Report: UK SMBs Not Very SEO Savvy

According to a new study of roughly 1000 SMB websites in the UK, commissioned by directory publisher Thomson Local and conducted by Analytics SEO, UK SMBs like their American counterparts aren’t very SEO savvy and often have poor websites.

Here are some of the summary findings, with more technical-SEO stuff on the site:

  • 47% of all business websites have none or very basic levels of SEO
  • Over 70% of companies with less than 50 employees have none or very basic levels of SEO
  • Unsurprisingly larger companies tend to have better websites
  • With a few exceptions, the length of time a business has been trading or the type of business has little on no bearing on the quality of its website
  • 12% of all business websites are not indexed in any search engine
  • 0.6% of business websites are under construction
  • Only 3% of all business websites could be considered to have advanced levels of SEO

I don’t have a great deal to say about all this — though perhaps my SEO friends will — except that none of these general results are surprising.

Despite their importance there’s a sense in which search/SEO remain mysterious and elusive to SMBs, whereas other forms of online promotion (e.g., social media) are more “intuitive” and accessible.

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4 Responses to “Report: UK SMBs Not Very SEO Savvy”

  1. Andrew Baker says at

    Interesting yet not surprising report, the results of which I can very much relate to. In my dealings with SMB’s generally when I am helping them with their Local Search Strategy I can’t help but notice the lack of basic SEO for their business websites, in some cases companies don’t even have an optimised Title, meta data or H1 tags?

    Andrew Baker

  2. Greg Sterling says at

    It’s all very mysterious for them and they need third parties to handle all the details.

  3. Mike Stewart says at

    Not surprising at all. For years at I offered FREE SEO advice to clients that were willing to consider purchasing yellow pages directory ads with the Verizon Yellow Pages. I often discovered that simple meta-tag and content changes would get clients ranked high on organic searches. The company failed to recognize the importance of simple SEO, so most smbs have not been consulted on the basics of search marketing. Most of the providers, the directories industry, and web designers have very little understanding. In the past simple basics, such as those on from back in 2003, are all it took to achieve high rankings. This is no longer the case. Yet opportunity is ripe for experienced search marketers to help local small businesses. One of the key reasons why I left Verizon after 9 years and started a company to fill this gap!

    Great findings as always Greg! Cheers, Mike Stewart

  4. Greg Sterling says at


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