vital part of their online marketing? Do businesses not understand SEO? Or do they perhaps see it as an unnecessary luxury? Clearly though, these figures suggest that the message about website optimisation still isn’t sinking through to everybody.

Of course for those companies actively engaging in SEO currently, this probably isn’t the worst news. After all, if competitors aren’t being competitive you stand a good chance of benefiting as a consequence. Evidently though there is huge room for improvement right across the board, particularly as only 3% of sites were found to have ‘advanced levels of SEO’.

Time is ticking for those 70% without any kind of optimisation. Without getting the full benefit of search engine visibility, they will be squandering hundreds of opportunities to reach out to new clients or customers each day. It’s never too late to invest in SEO services, but there’s a clear need for many to do so, otherwise the point of having a website is almost lost.

To read the full release with statistics visit: Research Study: The State of UK Business Websites 2010

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