BIA Kelsey reported this week in a study they conducted that 60% of SMBs do not have their phone numbers on their website.   At first it seems shocking, but really it’s quite understandable.

Why It’s Shocking

Our first reaction is that this number is simply staggering.   And the reasons for having your phone number clearly displayed are so clear to seasoned local marketers.

  1. Calls to Action: The most important thing you can do with any marketing asset is convert the prospect into a customer with a call to action to engage.  That means getting the customer to call so they can make a reservation, ask a question or give them a reason to stop by.
  2. Fulfilling Intent: Furthermore, the most important thing your customer is probably looking for is a way to contact you.   Most local business websites rank very well for their business name so a customer is searching for your business with intent, goes to your website most likely to find out how to contact you … and then the contact information is missing.
  3. Google Places: A more subtle yet important point is that your rank on Google Places depends on how your website is formatted and one of the things Google looks at is that your phone number on your website matches their listing.  If your phone number is not on your website, than you are hurting your ranking on the most important local directory on the Internet

 

Why It’s NOT Shocking

The reality is that local businesses are overwhelmed by the Internet and all that they have to do.  They are not expert online marketers at heart.  50% of local businesses nationwide don’t have a website at all.  Given that, why would we expect the other 50% to have great ones?  We talk to hundreds of local businesses and hear horror stories about their web developers:

“Every time I want to update my website at all it costs me a couple hundred dollars.”

“My developer says that I need a complete redesign to do this.”

Or worst of all …

“My developer won’t call me back.  It’s been weeks.”

Do you really have to understand web design and development to run a local business?  Nowadays the answer just may be yes, or for you to find a trusted partner that can help. Maybe that’s not reasonable, but it is true.  That’s one of the reasons we built the Vivial home page plug-in, which let’s you install a piece of code on your website once and then let’s you update it with stories, events and deals without having to call your developer.   We want to make home page maintenance easy.   Of course, your website is just one piece of the puzzle.

Local businesses need help navigating local online marketing.  They need a trusted partner that can help them navigate their own website, email, social media, search, mobile and local directories and more.   It’s a complicated, fragmented and rapidly changing world out there if you are a local business trying to effectively market yourself online.

Find an online marketing solution you can trust.