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It's 2016, But Nearly Half of U.S. Small Businesses Still Don't Have a Website

It's 2016, But Nearly Half of U.S. Small Businesses Still Don't Have a Website
Image credit: Shutterstock

It’s hard to imagine the world without the Internet.

For some of us, that is: It may be 2016, but 46 percent of  U.S. small businesses still don’t have a website for their company, according to a report released by business-to-business research firm Clutch.

Of the more than 350 small businesses surveyed -- the majority of which have less than 10 employees and less than $1 million in annual revenue -- cost was listed as the second-most popular reason for not having an online presence. Lack of technical know-how and the need for upkeep were other popular reasons, while 12 percent said that they use social media in place of a static site.

Image Credit: Clutch

Related: 5 Essentials for Building a Lucrative Ecommerce Site

The most popular justification for not having a website, however?

Nearly a third of surveyed respondents said that they didn’t have one because it wasn’t relevant to their business or their industry. That could be a problem. As Max Elman, the founder of Razorfrog Web Design, said in a statement released with the report:

“No matter what type of business you run, if you have customers, it's necessary to have some sort of information online, at least a page describing who you are and offering contact information. It's essential to have this information indexed and shown to those looking for you.”

Image Credit: Clutch

The founder of a company that builds websites, Elman is perhaps not the most objective source. But he has a point: More than 80 percent of Americans say they do online research before making a purchase.

Related: How to Market Brick and Mortar to the Web

For the 64 percent of small businesses that do have a website, many could use a technological upgrade: Nearly a quarter of these businesses said their websites weren’t compatible with mobile platforms. Of the online improvements business owners planned to make, search-engine and social engagement topped the list with 40 percent each, followed closely by improvements in content and design.

Image Credit: Clutch

Image Credit: Clutch

The report concludes, as expected, that all small businesses in every industry can benefit from a website, be it a single page or more elaborate setup.

In other words, if your business doesn't have a website, it’s probably time to change that. And if your business already has a website, particularly one that works on mobile, you’re further ahead of the game than you likely thought.

Related: 'Li-Fi' Will Make Your Internet 100 Times Faster

Edition: November 2016

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