Time was small business websites were little more than brochureware. Not any longer, if the ISP Interland’s Summer 2005 Small and Medium-sized Business Barometer is to be believed. According to the report, more than half of SMB’s use their sites for lead generation and sales, some 57 percent to be precise.
What features topped the list in helping small businesses market their sites? Email was #1 at 60 percent. Another 54 percent said they deploy search engine optimization to make sure they’re found online, and 27 percent said they use online coupons. Only 20 percent indicated they use pay-per-click as a marketing tool. Blogs came in at 19 percent (more about that in a moment), podcasting was 11 percent and RSS was used by 10 percent for generating sales.
Consider again the percentage using blogs. Of the SMB’s surveyed in this report, that’s almost one in five. As a business blog evangelist, that is exciting news indeed.
What’s the reason blogs are gaining in popularity? Among other things they are very easy to set up and use. Blogs are one way an otherwise static site can be updated with fresh content on a routine basis without having to jump through technical hurdles like learning HTML.
I hope that this time year we’ll see the blog numbers even higher. For now, I’m very happy with 19 percent.