Why Your Small Business Needs a Website

Latin American Coffee Shop Employee Accepts a Pre-Order on a Mobile Phone Call and Writes it Down on Laptop Computer in a Cozy Cafe.
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More than half of small businesses now have their own website. In fact, 71% of small businesses have a website as of 2021, according to statistics from Zippia.

It’s not too surprising to hear more and more businesses opt in for their own website. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many focused on launching one to engage with their customer base and provide them with another space in which they could place orders

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However, some small businesses — 29%, if we draw from the surveyed information — aren’t completely sold on the idea of creating a website yet. If you’re still wondering whether your small business should have its own website, consider some of these benefits of establishing an online presence.

Local Discovery

Customers are looking for your business right now. According to Zippia’s survey, 85% of consumers use the internet to look for and find local businesses, and 47% of shoppers search for the business’ website online.

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Do not think having a brick-and-mortar storefront is all you need to ensure customers find your business. Having a website makes your business much more visible and increases your discoverability among customers new and returning alike.

Customers who can’t find your business online may choose to do business with a competitor instead — and no small business wants to lose valuable customers simply because they’re not online. Creating a user-friendly website, and optimizing it for SEO purposes, allows small businesses to grow their business, sales and customer base.

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Builds Credibility

Findings from the Zippia survey revealed over 20% of small businesses will choose to use social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, instead of a website. Typically, small businesses will sometimes make the decision to use social media platforms because they are free. Other businesses will opt in for social instead of a website if they feel their business is too small for a website.

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The problem with relying on a social media platform instead of a website for your small business is it becomes harder to build credibility with consumers. Having a website allows your business to appear more professional to consumers. You can use your site to display credentials, such as its entity formation status as an LLC or corporation, share positive customer reviews and include notable mentions in the media. 

If you still want a social media presence, a website can help you establish one! Add buttons to the homepage of your website sharing the platforms you’re on so customers can find and follow you.

Websites Provide a Return on Investment

One of the primary reasons why small businesses do not have a website is because of the cost. They may think it’s too expensive to start a website or feel confused about how to build it.

While the cost of building a website varies depending on the needs of the business, it’s actually a fairly inexpensive endeavor. There are several popular DIY website builders where business owners can go step-by-step through the process of building their own website. Business owners may also consult gig platforms to find freelance professionals who are adept in design and website building and commission them for assistance. 

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Once your small business has its own website, the return on investment is nearly endless.

Small business owners can use their website to engage with customers, providing email addresses, phone numbers and contact forms to get in touch if they have any questions or concerns. Businesses may share high resolution photos of their products and offerings, showcasing what’s for sale and enticing customers to add the items to cart.

SEO optimization may also assist with driving more traffic to the website. In addition, business owners may add content to their site that customers find engaging, such as blog posts and videos to keep users engaged and returning for more.

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About the Author

Heather Taylor is a senior finance writer for GOBankingRates. She is also the head writer and brand mascot enthusiast for PopIcon, Advertising Week’s blog dedicated to brand mascots. She has been published on HelloGiggles, Business Insider, The Story Exchange, Brit + Co, Thrive Global, and more media outlets. 

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