Streamline.net research reveals many small firms may be held back due to poor web address choices.
The study of 1300 consumers* by Streamline.net, a leading provider of value web hosting found that 1 in 5 Britons who use small business websites regularly struggle with domain registrations that are convoluted or difficult to recall. Younger age groups are far more critical, with around 1 in 3 judging the SME domains which they use to be unattractive. A further poll of 189 UK firms** showed that whilst 34% were not satisfied with their web sales, only 3% are considering making any change to their primary domain name. With 70% of Britons now willing to conduct business with SMEs via the Web, the ability for a consumer to easily recall a web address has never been so important.
Streamline.net’s study of 1300 shoppers during the Christmas shopping period, found that the web addresses of small firms are a bugbear for 25% of men and 20% of women. Younger age groups were far more critical than older ones with around 1 in 3 Britons aged 16 to 35 reporting unattractive or unmemorable business domains, as compared with only 13% of those aged over 55 years. In terms of region, London is by far the most critical with 32% of all consumers affected as opposed to only 11% in Northern Ireland and 14% in Wales.
In fact, making modifications or additions to a company’s web identity is one of the quickest and cheapest ways for businesses to optimise their use of the web. It appears that many firms could benefit from reviewing the pros and cons of available domain options and using feedback from external audiences, such as potential customers.
Steve Holford, Marketing Director at Streamline.net, said “The data suggests that many small businesses undervalue the effect their web address can have on their consumers’ behaviour. There is a real danger their work and investment on the web can be undermined by the simple fact that consumers cannot remember their URL. Domains have reached a level of affordability whereby every business owner can now afford to experiment with alternative domain choices”.
Streamline.net recommends that companies explore opportunities within less obvious TLDs including .biz, .net and .eu. For example, Streamline.net offers the .LTD.UK domain registration for only £4.25/year+VAT. Additionally, web hosting packages are supplied with free inclusive .UK domains.
Established in 1999, Streamline.net is a leading value web hosting provider. Based in the UK and operating from its dedicated secure UK data centres, Streamline.net hosts over 150,000 websites. The company focuses on providing unrivalled value for web solutions. Streamline.net delivers a high-quality online service at the lowest possible prices. Streamline.net products include tools for web design, search engine optimisation, web mail and eCommerce.