Survey Finds 28% of Small Businesses Don’t Have Websites
Does your small business currently have a website? If not, you’re actually not alone. According to a new survey of 500 small business owners conducted by Top Design Firms, 28% of small businesses do not have a website of their own. However, 44% of those respondents without business sites state they intend to create one sometime this year.
Turning to the 71% of businesses that do manage their own websites, 46% report using in-house employees to maintain their site. Also speaking to the popularity of DIY options, nearly one-third of those surveyed said they used a website builder platform (such as Wix or Squarespace) to create their webpage. Meanwhile, 34% instead rely on an agency to manage their online presence.
Since there are several reasons for small businesses to have their own website, Top Design Firms also asked business owners what their primary objective was when they decided to start a site. Topping the list with 24% was a desire for the site to showcase the business’s products and services. Somewhat surprising, allowing customers to make a purchase was the top incentive for only 17% of respondents. That tied with “establish credibility and authority” as the second most popular reason for building a business website. Finally, 14% of those surveyed said that their biggest reason for having a site was so that they could be found by search engines.
To that point, when asked what their biggest challenges were with their sites, one in five respondents cited low traffic. This is potentially due to a lack of search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. In fact, 12% of respondents said that their top challenge involved changes to search rankings. Incidentally, with Google recently putting an emphasis on site speed, it seems that small business owners intend to improve this aspect of their sites, with 43% of website-owning businesses planning to invest in speed and performance enhancements this year.
Lastly, when it comes to exploring new website content opportunities, small business owners have several ideas. 30% of businesses plan to embed videos on their site starting this year. Interestingly, 19% take things a step further and intend to explore virtual reality offerings. Additionally, 18% are likely to employ chatbots while another 18% will look into creating a “dark mode” for their site.
If the ideas of VR and chatbots frighten you as a small business owner, the good news is that these amenities are likely not needed for most businesses. Instead, maintaining a fast-loading website that contains important information about your business can be enough for many small operations. However, if you do want to take things up a notch, you might also consider maintaining a blog on your site that not only addresses the needs and interests of your customers but also helps your SEO — thus increasing the odds that new potential customers discover your business. In other words, if you’re among the 28% of small business owners that don’t currently have a website, 2021 may be the time to change that.