With fewer resources than traditional large corporations, small business owners may find themselves questioning if websites are truly worth the investment or where to even start. More and more, small businesses are understanding the power of investing in a modern website and establishing an online presence. By now we know this is no longer a trend. Quality websites have become essential for small businesses to expand their reach and increase revenue. However, the process of building a website—let alone a quality one—from scratch can be complex, time-consuming, and overwhelming.
Our team at UpCity surveyed 600 respondents from small businesses across the United States and Canada to gather insights about their websites and related processes, how they allocate their resources, and what their most common web development methods are.
Findings from the survey indicate that businesses with higher annual revenues also have significantly larger monthly budgets to spend on their websites. That said, these businesses typically earn higher annual revenue than businesses with fewer website resources available. Many small business owners understand an online presence is important, but it’s still unknown to some as to why having an up-to-date, high-performing website is essential for attracting new audiences, capturing leads, and driving conversions.
Why Websites Matter for Small Businesses
An always-increasing number of consumers rely on the internet to shop, find a reliable plumber, schedule dentist appointments, and much more. Let’s examine key reasons why your small business needs a high-quality website to help boost sales and build sustainable growth.
While your business may have a social media presence, not every demographic is on all social media platforms. For example, you likely won’t find older generations on TikTok, and your Gen Z audience likely won’t be interacting with your Facebook posts. Not to mention, algorithms are making it more difficult to be seen on social media, effectively forcing more businesses to turn to paid media.
Sixty-six percent of survey respondents cited market expansion as their top goal. Having a website is a way to have a platform your audiences of all ages and backgrounds will visit. A website is also a great way to utilize your SEO skills to showcase your services and show up higher in Google search results.
Whether a customer knows what they are looking for or not, they’re more likely to take a business seriously if it has a website for them to review as they are conducting their research. Put yourself in their shoes. What do you need to see from a business to know whether it’s trustworthy or not?
Fifty-five percent of UpCity survey respondents said that more credibility and brand recognition was their primary business goal. A quality and up-to-date website is a great start to give customers a clearer idea of a company’s reputation to guide them through their purchasing decisions.
What your business offers isn’t going to be the right fit for every customer. And not every customer is going to be the best fit for you. A website gives your business a platform to be transparent about your processes and services so potential customers know right off the bat what you’re about.
Transparency is a win-win situation for both you and your customer as it saves time and effort for all parties involved so your staff can dedicate more time to fostering quality leads.
No matter the industry your business is in, a website is a great way to improve efficiency for your company on some level. The ideal website serves as a one-stop shop for customers. That means to think of questions a potential customer may have for you and make sure its answer is easy to find on your website.
And it doesn’t have to be extremely complicated. Taking care of the low-hanging fruit, such as updating your about page, contact page, and a list of all the products or services your business offers, can make a big difference.
Website Design Tips
Getting your website off the ground may sound like a daunting task, but designing and maintaining it to ensure its quality doesn’t need to be. In fact, simplicity is key when it comes to designing your website because not only does it look better, but it helps improve user experience and alleviates challenges for users with disabilities.
While a website is supposed to provide an abundance of information for customers, it shouldn’t be cluttered or overwhelm its visitors with content. Seek inspiration from companies similar to yours. Look to resources, such as SiteBuilderReport, for examples based on your industry. The site is chock-full of small business websites that work and don’t require too much of a heavy lift.
How to Get Started
The most important thing to remember is that your business doesn’t have to assemble a website alone. Before getting started, ask yourself the following:
- Do I have internal personnel with the expertise to handle website development?
- If not, what type of agency do I prefer to partner with?
- Would a DIY website builder be the best option? If so, which one?
- Alternatively, how can I find a quality freelance developer to work with?
Most small businesses select an agency based on cost, location, and specific expertise, but it’s not always easy to know how to get started. The good news is, there are B2B service provider marketplaces across the web, such as UpCity, that provide extensive lists of agencies that might be a great fit for your needs.
At the end of the day, it’s becoming increasingly important for most small businesses to develop and maintain a modern website that meets their prospective and current customers’ expectations. Take care of this foundational touchpoint and your business stands to improve its online credibility, bring in more high-quality leads, and ultimately increase sales and revenue.
Dan Olson is co-founder and CEO of UpCity, a resource that connects millions of businesses with over 100,000 B2B service providers they can trust. He is active in the Chicago startup community and has spent his career building technologies that enable businesses to gain visibility, build reputation, and grow revenue. Dan was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ Notable Entrepreneurs of 2019. He lives in the Chicagoland area with his wife, children, and two lovable dogs.
Building a site stock photo by NicoElNino/Shutterstock