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For Web-Savvy Businesses, Look Outside New York

Althea Chang
Big Data Download

The biggest cities in America aren't necessarily the ones with the most Web-savvy small businesses, according a recent study.

San Diego; Austin, Texas and Phoenix are actually the top 3 most Web-savvy cities in America, according to data analysts at Radius Intelligence. New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco trailed behind on that list, though those cities did rank in the top 10.

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To come up with its rankings, Radius looked at the major cities and the number of small businesses in those cities with an online presence. The firm crawled company Web sites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, deals through companies like Groupon and LivingSocial, and then looked at how often companies were mentioned online. Radius also looked at financial data on those companies wherever it was available.

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A surprising percentage of businesses in all of the major cities studied did not have company Web sites, according to the study, which looked at about 22.9 million businesses. Austin ranked the highest based on that measure, but even there, only 42.4 percent of small businesses had websites.

In New York, fewer than 29 percent of small businesses had web sites, according to the Radius study. But nationwide, businesses big and small are beginning to explore the possible benefits of social media, and they're using social sites to reach new customers.

"We’ve collected billions of pieces of information and provided products as well as marketing materials [from companies] that want to work better with small businesses," said Darian Shirazi, founder of Radius Intelligence.

"Traditionally big companies like Bank of America (BAC) or Citibank (C) or American Express (AXP), they would normally just send out mailers or they would do print advertising, and now they're finding that they can use social media to interact directly with small businesses," Shirazi said.

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