Would You Believe There are Still Businesses Without Web Sites?

by Linda Pophal


A few years ago my husband was in the process of researching restaurants online for a trip we were planning. When he shared the results of his research he said:  “I’ve found a few good ones – there were a couple of others I wanted to check out, but they don’t have a web site, so forget it.”

I’m guessing he’s not alone in that sentiment. How often have you tried to find information about a restaurant, or some other business online, only to give up on them and select another option instead?

In the 21st century, if you’re in business and you don’t have a web site you could really be doing yourself a disservice. What used to be an “optional” means of sharing information has become somewhat of a requirement. Surprisingly, though, there are still many companies without web sites. I’ve actually come across several examples of this recently:

  • I was at a conference last week where one of the presenters – an event planning consulting firm – quite proudly remarked that they didn’t have, and didn’t plan to have, a web site. They had plenty of success without one she said.
  • In preparation for a presentation I was giving recently for a group of small business owners I went online to research the online activities of the registrants and was surprised to find that a number of them didn’t have an online presence.
  • While working on a project for a content marketing client I was reviewing some of their research on web site adoption and was surprised to find that about 25 percent of the respondents to a recent survey they had done indicated they didn’t have a web site.

I’m sure that, because I’m heavily engaged in online communication, my opinions may be somewhat skewed and may not represent “the norm.” I’m also ready to accept the possibility that there may be some businesses out there that justifiably don’t need a web site.

Still, I’m shocked that there would be organizations out there today without a web site or any other form of online presence. In my opinion, in the 21st century, if you’re a business of any size, and you’re not engaged online, you virtually don’t exist (pun intended). That’s right – you don’t exist. At least not for 84 percent of the adult population in the United States that indicates they use the Internet, according to Pew Research Center surveys (I’m surprised this number isn’t higher too…)

If you don’t have a web site, and you’re satisfied with your current level of business (like the consultant at the session I attended recently), good for you. Maybe it doesn’t make sense for you to have a web site (although, as someone who tends to think way out into the future, my concern would be that as current customers churn you may not be able to easily fill their spots with new customers without an online presence…). But, for the many, many businesses out there looking for more revenue, having an online presence is a fairly cost effective means of generating that desired activity.

Adapt, migrate, mutate or die. I’ve always liked that quote. Regardless of the business we’re in, it pretty much sums up our options, doesn’t it?

Recommended Reading

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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