Survey: 50% of SMBs ‘DIT’ Their Websites

Despite the prominence of search and social media for local discovery, consumers continue to utilize and rely on websites on the local path to purchase. A new 2018 LSA study found that 71% of consumer have used a company website in the last month to access local information (products, services, hours, location, etc.). Additionally, 25% said they turn to the company website when ready to purchase which was the highest among all channels analyzed.

With websites still a critical tool for purchase research, a new survey of 351 SMB owners from The Manifest showed 91% plan to upgrade their website in some way throughout the upcoming year. As to how these SMBs manage these updates, roughly 50% use a “do-it-together” (DIT) model that makes use of both DIY tactics and provider support.


As the chart above shows, about 88% use internal resources to manage websites (in-house staff or DIY web builder) and 62% work with a provider (freelancer/consultant or agency) in some capacity. If 38% don’t work with a provider and 88% DIY, then 50% (88% DIY – 38% DIY only) manage web maintenance via a mixture of DIY and agency support. It is likely that the SMBs using this combined management model utilize DIY tactics for more basic/regular website updates, while agency support may be used for more technical tasks, though this isn’t clear in the study.

Whether DIY or working with a provider or both, the website-related investments that SMBs will be making this year include high-quality content (22%), security (17%), user experience (16%) and SEO (13%).

It’s not clear what’s behind the increased investment in “high-quality content,” though it is likely related to SEO. But original content also helps SMBs develop a “voice” which can aid in humanizing the business and build the brand. In some cases (reports, ebooks, etc.) businesses are using content to generate direct leads from the material.

It is interesting to see “security” so high on the list of website investment expectations. Whether motivated by Google now classifying non HTTPS websites as “non-secure” or the general fear of hacking, small businesses want their website protected from threats.

Overall, as website builders, plugins and tools continue to innovate and iterate, it is likely that more and more SMBs will utilize this combined model of DIY with provider support. In this model, local marketers will need to act more like “consultants,” helping SMBs understand and integrate website tech and tools for their particular needs.

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