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Source: Top Design Firms news release

Washington - Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many considered websites essential for modern businesses. Still, just over a quarter of small businesses (28%) have no website, according to a new report from Top Design Firms.

Most small businesses (71%) do have a website, though building and maintaining a website is still a challenge as enterprise business websites elevate customers' expectations.

The survey found that almost half of small businesses (46%) have in-house employees manage their website, and 32% use DIY website builders to create a basic website. This demonstrates just how easy it is for small businesses with limited resources to establish a web presence.

A high-quality website will be even more necessary in 2021, and small businesses must build teams to keep up with customer expectations and demand.

Small Businesses Plan to Invest in Website Performance and Page Speed
Almost half of small businesses (43%) plan to improve their website performance and page speed in 2021.

Website functionality and performance is a key factor in organic search engine rankings. About one-fifth of small businesses (21%) reported their biggest website challenge was low traffic.

Improving the website's functionality can help increase organic search engine rankings and drive traffic. Small in-house teams, however, may lack the expertise required to improve a website's functionality.

Only 34% of small businesses currently invest in an agency partner to manage their websites. A trained design, development, or user experience expert can help small businesses implement technical updates to their websites.

Other website investments small businesses plan to make include optimizing for a mobile website (34%) and integrating voice search (17%), which demonstrates small business's understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) best practices.

Some Small Businesses Plan to Experiment With Video and Virtual Reality (VR)
Showcasing products and services remains the top priority for 24% of small businesses, and some small businesses plan to use new technology to do so.

Almost one-third of small businesses (30%) plan to embed videos on their websites in 2021. Videos are an engaging way to demonstrate a product or service's value to current and potential customers.

About one-fifth of small businesses (19%) even plan to invest in virtual reality (VR) features on their websites. Virtual reality can help small businesses visualize products in their space, or experience services before making a purchasing decision.

Other website features small businesses plan to try include chatbots (18%) and "dark mode" design (18%). New website features and tools can help keep current customers engaged, and attract new customers to a small business's products.

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