During a time where consumers are using their smartphones for approximately 151 minutes, spending time in front of a computer for 103 minutes, and utilizing a tablet for 43 minutes every day, you would think that having a well-constructed company website would be a no-brainier business decision. Yet, shockingly, over half of all small businesses still doesn’t have a website.

Aside from it being one of your best marketing assets for brand awareness and visibility, a website establishes credibility and creates a link of trust between your business and your potential consumers. Actually, when surveyed, 94% of consumers said that bad web design alone is the number one reason to mistrust a business or organization. That means that companies with a website that are just poorly designed, are missing out on a lot of prospective clients. This number doesn’t even account for a lack of a having a website altogether.

When companies are asked why they don’t have a website, the reasons most often cited are cost and a perceived lack of importance. These reasons can only be attributed to not knowing the true power and reach a website really has. First, the costs of having a website do vary, but the price is next to nothing when the value is considered.

Just yesterday I was in desperate need for decorations for an upcoming birthday party I am planning and when a local well known party store was sold out in the theme I required, I did what most consumers do. I took to the internet in search of an alternate store that might carry what I was looking for. However, it was every consumer’s worst nightmare. There was only one other party store in the vicinity, decreasing the odds that I would be bringing home my supplies day of. I had never heard of this second company before, so I decided to check out their website before driving over. Unfortunately for me and for that company, their website did not exist.

Like most consumers do, I had expected to find a website. When this company failed to deliver on that aspect, they were already disappointing me before they even had a chance to serve me. At that point, it didn’t matter if this company was truly credible or ran a fantastic business, they didn’t leave that impression on this customer. I didn’t have time to waste driving over to another store that might not carry what I needed, or might not even exist at all for that matter. So, I sucked it up and drove home knowing that I was going to have to order everything online from company #1.

The value of a website comes down to one really important reason that your business should care about:

POTENTIAL SALES

Your visibility among potential consumers plummets with every second you aren’t online, because you better believe consumers are.

Without a website, or with a poorly designed one, consumers are not going to trust your business. Simply put, the impact of your web presence determines the way potential consumers view your credibility as a business.

Consumers will purchase products online from a website when they cannot find what they are looking for locally. Why not be that company offering what they are looking for when local shopping doesn’t work out? If it’s not you they choose, it’s your competitor.

Nearly all consumers (97%) research and/or purchase products online. Even if they ultimately do not purchase from you, they are more likely to come across your name, which increases brand awareness.

If it’s your website that answers the consumer’s questions, you are building a relationship with your audience without even knowing it. Therefore, that consumer will remember that it was you that last helped them by solving their problem and will be more likely to come to you in the future.

Again, not just any website will be effective and your number one goal when creating your website should not be solely focused on sales. However, it is an important byproduct of utilizing a web presence as marketing tool that cannot be overlooked. Your company needs a website if you want to make consumers aware you exist, if you want to stand out, if you want to win out over your competitor, if you want your customers to trust you, if you want consumers to CHOOSE YOU.