In today’s digital age, effective online presence and engagement are crucial for the success of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) digital transformation. However, our recent research study of 700 Australian SMEs reveals a significant gap in digital engagement.

With only 11% of businesses fully embracing digital strategies, SMEs have both opportunities and challenges to enhance their online presence.

In this blog post written by our trusted partner netStripes, will explore the key findings and implications for Australian SMEs.

Website Visibility and Functionality

  • 85% of Australian SMEs display their service offerings on their websites, which is a positive sign.
  • However, only 13% provide testimonials or any form of social proof, missing out on an opportunity to build trust with potential customers.
  • Additionally, 38% of SMEs use brand association to deliver trust and authority on their websites.

Website Performance

  • Only 30% of websites passed the speed test, indicating a need for optimisation and faster loading times.
  • Western Australia leads in this aspect, with 95% of websites meeting the speed test requirements.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

  • 36% of Australian small businesses use SEO efficiently, showcasing a 3% increase since 2019.
  • However, 64% of SME owners lack awareness of the importance of SEO or struggle to understand how it generates results for their business.

Social Media Engagement

  • Only 25% of SMEs proactively engage on social media platforms, indicating a missed opportunity to connect with a broader audience.
  • Limited time and a lack of strategy lead to inconsistent social media engagement.

Email Marketing

  • Merely 29% of SMEs have implemented an email marketing strategy to reach and engage with existing and prospective customers.
  • This highlights a significant opportunity for businesses to leverage email as a valuable marketing channel.


The Australian small business digital engagement landscape presents opportunities and challenges. While some businesses excel in certain areas, such as website visibility and functionality, some areas require improvement. For example, SEO, social media engagement, and email marketing remain underutilised by most business owners.

By recognising the importance of these digital strategies and investing time and effort into their implementation, business owners can enhance their online presence, reach a wider audience, and ultimately thrive in the digital age.

In addition, understanding and adapting to the buying behaviour of digitally-savvy consumers is crucial for long-term success and growth.

For more details on this research, click here to view the full report.