Nearly 50% of small firms 'do business without a website'

18/02/2016

Nearly half of small businesses in the US operate without a website, with many not considering a mobile-friendly website to be a priority, according to a new survey.

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The poll of 350+ small businesses from Clutch, a B2B research firm, found that irrelevancy to their business and expense were the top reasons cited by most respondents for why they choose not to have a website.

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Despite these findings, website experts stress that small businesses that do not have a website should seriously consider developing one - even the simplest, low cost, 1-2 page site - in order to have a greater online presence.

“A website would never not be relevant to a business,” says James Trumbly, Founder and Managing Partner of HMG Creative, a web design firm. “Every company within a specific industry benefits from having their presence known online. If you are selling something, why not reach consumers the fastest way possible in order to increase your sales immediately?”

Moreover, mobile-friendly websites do not appear to be a priority to small businesses, even for those businesses that already have a website. The survey found that 23 percent of existing small business websites are not mobile friendly and another 9 percent of respondents said they did not know if their website has mobile capabilities.

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“It's almost as bad to not have a mobile-friendly website as it is to not have a site at all,” says Max Elman, founder of Razorfrog Web Design. “I spend a lot of time traveling and looking up businesses on my phone. It's common to encounter the difficulties associated with not having a mobile-ready site. People will give up on accessing it and go somewhere else.”

Of those that do have a website, many are planning improvements this year. The survey findings revealed that search engine optimization, social engagement, design and content development are small businesses’ top priorities for 2016.

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Clutch analysts gathered over 352 survey responses from small business owners and managers throughout the US. The majority of survey respondents are businesses with 1-10 employees and less than $1 million in annual revenue, a true representation of small businesses according to the US Census Bureau.

This latest report is the first of four segments that Clutch will publish in the coming weeks to examine the results of their second annual Small Business Digital Marketing Survey. Future reports will focus on search engine optimization, social media marketing and mobile app development.

For more information, the full report can be found here.

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