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Why businesses today won't do very well without a website

The Internet has come a long way since the first website was launched in 1991. In 28 years, the number of sites has reached astronomical proportions, so that today the counter is at a staggering 1.5 billion and growing steadily. What does this mean for businesses?

Mobile website

In 1991, businesses relied on traditional advertising methods to gain exposure and grow customer loyalty. Business cards, radio & TV ads, door-to-door marketing, all of these and many more had to be employed by entrepreneurs who wanted to put their business on the map. Fast forward to today, and the company website has replaced all of these things. Websites are the business cards of the 21st century, the company's reflection into the online world and one of the most versatile tools that entrepreneurs have ever had at their disposal.

To grow, businesses need to be in a state of permanent agility, adapt to new market requirements, listen to the voice of the customers and be present in all forms of media possible. Without a website, this is impossible. Going into business without a site means ignoring a world of possibilities and imposing a lot of limitations on your brand.

Businesses without websites fail consumer expectations

WebsiteThe widespread availability of high-speed Internet has changed every aspect of daily life, including the way consumers interact with brands. And this doesn't apply only to Millennials or Gen Z. According to Ipsos MORI data, 68% of Gen X-ers use the Internet every day, as do 49% of baby boomers. A considerable part of their time online is spent browsing for products and interacting with brands, so modern consumers expect businesses to have a website.

In 2019, online presence is not an extra benefit; it's a basic requirement. According to recent data, 30% of consumers will refuse to do business with a company if it doesn't have a website. Additionally, a whopping 75% of consumers assess business credibility based on its digital presence and the quality of website design. Ignoring these numbers is a risky business decision.

Numbers speak for themselves – businesses with websites do better

In 2018, Deloitte analyzed the importance of digital tools for small businesses, and the findings should be necessary for any entrepreneur.

Small businesses with a website:

  • Earn 2x as much revenue per employee
  • Earned almost 4x revenue growth compared to the previous year
  • Had a 6x higher employment rate
  • Were 3x more likely to create jobs
  • Were 3x more likely to export their products in the next 12 months

According to the same study, 80% of small businesses don't take full advantage of their digital potential. On the other hand, those that invest in a business website can expect increased sales and revenue.

B2B and B2C interactions start online

Google is a massive powerhouse that orchestrates the brand-consumer interaction. Nowadays, 93% of all online experiences, be them B2B or B2C, begin by using a search engine. Every day, people make 3.5 billion searches, and many of these are for business and purchasing purposes.

In the B2B sector, users rely more and more on the Internet to select their partners. Even in industries that aren't precisely digital, such as construction or manufacturing, people still expect an online presence. Between a business that has an active online presence and one that doesn't, the former will almost always win. A website boosts trust because it gives visitors a way to check your credentials and achievements.

Social media is not a substitute for a business website

Business laptopIn recent years, social media has become a primary digital marketing instrument and means of customer interaction. For some, the benefits of social media are mis-interpreted, and they assume that social media profiles cancel the need for a professional website. They don't.

Both websites and social media are useful, but they are not interchangeable. A social media account does indeed help businesses stay connected to their customers, but sites remain the primary requirement that online users look for in a brand. Additionally, social media platforms go in and out of fashion and focusing exclusively on one of them could harm your business when it starts losing popularity or changes its demographic, like in Facebook's example.

That doesn't mean social media should be neglected, but this digital marketing tool should not be used instead of a website. Instead, it can be used to enhance the website's reach and act as its extension.

As one final argument, a limited budget does not impede in the way of a brilliant business website. As web development technologies evolve, it is now easier than ever to build a minimal, but relevant site that drives growth and propels the business into the new digital era.

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