Out-of-date websites can hit sales

New research commissioned by Yell suggests that consumers are likely to spend significantly less with businesses that fail to update their websites regularly.

The study sought to gauge the views of business owners and consumers on the importance of websites for small firms; it found that an effective online presence is a key driver of sales and enquiries. Overall, 80% of SMEs said their website and social media presence was the most important aspect for lead generation and sales, while 69% of consumers said they were likely or very likely to seek out a business online before making a purchase. 

Many firms, however, appear to be neglecting their websites, with analysis of one million SMEs suggesting that the average site was last updated 15 months ago. This could have a detrimental impact on online sales revenues, with the research suggesting that shoppers typically spend 54% less per month on websites that have not been updated regularly compared to those that have.

Interestingly, business owners cited a number of reasons for not updating websites. These include: a lack of expertise (34%), a lack of time (31%) and a fear that something might go wrong with the current site (30%).