A new survey of 145 UK businesses by Fasthosts Internet Ltd, a leading web hosting company, has revealed that whilst 69% of firms realise certain aspects of their website may require attention, 32% repeatedly neglect making the changes in favour of spending the time on other aspects of the business.
According to the survey, the average small company rates their website at 6 out of 10 for effectiveness, but also aims to treble the income generated by their website during 2009. The research suggests a clear discrepancy between business owners’ online ambitions and how much time they currently invest.
As their shop window to the world, the majority of UK companies recognise that having a web presence is a vital aspect of modern business. However, 27% are unhappy with their website design and a further 25% are concerned that their website does not allow feature sufficient methods to communicate with customers. The research also showed that 1 in 10 businesses would like to replace their website entirely.
Whilst there are plenty of products and services on the market to help enhance business websites, 1 in 3 owners admit to being floored by a lack of time. During the first quarter of 2009, a further 32% of business owners repeatedly sidelined changes to their website. The figures are alarming in contrast to the tough targets the same businesses have set themselves for online activity this year. 71% aim to increase their overall visibility on the Web during 2009, while 55% aim to grow the size of their website and 22% intend to begin online advertising.
Currently, the average business earns 10% of its total sales revenue as a direct result of its website, but in 2009, businesses are hoping to increase this income to 21%-30% of total sales revenue.
Steve Holford, CMO Fasthosts Internet, said: “In challenging economic conditions, business owners are more stretched for time and resources than ever. However, it is important to remember that often the simplest improvements to a website can make a noticeable impact on sales conversion rates. Even a modest business website must receive regular attention to fulfil its potential.”
Fasthosts’ research suggests that UK businesses risk missing their online targets unless they can prioritise the work that their websites require. The issue is further supported by the fact that 26% of respondents admit that tough operating conditions has either already led or may lead them to cut-back on external consultants such as web designers or IT advisors.
As UK online spending continues to snowball, business owners clearly recognise the value in investing in an online presence. 94% believe that every size of enterprise should have a website, and 79% would not wish to go back to the days of solely off-line trading.
Holford added, “Businesses can often find the Internet to be as challenging as the high street. However, a big flashy website is not a prerequisite to achieving online sales growth. With a realistic online strategy and a consistent commitment of time and resource, every enterprise can better achieve their online potential this year.”
Fasthosts is the UK’s number one web hosting company. Based in the UK and operating 24×7 from their dedicated UK data centres, Fasthosts keeps over 1 million domains running smoothly and ensures over 6 million emails are delivered safely each day. All Fasthosts services can be self-managed through the award winning Fasthosts web-based control panel that provides customers with unparalleled online control, enabling them to manage hosted services including domain name registrations, shared web hosting, business-class email, dedicated servers, software-as-a-service, internet merchant accounts and unlimited broadband. Fasthosts’ highly successful reseller channel has recently been rated Number 1 for reseller hosting by industry portal Web Host Directory.
Via EPR Network
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