For the last 2 years the Olds Connected Community Committee has conducted an independent business survey to see how much of a presence our local businesses have on the web. In April 2010 we completed our first survey to bench mark our local business web presence.
Our Survey included the following criteria:
- Does a business have a website?
- Google Results for a business name, and Google results for what the business does.
- Does a business own a Domain name?
- Is the site visually appealing and easy to navigate?
- Does the site have the following content: Location Map, Business Address, Business Phone Number, Email contact info, or email form.
- Can you find out what the business does?
- Does the website build the businesses story including: Information about staff, Information about awards, achievements, testimonials
- Interactive content including: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Forums
- Has the site been updated recently?
- Does the site provide some form of eCommerce?
Below is what we discovered with our initial findings (April 2010):
We surveyed a total of 650 businesses (available from the Town of Olds online business directory). 538 of those businesses surveyed had little or no web presence (just over 82%). Of the remaining 112 businesses, 37 of those businesses had recently updated their website, 15 of those businesses used some sort of online sales, ordering, purchasing, eCommerce. 13 businesses were using Facebook as a tool to reach out to potential customers and 7 businesses used twitter as an advertising tool. (See Chart Below)
With those results our committee started a campaign to reach out to businesses either through conferences featuring many different speakers about the importance of the web and your business, classes through the community engagement sites on web development and social media, and even a direct approach of going to difference business and discussing their results.
After a very busy year of educating our community on the importance of technology, websites and social media, we ran our survey again to find some very promising results for our business community.
Below is what we discovered when running the survey again in April 2011:
We surveyed a total of 586 businesses (available from the Town of Olds online business directory). 333 of those businesses surveyed had little or no web presence (just over 56%, almost 32% less than the previous year). Of the remaining 253 businesses, 176 of those businesses had recently updated their website (a 475% increase over the previous year), 41 of those businesses used some sort of online sales, ordering, purchasing, ecommerce (a 273% increase over the previous year). 94 businesses were using Facebook as a tool to reach out to potential customers (a 723% increase over the previous year), and 46 businesses used twitter as an advertising tool (657% increase over the previous year). This survey also observed 19 businesses branching in other forms of interactivity by adding blogs to their websites.
It is very promising to see the massive amount of engaged businesses progressing into the ever growing web approach to help get their business information, products and services out to potential customers. Keep up the good work Olds Business Community, through technology and the web we can help build our sustainable future.