Key findings

 71% | Percentage of small businesses that have a website
 79% | Percentage of small businesses with websites who say it is mobile-friendly (responsive design)
 92% | Percentage of small businesses without websites that say they will have a website by the end of 2018

Small businesses with websites (by region)

58% | Midwest
72% | South
73% | Northeast
77% | West

Reasons why businesses don’t have websites

While most small business owners have concluded that a website is a requirement they can’t deny (probably the same curve that led small businesses to all acquire a telephone a century ago), nearly one-third are still site-less. Here are the reasons they give for not having one.

 31% | Use a social media business profile instead
 25% | Lack of technical skills
 23% | Not necessary in their type of business
 22% | Lack of resources (time or money) to invest in a website

Resources small businesses use for website creation and management

The slight majority of small businesses with a website have an employee who is responsible for maintaining the website. They may not be fully trained as a developer, however.

 51% | An employee
 40% | Freelancer or consultant
 38% | Do it yourself (DIY) website builder software
 31% | Design or development agency
 9% | User experience/user interface agency

Small business website priorities | 2017

Top priorities small business owners have for their websites during 2017.

 23% | Publish higher quality content
 20% | Improve optimization for mobile
 19% | Have a more user-friendly design
 17% | Improve search engine optimization
 12% | Improve security




Small businesses across the country could be missing out on a major opportunity to reach new customers, with recent research from Telstra revealing only 50% of small businesses have their own website.

The 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report researched the marketing strategies of more than 1000 SMEs and more than 1000 consumers across Australia and found, on average, only half of small businesses have a website. This is found to be an issue, as data from the research suggests 62% of customers will stop considering a small business if they can’t find information about it online.

The report found 83% of customers believe using search engines is ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when finding a business, and 47% of customers under the age of 40 report using a search engine to find or research a small business at least once a day.

However, only 26% of small business owners say they are using SEO tactics to reach more customers on platforms such as Google and Bing.

More than half of the businesses surveyed said they do not intend to use SEO tactics, while 72% said search engine marketing (SEM) does not currently form part of their plans.

The report said SMEs may object to SEO techniques because they can be a time consuming activity, despite building up an SEO strategy over time and using free software such as Google Analytics to track search data having the potential to be highly rewarding.

“Every increase in rank can potentially impact the amount of traffic your website receives from the search results – sometimes dramatically, which is why many businesses devote a little time to ongoing optimization,” Telstra said in the report.

While 76% of the business owners surveyed say word-of-mouth is responsible for driving the most new sales, 48% of consumers surveyed said they would stop considering buying from a business if it did not have a website.

Meanwhile, the survey also highlighted mobile responsiveness of e-commerce websites as an important factor for consumers; of those surveyed, 48% say they shop on a mobile device at least once a week. A third of the e-commerce businesses surveyed reported not having a mobile-friendly website.

Consumers were also more likely to be interested with chatting online with businesses, (28% compared to 9% of businesses interested in the practice), while small business owners overwhelmingly favored talking to their customers face-to-face (74%).