Canadian Small Businesses Find Getting Good Exposure Online a Challenge

GoDaddy survey respondents identified search engine optimization (SEO) as the most useful digital marketing tool, yet don't understand how it works

TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), the world's largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, has revealed the results of its national Canadian Small Business survey, which found that the top three challenges faced by small businesses are getting adequate exposure for their company name and offerings (60 per cent); managing cash flow and staying profitable (46 per cent); and generating sales leads (46 per cent).

When it comes to growing their business and sales, respondents said search engine optimization (SEO) — used to increase visibility of a website in search engines' unpaid search results pages — would be the most useful digital marketing tool (54 per cent), followed by having good website content (50 per cent) and having a social media presence (44 per cent). However, approximately 60 per cent of respondents have not used SEO, and of these respondents, almost 70 per cent said they don't understand it.

"Our survey reinforces that each small business in Canada has unique online needs," said Jill Schoolenberg, Vice President of GoDaddy Canada. "Canadian small business owners are busy running their businesses and don't always have the time to build or maintain their online presence. With our dedicated solutions and tools, we make it simple to get a domain name, build a great website, and establish a brand and business presence online."

Other significant findings from the survey indicate that content is key as business owners look ahead, and that most are not using their site to sell their products or services online:

  • Website content (25%) and SEO (21%) are cited as the major areas respondents would most like to improve when it comes to their online business presence.
  • More than 39% of respondents said their websites are not mobile optimized.
  • 83% of Canadian small business owners use their websites as a platform to expose their products, while only 19 per cent use it as an e-commerce platform to sell directly to customers.
  • 62% of respondents do not have an online store and said they do not require one. The remaining 38% of respondents either have an existing online store or intend to build one in the next 12 months.

"My expertise is in creating fashionable streetwear — not building websites," said Joseph Nadolny, CEO and Owner of clothing company YoungShepherdClothing.com in Toronto.  "As a young and rapidly expanding small business, GoDaddy gives me all the tools I need to present a professional face online to my customers around the world. Their 24-hour customer care is a big plus for us. When we had an issue setting up the inventory count for our online store, GoDaddy was able to help us resolve it, even though it was the middle of the night."

The GoDaddy survey was conducted from June 2015 to July 2015, with 407 GoDaddy customers from across Canada. Ninety per cent of respondents had five or fewer employees.

Tips for small business owners:

  • Have a plan. Think about the purpose of your site and plan your content before you begin including visuals, product information, and how to contact you.
  • Choose a domain name that aligns to your business. You may want to consider choosing a .CA domain extension.
  • Keep your website clean and simple. Remember that your website reflects your brand and "less is more" in website design. Keep your site clean and easy to use.
  • Be mobile-friendly. Being mobile-friendly means your website is optimized for viewing on mobile devices and your online business will be more accessible to your customers.
  • Pay only for what you need. Having a small business means watching your budget. Look for a solution provider that will allow you to customize your solution, with the option for a complete hosting package or picking only the tools that suit your needs.
  • Optimize your site for search engines. Once you're online, you want to help ensure your website ranks high in search engines when people search for businesses in your field. Use tools that can analyze your site and offer guidance on how to optimize your search engine rankings. Some SEO tips:
    • Simple and specific. The more you hone your keywords, the less competition you will have and the higher you will rank. Your keywords represent the essence of what you do, where you do it, and what you offer. Choose them wisely, and choose words that are relevant.
    • Be au naturale. Don't overuse your keywords; it will make your content harder to read for people and search engines alike. Evaluate context in your content, because your search engine will be doing the same thing when it looks at your page.

Download "A Beginner's Guide to SEO": https://garage.godaddy.com/smallbusiness/market/download-free-seo-guide/

About GoDaddy

GoDaddy's mission is to radically shift the global economy toward small businesses by empowering people to easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their own ventures. With more than 13 million customers worldwide and more than 60 million domain names under management, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To learn more about the company, visit www.GoDaddy.com.

GoDaddy Canada can be found online at www.GoDaddy.ca.  Visit us on Facebook.

2015 GoDaddy Inc. All Rights Reserved

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SOURCE GoDaddy Inc.

For further information: Media contacts: Mike Martin / Steve Gold, StrategicAmpersand Inc., GoDaddyPR@stratamp.com, (416) 961-5595, http://www.GoDaddy.ca


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