MILLBURN, NJ - Websites are so common place that you would assume every small business has at least one. However, a recent survey by CNBC revealed that almost 50% of small businesses have declined to claim this piece of the digital marketplace.

Why? It comes down to three basic reasons:

  • If It Ain’t Broke… — Some business owners feel that they are just fine doing what’s worked before, finding business by relying on “word of mouth," the kindest of strangers, and divine intervention. They are content with the results they’re getting, and don’t see any reason to change.
     
  • They Just Don’t Get It —Then there are those who are reluctant to embrace new technology — though there’s nothing new about websites, they’ve been around for over 20 years. They only see the downside of a technology they don’t quite understand, and feel they can’t control.
  • Cost — For some it’s just about the cost. They see the money spent on a website as an expense, rather than an investment, regardless of the benefits.

The fact is, you never know about the business you’re missing out on. While Google and Social Media offer ways of promoting your business online, there are many benefits for local businesses to having a well designed website:

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Branding— Branding is crucial to the success of any small business, and a website is the foundation of your Brand. It sets the tone and ties together all of your other marketing efforts. Since it’s the only piece of the internet you totally control, it allows you to craft your image, and your content, your way without requirements, limitations, or the whimsical changes we see from Facebook.

Credibility — Research from the Local Search Association confirms that consumers expect a business to have a website, with 63% of consumers using it to find, or interact with, a local business. Just having a good one signals to your customers that you’re that much more serious about your business.

Search Rankings —  Websites give you an edge when it comes to ranking in local search listings, it’s one more way to find you. With the rise of mobile search and the increasing popularity of voice search, it will soon be almost impossible to get the visibility you need without one.

When it comes to websites, doing something is better than doing nothing, the benefits outweigh any perceived drawbacks. There are plenty of options for designers, technology, and pricing — with a little research you can find a solution that meets your needs. Just get started!

Michael Pilla is the founder and principal of Pilla Creative Marketing, (pillacm.com) a digital marketing firm in Millburn, NJ, and Igottawebsite.com which provides website solutions for businesses and organizations. He has held creative leadership positions with iVillage.com and ModemMedia, overseeing the creation of websites and interactive advertising for Fortune 100 companies including Clinique, Ford, IBM, GE and UBS.