A new survey from TalkTalk Business has revealed the importance of a professional digital presence for small businesses.
In the consumer survey, a massive 80% said they expect small businesses to have a website. Nearly half of respondents said they’d prefer to use a website as the first point of call to find out more information on a small business.
The survey also revealed consumers also place importance on small businesses’ domain names and email addresses.
They found the .co.uk web suffix as the most reliable, reputable and professional. Addresses ending in .com were assumed to belong to larger companies. The worst scoring addresses were those ending in .net, .info and .biz, which were deemed to be the sign of a ‘disreputable’ company by 41% of respondents.
Almost two thirds (63%) said they judge a small business on their email addresses. Free services such as Hotmail and Yahoo portray an unreliable and unprofessional image of the business. The most trusted email addresses followed the ‘firstname.lastname@domainname’ format, with the popular ‘info@…’ email addresses coming across as less approachable.