Small Canadian Businesses Find Getting Good Online Exposure a Major Challenge

If you’re running one of the thousands of small Canadian businesses in this country, then you already know there are a million elements that go into making your company a successful one.

Having the next great idea is one thing, but running a small business (in which entrepreneurs are forced to wear many hats) is quite another.

The challenges are endless, but it seems that small Canadian businesses are faced with the same common problems. GoDaddy’s national Canadian Small Business survey revealed the three top challenges faced by small businesses: 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 a business and increasing sales, the respondents said that search engine optimization (SEO) is the most useful tool when it comes to digital marketing (54 per cent). This followed by having quality website content (50 per cent), and having a social media presence (44 per cent).

The problem is that 60 per cent of respondents have not used SEO, and of these respondents, almost 70 per cent said they don’t understand it. Most are also not using their site to sell their products or services online – but many probably should be.

These days, content is key, and most small businesses realize this. When it comes to website content, 25 per cent of respondents said they’d most like to see it improved in their online business presence. Meanwhile, 21 per cent said they’d most like to improve their SEO (even if they don’t fully know what that means).

Surprisingly, more than 39 per cent of respondents said their websites are not mobile optimized. Also surprising is the fact that, while 83 per cent of Canadian small business owners surveyed use their websites as a platform to highlight their products, only 19 per cent use it as an e-commerce platform to sell directly to customers.

This comes at a time when people are turning to their computers instead of the shopping mall more than ever.

In their defence, 62 per cent of respondents don’t have an online store and said they didn’t need one. The remaining 38% of respondents either have an existing online store or intend to build one in the next 12 months.

When it comes down to it, though, the biggest areas if concern was the whole SEO factor. Before your website goes live, you may want to download Go Daddy’s “A Beginner’s Guide to SEO.”

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 – so startups and small (small) businesses.