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Google unveils best British SME websites...really?

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Google has revealed what it considers to be the UK's best SME websites. Is this really the best we can do?

Southerly Communications

Jing Tea

Starborough Manor

The Handyman House & Garden

Sheepskin

Grey's of Ely

Au Naturel Hair & Beauty

The numbers speak for themselves: acccording to a recent IPSOS survey, some 40 per cent of SMEs in the UK still do not have a website – and of those businesses, a shocking 60 per cent don't feel that having a website is necessary.

But the reality remains that SMEs that actively use the internet are growing four times faster than those that remain offline.

So what are Britain's best SME websites?

Google launched a "Best of British Web" competition in May to try and find out. After receiving over 700 entries, the winners have now been revealed across seven industry sectors.

Winners were selected by a panel of experts based on criteria including web design, usability and content.

Yet while these websites are fine – some are even good – we aren't overly impressed. None have that "wow" factor.

So have a look at the sites, and let us know what you think. Are these really Britain's best SME websites?

Professional services & B2B

Southerly Communications, which uses its website as a virtual shop front and constantly updates and improves it. The company regularly reviews the site following feedback from staff.

Retail

Jing Tea, which uses its website to promote its brand and utilises free online marketing tools. The site is designed to be easy for customers to use.

Hospitality

Starborough Manor, a luxury country house offering bed & breakfast accommodation in Kent. The company tracks user behaviour through its site and has developed its online presence through online directories.

Trade and manufacturing

The Handyman House & Garden, which has enhanced its site and increased traffic through the use of GBBO.co.uk tools.

Travel

Sheepskin, an Oxford-based provider of custom-made holidays and accommodation which attracts a high level of traffic to its site through online advertising and social networking.


Transportation

Grey’s Of Ely, a long-established East Anglian coach hire business which tracks visitor activity on its site and promotes its services globally through Google AdWords. More than 70 per cent of the company’s business now comes via the internet.

Health and beauty

Au Naturel Hair & Beauty, a mobile wedding hair and make-up specialist, located in Scotland, which regularly updates its easy-to-use site and links it to social networking sites.

What do you think of these websites? Are they worthy winners? 

So, go on folks, which websites would you put forward as the best SME websites in Britain?

Answers below, please!

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