In this information age, it may seem that all businesses have websites. Market research shows that small businesses, on the other hand, still rely on word-of-mouth tactics to promote their brand rather than build an online presence. However, forgoing a professional website can severely hurt the long-term prospects of a small business.
Data Shows Significant Numbers of Small Businesses Don’t Have Websites
According to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey conducted last year, as many as 45 percent of small business owners admitted to not having a website. Of the companies that did have websites, only 36 percent of them used them to engage with existing and potential customers.
This data shows that small businesses are not benefiting from a strong online presence. A vast majority of small businesses, even those without websites, advertised or engaged with customers on social media networks like Facebook. A website is not necessary to advertise online. But that’s not the main reason why companies should invest in a website.
Numerous studies have shown that as many as 80 percent of online customers conduct pre-purchase research by visiting a company’s website. Businesses without a website are thus missing out on reaching prospective customers.
Why Some Small Businesses Don’t Care about Websites
The reasons some small businesses don’t build a website are quite surprising. According to surveys, the majority claim cost as the motive. Small business owners may not know how to make a website using popular web development platforms like Wix. And so they think that the only option is to hire an expensive website designer for their site.
Certain small business owners think having a seller’s profile on a retail website like Amazon is sufficient to drive online sales. Others believe their companies are just too small to warrant building a website.
How Small Businesses Can Benefit by Owning a Website
Regardless of their motive, small companies are putting their brands at a serious disadvantage by not building a website. No website means near invisibility to the brand in this day and age. Here are some of the top reasons why small businesses should build a website, no matter what:
Building a Website is Cheaper More than Ever
Website building tools like Wix have made creating a website more affordable than ever for companies. Wix is free to use and is available for both business and personal users. Interested users can build a basic site for free. Professional users can opt for a premium annual plan for additional features. With a Wix promo code, professional users can even get great discounts and save a lot of money overall.
When there are tools like Wix available, building a business site is never too expensive. Wix is, in fact, extremely small business-friendly. In addition to the fundamental site building tools, Wix also offers additional perks like SEO options to optimize small business websites. Using the tool SEO Wiz, Wix users can learn about the most essential SEO upgrades. For instance, what type of keywords to use, optimizing titles and URLs, and how to write high-quality descriptions. Small businesses can create a site that is well-optimized for e-commerce with the myriad of features Wix offers.
Smaller companies can actually build a site that is a lot cheaper than advertising in a magazine these days. Therefore, costs should never be an obstacle to creating a site.
No Website Means Little Online Visibility
A website is the best way to become visible to millions of online users who may search for a certain brand or product the business is marketing. Without a website, a brand effectively becomes invisible to legions of potential customers.
As mentioned earlier, customers may not directly make purchases from websites, but they do conduct research using websites before buying a product. Modern consumers are mobile-savvy and are web-connected nearly 24/7. If they hear about a brand or want to browse products, they will conduct a Google search. Customers don’t search for products on Facebook initially. Even retail website searches are often followed by a general online search.
Therefore, not having a website listed to show up on search results means giving the competition with a website a major advantage.
Websites are Great Tools to Build Credibility and Showcase Legitimacy
When a customer doesn’t see a small business brand listed online, there will be uncertainty and even suspicion about whether the business is legitimate. Companies that advertise on social media should expect interested customers to conduct an online search. When no website shows up in the results, the customer will no longer trust the brand.
Customers often visit business websites to look up addresses and telephone numbers. They may seek other customer reviews or testimonials that cannot typically be found on social media. In this regard, a brand can appear genuine and trustworthy through a website.
Small businesses that invest heavily in building websites eventually convert their sites to e-stores to sell directly to customers. Wix is fully prepared for this transition, and offers an amazing e-commerce product called Wix stores. Using Wix stores, you can easily keep track of your customers, their owners, restock your products, and engage with your cliental. Essentially, a high-quality e-commerce website can become its own ad platform by offering helpful content and guides to attract potential customers.
As it is, small businesses should not view building a website as a cumbersome expense to be overlooked. On the contrary, a website is an absolute necessity in the connected age. A brand website not only promotes the company online, it can also drive real-life traffic to physical stores.
Small businesses with limited budgets can use a tool like Wix to create a website without spending too much. The cost of not having a business website far outweighs the cost of having one.