SMEs Not Getting SEO?

According to a recently released “State of UK Business Websites 2010” study, many small and medium enterprises – or SMEs – are “failing” to take advantage of search engine optimisation strategies and techniques, despite research which indicates that SEO is an effective tool for retailers and other small businesses. What does the study, commissioned by Thomas Local, tell us, and what can UK’s SMEs do to correct this failure?

The report was based on the performance of 1001 SME websites in regards to SEO criteria. Among the findings:

  • 12 percent of these businesses were not indexed in any search engine.
  • Only three percent “could be considered to have advanced levels of SEO.”
  • 70 percent of companies with 50 or fewer employees had either very basic SEO or none.
  • 35 percent of the sites studied did not have unique page times, and 56 percent did not have unique page descriptions.
  • 82 percent of the SME websites did not have an HTML sitemap, and 75 percent had no XML sitemap.  Sites with sitemaps typically have more pages indexed with major search engines, such as Google.

Not every SME, particularly those with fewer than 50 employees, has the resources to commit to extensive SEO campaigns, but even basic measures will have an impact on search engine ratings. Submitting a site for indexing on Google and other major search engines, making sure to have otpimised and unique page titles and descriptions, and including a sitemap are all relatively easy, quick solutions that can improve traffic and online visibility.

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