The majority of small businesses are not using their websites effectively enough to attract customers, according to a study of 70,000 SME websites by BT Business.
One in six of the business web sites reviewed had no e-commerce facility to sell to customers and just 11% maintain their website every one to two days.
“This is a huge missed opportunity in the current climate as people increasingly browse the web to save money,” said Jerry Thompson, director at BT Business.
Just one in more than 3,000 small companies are using keywords in the content they post on their sites – despite the use of keywords increasing the chances of search engines picking up web pages.
With £78bn – around 25% – of UK retail spend predicted to come through online sales this year, the survey highlights that small and medium-sized companies must make sure that their sites are capable of driving sales.
“These sites can be brought back to life if their owners take basic measures to make them more visible to search engines through search engine optimisation, regular site maintenance and using keywords,” added Jerry Thompson.