Suppose you are a small or medium business, especially if you sell local products or services. Our research would be beneficial because it can help you get information about your business’s online side in your market niche in the United States. Our 5 testers checked over 100 websites, and here are the results of our research.
Our tested group – Small and medium business from the United States
As company codenest.co, we are focused on the United States SMBs, and our services are suited to the needs and budgets of this kind of company. That’s why we decided to do this research in this sector from our market. These kinds of companies have an amazing dynamic character, the potential for improvements, and amazing effects.
Locations of tested small and medium companies
To show better average statistics, we try to select companies from cities and states like New York, California, Illinois, Ohio, Texas. Below you can find some of the locations of our tested small and medium firms from the US:
- Portland ~12%
- Phoenix ~10%
- Los Angeles ~6.5%
- New York ~6%
- Washington ~6%
Locations with a 2% share in the survey
Markets branches of small and medium businesses in our research
- HVAC 25.1
- Plumbing 19.1
- Dental and Healthcare 12.5
- Transportation 8.4
- Gardening 6.3
- Restaurants 6.3
- Auto repair6.3
- Beauty clinic 4.2
- Utilities 2.1
Who and how we were testing small and medium companies websites
We tried to get insights as close as possible to the typical users”’ experience. Our testers are typical users with different skills and approaches to technology, websites. Finally, the results are totally subjective and maybe even unfair. But in our opinion, this is what normal users rate our sites. In their assessments, they rarely rely on professional knowledge and experience in creating websites. Opinions and behavior towards the website and companies are based on impressions, emotions, beliefs, and various past experiences and habits.
Credibility a success factor for small and medium business
Nowadays we access to a wide and various range of products and services. Most of the business owners promise us, customers, they are the best choice. What can win the customer’s attention is credibility. As in the past, customers choose products and service providers recommended by friends and family.
We wrote the article about credibility, its factors, and its influence on business scores. Here you can learn more about that and use this knowledge to improve your business.
Design style and quality of medium and small companies from the US
Our observations from the study of the website design of small and medium-sized companies
After analyzing over 100 websites from a dozen US states and different market branches,
we noticed some common features for small and medium-sized businesses; here they are:
- the websites do not show any visible and distinctive style
- website designs are more is full of simple forms, structures
- the colors used, the graphic elements are fundamental. They are mainly used to highlight the website’s website’s elements and keep the colors in line with the branding.
- most are built on a ready-made free or premium theme
- in the case of premium WordPress themes, ready-made subpage templates prepared by the creators of the theme are invisible
- in the case of websites based on wordpress, you can see the use of simple elements from page builders
- Most of the websites look outdated despite their young age
- Probably the budget for creating these sites was less or much less than $ 1000
Results from the study of the website design of small and medium-sized companies
The results of our testers’ surveys show that the pages do not show high-quality design. Most of the cases of small and medium business website design can be considered average or below average. About 20% of companies’ websites were rated as weak-design. We have not noticed a website with a high level of design.
- High – 0%
- Average – 38%
- Below Average – 42%
- Weak – 20%
The age of the domain, the number of website versions, and the impact on the quality of the pages
In the beginning, it is worth determining that the age of the domain does not equal the age of the website. The age of the domain is counted from when the website address is registered, and the age of the website is counted from when a given version of the website at a given address is operational. Statistically, companies change their website every 3 years.
A few facts from our study
- 2% of domains were registered in the 1995 year
- 16% of domains were registered before the 2000 year
- 38% of domains were registered between 2000 and 2010 year
- 46% of domains were registered between 2010 and 2020 year
- The biggest increase in the number of websites was between 2008 and 2013 year
- The average domain registered year is 2007. 40% of the domains were registered earlier, 60% later.
- We found confirmation that companies change their websites on average every 3.4 years. The scale of the changes varies.
Mobile version of small and medium business website
Still nowadays, when traffic to websites from mobile devices constitutes approx. 60% of traffic, 32% of small and medium-sized websites do not have a mobile version. Most of the websites (68%) need further improvement because they are difficult to use on mobile devices.
The most interesting Individual cases of small business websites
One of the oldest websites in research
In 1995 plumbingsupply.com was registered. During the study, we did not know the financial results and condition of the company. Still, survival on the market for over 25 years proves our ability to cope with a dynamically changing world. The corporate website changed almost 4 times, but only to a small extent. Since its inception, it has been based on a similar structure. One could say that UX and UI’s distinctive design’s weakness should prevent operation and force a radical change. This example perfectly illustrates that credibility related to business experience and its age can overcome visual issues.
One of the newest and weakest websites
Registered in 2018, parrishautorepairky.com is hosted and created in some business listing services. The biggest problem is that you can create and maintain a website of similar quality almost for free nowadays nowadays nowadays. Here in this article, we show you how to create a website for free or almost free. The website, unlike corporate social media profiles, should be built independently.
Reasons why small and medium-sized companies don’t invest in high-end design
Based on our experience and interviewing some companies, we were able to point out some of the reasons why small and medium-sized companies do not invest in high-end design:
- The too-high cost of creating local agencies, freelancers
- No need to create a page. In ‘ opinion owners’ opinion, the business functions properly and does not require investing in marketing or website appearance.
- The website fulfills its main task – informative and brings the client to contact the company.
- No pressure on a high level of design. Competition does not require investing in a website.
Our advice for small and medium business owners
- Lower the cost of creating by outsourcing the project. Here you can learn how you can outsource your website project safe and get the best results.
- Please take advantage of your competition’s downtime and use it to your advantage. Create a much more professional website and Internet operation strategy.
- If you run a local business, a well-functioning website will allow you to survive crises like the current pandemic. Here you can find a complex guide on how to solve your problems.
- It is worth remembering about the generational change. Already existing or future new customers are brought up in a fully digital world, where your image on the Internet is just as important, if not more important, than your office or store. It would be best if you prepared for changes.
- Create a simple version of the website because you are losing a lot of users and probably money. You can go even step further and create an AMP version of your website.
User experience on small and medium companies websites
According to our observations, the information aspect of the website is rated higher than the design. A website’s website’s website’s business task can be accomplished to a different extent and result from user experience and strategy. Usually, the main tasks are:
- providing information about the company and the company’s offer
- showing benefits
- building trust
- bringing in contact or purchase by the customer
- Indication of the company location and forms of contact
Below are some of our research results. We tried to reproduce the behavior of a typical user, i.e., the page is judged briefly, the user does not delve into or searches on the page. If he did not find something, he looked for it on other competition websites.
Information on what the company does
It was rated as simple in 76%. In fact, this information should be visible in the text and visual layer immediately after entering the website. The user should immediately know what a given small, medium-sized company does. In the case of 24% of websites, we found problems with that.
List of products or services provided by SMBs
Information on available products and services is much more complicated and complex than the previous case. Consequently, we saw a significant drop in testers’ ratings by as much as 26%. Mainly, there were 3 times more average ratings and almost twice as many low ratings.
SMBs websites navigation ratings
Navigation is one of the basic things on a website. Well-thought-out, simple, it can help the user to get acquainted with the company’s activities and find the user what interests him.
Although we tested the websites of medium and small companies, i.e., where the offer is limited and its structure, it turned out that the navigation was over-complicated and most likely not arranged for the user, this was the case for as many as 40% of websites.
Architecture of websites
A similar symptom that sites can make much simpler is overcomplicated architecture. About 38% of websites of small and medium-sized enterprises had a confusing and unclear structure. The user has a problem choosing where to go next, looking for information, and going to the previous page.
Evaluation of user experience and page loading by Google
From year to year, Google pays more and more attention to technical aspects and user experience. Artificial intelligence is getting better and better at assessing human experience on websites. That is why we checked how the objective eye of Google’s algorithms assesses our test group.
From year to year, Google pays more and more attention to technical aspects and user experience. Artificial intelligence is getting better and better at assessing human experience on websites. That is why we checked how the objective eye of Google’s algorithms assesses our test group. At the moment, the website will not show up in mobile search results without a well-functioning mobile version.
Below some most interesting facts from our SMBs research:
- Average score 71 points on 100 available – Average rate in Google insights\
- 64% of the website have scores below average
- Lowest Score 17 points
- 78% of websites have ratings below 90 points. It means below good/excellent.
- 14% of websites have ratings below 50 points. It means poor
If you need help with your website scores, please contact us at email@example.com. You can count on our advice.
Contact methods from small and medium firms websites
The primary goal of almost every website of small, medium, and large companies is to bring the customer into contact with the company. It usually happens through the communication channels visible on the website. Usually, it is an email address, telephone number, contact form, and more often live chat.
Here are our insights from testing contact methods on small and medium-sized websites from the United States
- in 12% of cases, we weren’t able to find any contact method
- 2% of websites offer only phone contact
- About 2% of websites have not worked contact forms
- Difficulty level and user experience:
- Easy in 17% of websites
- Average in 70% of websites
- Poor in 13% of websites
Common mistakes in methods of contacting clients with SMBs
- Not working contact forms, or no alerts about success or failure during submitting.
- Too many contact methods
- The company is not fully available at all.
- Users have too many options, and they don’t know which one is the best…
- Live chat most of the time offline.
- Contact pop-ups too aggressive
- One contact method only available
- Sometimes, in local businesses, these companies haven’t improvements to help users find and reach a business.
Small and medium companies credibility
In our projects and collaborations, we emphasize creating and showing the credibility of our clients’ companies. This is one of the most important factors in purchasing a service or product.
There is a certain combination of our clients/’reviewers’ opinions and our experience and knowledge supported by previous documented work and other specialists’ recognition. At this point in our research, we focused on how small and medium-sized companies build their credibility.
Showing business expertise
Is on the website visible business expertise knowledge? Yes, in 80% of websites, no in 20%
Is it a well-described experience? Yes, in 84% of websites, no in 16%
Our past projects, products, or past clients are shown on the website? Yes, in 76% of websites, no in 24%
Do websites have blogs or knowledge bases? Yes, in 84% of websites, no in 16%
Is the content on the website updated, or is new content posted on the blog regularly? Yes, in 60% of websites, no in 40%
Building social proof
We have a great influence on the presentation of experience and knowledge, and it mainly depends on small and medium-sized companies how they build credibility in this area. I have a much smaller influence in social proofs, i.e., opinions, reviews, i.e., signs of recognition of third parties, other companies, and organizations. However, the owners of companies from the United States can influence this by presenting their social proofs and supporting its building.
Are our client reviews available on a website? Yes in 46% of websites, no in 54%
Are the reviews reliable and valuable? Yes in 32% of websites, no in 56%
There are more than 15 in 24% of websites, below 15 in 22% cases, no reviews in 54%.
Are mentions about partners or best clients visible? Yes, in only 19.6% of websites, no in 80.4%. Mostly, if a company has partners, they have more than 6 partners.
Technology and security level in SMBs websites
WordPress as a first-choice for SMBs website CMS.
Most websites use PHP programming language as a base for the website. Some are static HTML websites. Ass a company specializing in WordPress, we are interested in how many companies use this content management system. About 50% of websites with CMS are based on WordPress; in our research, we found that it is true; about 52% of companies in the United States use WordPress.
The level of security on the websites of medium and small businesses
Because WordPress is the most popular base for websites, it is more vulnerable to hackers, malware attacks. Also, we have much more unprofessional developers in our community because wordpress requires fewer skills. But stills wordpress websites store private users’ information, or websites are significant for its operations.
Almost half of the websites are vulnerable to attacks, data leaks. According to our tests:
2% of websites are highly dangerous
Almost 45% of websites are vulnerable
About 53% of websites have low-security risks.
If you have a wordpress website and are worried about your ‘s safety website’s safety, you can easily improve the situation. It’s really low probability that you will be a victim of a direct attack. Most of the wordpress websites are attacked by mass malware or bots. The first rule is to don’t be the easiest target. In our article, you can learn how to strengthen your security.
Impact of small business website quality on customer acquisition in the USA
We have no information on financial health, sources of customer acquisition, and effectiveness. Due to this fact, we can measure only data about organic search.
Successive updates of Google algorithms mean that websites with good UX on various devices and valuable content are more and more appreciated.
In websites with poor UX with little or outdated content, these small businesses can have only 0-100 visits from organic search. The average score from the research group is 10000. The best score is 300000.
This shows how important it is to have a website with good UX, credibility, and valuable content because you can access many times more potential clients. If you would like to boost your online business even 4 times, check this article or contact us. We will be happy to help you.