Last week I spoke with Guy Yalif, Director, Small Business Web Hosting at Yahoo!, who went over some of the upgrades being rolled out today to its services. The major changes include:
- A single plan (replacing three tiers) that offers unlimited disk space, data transfer, and email storage space, for $11.95 per month (with a new 30 day satisfaction guarantee)
- An expanded library of templates and design options for its already very good site solution website building product
- A range of improved tools, analytics and marketing services for e-commerce sites.
Yahoo! says it has 1.5 million customers for its hosting and related products. And these changes (and aggressive pricing) make the company even more potentially appealing to SMBs looking to set up a site or potentially upgrade their online presence.
Depending on how you “scope” the SMB market one could argue that a majority still don’t have sites, although they may have a profile or landing page somewhere online. Opus Research-AllBusiness data reflect that 55% of SMBs have a “website” as they’ve defined that term (at the lowest end of the market that number declines). However, AT&T found recently that two-thirds of local businesses reported having a website.
Yet there’s major “churn” – meaning failure – in the SMB market and so there’s always a fresh batch of prospects for Yahoo! and its competitors.
While Yahoo! offers a range of marketing options for SMBs using its hosting and site building products, the weak link is still the absence of a simple SEM solution. The site building products generate metadata and automatically “submit” sites to search indexes. However, there’s no DIFM SEM solution.
You can advertising with Yahoo! Search Marketing or the fixed-fee Local Listings product. But the company has a great channel in hosting and needs a simpler SEM option for SMBs than traditional DIY paid search. But I’ve been told “stay tuned.”