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A quarter of UK small businesses are failing to updating their websites regularly, according to a new report.

The research, conducted by BT Openworld, found that many small firms relied on websites that were badly out of date, putting them at risk of losing customers or clients.

BT Openworld said that the most common areas neglected by businesses are company news, product information and contact details. The study also found that incorrect location details and broken links often went unnoticed for weeks, while many firms forgot to remove information of special offers that had already expired.

According to BT Openworld, small firms are in danger of falling into a “web wilderness” and missing out on sales by failing to update their sites regularly.

Neville Manuel, vice president of value added services at BT Openworld, said: “It’s all well and good to promote an online presence, but if the site you’re directed to contains out-of-date information, or links to blank pages, you create a bad impression.

“This can easily be enough to lose sales.

“The average small business has just £500 to spend on internet applications each year. However, the huge range of web tools on the market mean this can be sufficient.

“You no longer need to be highly technical to be a web guru. Updating the site yourself is often the most cost-effective means to make this sum go a long way."

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