Almost three-quarters of Americans go online at least once a day. If you are a small business looking to grow, you need to go where your customers are. That means getting your business online with a domain name – whether it’s with branded email, a web address for your social media page, or a business website.
In September 2015, Verisign conducted a survey of 787 U.S. internet consumers aged 18 to 59 and 456 U.S. small businesses to learn more about their online behaviors and preferences – focusing on how consumers use the internet and the benefits of an online presence for a business.
Here are some key findings from the survey:
HOW CONSUMERS USE THE INTERNET
- 59% spend 10 or more hours a week online.
- 34% spend more than 20 hours a week online.
- 91% use the internet to look for local goods or services.
- 93% use the internet for research before making a purchase.
- 64% prefer to buy from businesses they can contact online.
- 58% said they were more likely to visit a business on Facebook if they could get there by using a custom domain name.
- 92% prefer to get information from a business’ website instead of their social media page.
HOW DOMAIN NAMES HELP SMALL BUSINESSES
What consumers think:
- 74% would trust a company-branded email address more so than a free email address.
- 86% prefer a business to have a website instead of a social media page.
- 77% believe that a website makes a business appear more credible.
- 84% believe a business with a website is more credible than one that only has a social media page.
What small businesses think:
- 80% prefer their business have a website over alternative methods, such as a social media page or an online directory listing.
- 88% agree a website has made it easier for customers to find their business.
- 76% agree a website is a great way to find new customers.
- 81% say that a website has helped to grow their business.
- 68% said a website is their best online marketing tool.
- 84% say their website is important or critical to their business.
- 97% would recommend having a website to other small businesses.
- 84% agree that a website makes a business more credible.
- 71% believe using a company-branded email will make their business appear more credible.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
With 91 percent of consumers using the Internet to look for local goods and services, businesses of all sizes can leverage the internet for growth. For small businesses exclusively using social media as their online presence, connecting a domain name to your social media page may increase web traffic.
Ultimately, websites continue to be a critical marketing tool. Consumers prefer a business website for information they can trust. Small businesses believe that a website not only helps them find new customers, but also grow their business. In fact, 84 percent say their website is important or critical to their business.
Are you a small business owner who is thinking about getting online? Visit TipstoGetOnline.com for resources on how to get started.