Over the past few months I’ve tried to understand which SMB categories use DIFM (do it for me) providers for their digital presence.
I started by reading publicly available research reports that compare DIY solutions such as Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, WordPress, etc. to the DIFM provides such as LocalEdge, Yodle, DexMedia, YP.com, and Hibu. As I read through stories it became clear to me that much of the research was qualitative. I really wanted to see facts.
So, I decided to conduct a little first-hand research of my own.
I visited many sites created with the tools from these providers. It soon became apparent that a large percentage of sites created with the DIY providers are not SMBs. As such, it became difficult to quantify the DIY sites because so many of them were personal blogs, photo galleries, and other topics not related to a small business.
On the other hand, most sites from the DIFM providers were clearly SMBs. This was my “AHA” moment. I selected the five largest US states and visited sites in those markets that were “Powered by” or “Created with” any of the five previously mentioned providers.
My work found almost 5,000 sites. From that, I honed the database and weeded out irrelevant sites. The remaining 3,100 sites provided good information from which to determine the vertical categories most prevalent among the DIFM providers.
I identified minor categories and major categories associated with each SMB’s website and then looked at the results. Almost 50% of the sites fell into only three broad categories: Home Improvement/Construction, Medical, and Home Services. I’ve pasted a chart from my work below. It illustrates all the categories found in this research.
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