The importance of websites and digital for startups and small businesses

Starting and launching a new startup is a really exciting time; you can put all of your ideas into action and are excited to see the world respond towards your latest startup thing, product or service.

However, the biggest problem many startups face in Africa is getting their business out there. Many them have great products but remain invisible. This is due to poor marketing and advertising especially using digital. Others simply have not invested in their online presence.

We all know that marketing is important to all businesses, but it is extremely important to startups and small businesses. Getting more customers to engage with your startup or small business and the products or services you sell is vital for a new startup, and a website is perhaps the most important tool you can use for lead nurturing in your early days. Particularly when you’re the new kid on the block and your brand name is unknown, building up a reliable customer base and attracting attention can be the difference between surviving your first year as a business and sinking without trace or existing in an invisible world.

Almost the very first thing a potential customer will do when they come across your startup business name or the goods and services you sell will be to search for you online through Google or any other search engine. With instant internet access at their fingertips, savvy customers will swipe or click away and do their research on you before they part with any money – and a lack of internet presence or a poorly designed website is guaranteed to turn them away.

A website is a business’ online shop front; it shows off your brand, what you are offering and provides a place whereby all your marketing results are driven in the same way a physical store would but instead of people walking past and being enticed in, they are browsing the web and they stumble upon your website. If this is the case, why do so many people fail to appreciate the importance of a website for startups?

Statista showed that by the end of October 2021, there were 1.8 billion websites in the digital realm, the reality is that only 10-15% of them are updated regularly.

This sad figure means lost opportunities for website owners and zero value for web users.

Websites are an integral part of any business, and especially for startups. No matter what business you own and what you do, you need to have it exist in the digital space too. It is one of the very first things, which clicks into our minds while planning to launch a new business. In this digital world, having an online presence is very important, and websites help you in that. It not only helps in attracting customers but also, helps in taking your business into the global market.

Why Websites Are A Must-Have For Startups and Why Startups Need a Website More Than Most

In the era of fast digital content, every new business needs a website – and a good one at that. A well-designed website not only enables you to get more customers and allow future customers to learn more about what you can do for them or let them place orders from you, it can also build up a much-needed brand identity and generate the customer loyalty all startups rely on.


A website which is slow to run, difficult to navigate and unappealing to look at will immediately turn people away, and with so much choice out there on the big wide web, they’re unlikely to ever return.


It is likely that as a startup you will be lacking in customers or clients. This isn’t a reflection of your business it is simply that people do not know you exist yet. 


We have a lot of reasons that support the idea of making a custom website for your small business or startup. However, in this post, we’ve decided to present the most obvious benefits of having a website for a startup.


If you’re still questioning yourself “Why does a startup or small business need a website?, look through the list below to get the answer.

1. Go digital and appear in the top

Websites are the first place someone will go to find out more about your business; without one, how will people find out who you are and what you do? In 2021, sites have multiple goals. A good website leaves a great deal of scope for action. In short, it helps you:

  • inform about your background, services, and solutions;
  • deliver a visual experience by using images, videos, and infographics;
  • share the stories of your regulars;
  • educate the target audience;
  • keep in touch with the end client, and many more.

Web surfers and shoppers fancy looking through rating lists and read reviews before buying or ordering. Your web resource may be lucky to appear in such ratings, overviews, and rundowns of similar service providers.

In its turn, it will considerably increase your chances of reaching the potential clientele.

2. Keep in touch with regulars and attract prospects

If someone hears about a product or service you are offering, where will they go to find out more? Your website. Even if you’re very conservative and rely on a brick-and-mortar business, you must admit that it’s lagging far behind online projects in terms of availability.

When your physical store is closed during holidays, weekends or due to some technical reasons, your online shop will continue functioning all-around-the-clock. 

Those customers who need your assistance or advice, don’t have to adapt to your working hours. They can send a request at any time.

What’s more, the online presence helps you expand the borders. A small local startup has all chances to become a well-established company selling globally, which means that it’s better to make your website multilingual.

A website reflects a company; a professional website can make a small startup appear as a much larger and successful company.

Whatever online presence you have, it lets you maintain relations with existing clients and build effective marketing campaigns.

You can email your clients about discounts, big events, new comings, product updates and plenty of other things.

3. Inform, showcase, and educate

With more and more people going online to shop, businesses without a website can miss out on a number of business opportunities. People use the web for different purposes—searching, entertaining, buying, communicating. However, their most important goal is to satisfy information hunger.

That’s why it is crucial to organise your website in the way so that it will be both engaging and informative.

Traditionally, startup sites have several pages or their combos:

  • Home
  • About Us
  • Features
  • Pricing
  • FAQ
  • Blog

Every page, module, and section should be self-contained and designed according to the UI/UX requirements.

The homepage may consist of different blocks; however, it’s important to include company info, product descriptions, CTAs, testimonials, and recent projects. The last element proves your knowledge and expertise.

The blog is crucial for those who care about SEO. By creating and publishing good materials, you can rank higher on Google in a matter of months.

4. Take advantage of digital marketing and save costs

There is another point why have a website for your business.

Digital marketing tools let online entrepreneurs promote their websites at fewer costs comparing with the TV commercial, billboards, and ads in newspapers.

Even paid Google ads are not so useful now as they were several years ago. According to a recent survey, at least 70% of people dislike mobile ads and use online ad blockers.

Is there another way of promoting a website? Yes, you can take advantage of email marketing, social media management, and develop a corporate blog.

Why does a startup or a small businesses need a website blog?

Statistics say that companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website, which means that you should create a blog to be successful online.

Managing a blog is a big deal, and it’s better to hire a team of professionals: a content manager, SEO specialists, and a copywriter.

Be patient, work hard, and get ready to see the first results in conversions and leads in several months. We promise they will amaze you!

It’s worth mentioning that creating and running a blog is not cheap. However, it’s a good investment that will give back if you take it seriously enough.

5. Deliver excellent customer service

Among the benefits of a website for a startup, there is one that is very important for early-stage projects. We’re talking about superb client support.

Certainly, nothing can be compared with the direct assistance provided directly or by phone, but there is a category of clients that prefer online interactions.

It is especially true for youngsters who fancy solving tasks right here and now.

How to satisfy the most demanding clients? Make sure that your client support reply within, at most, two business days or provide customers with 24/7 assistance.

For urgent replies, you can integrate a chatbot, create a help centre or develop a digital assistant. Professional and competent customer service will give you a competitive edge over rivals.

6. Generate trust and build a reputation

Put yourself in the shoes of the rest of web users for a moment. Do you remember the time when you stumbled across a brand, project or a solution that interested you? What did you do then?

We bet you asked Google to find a website with this interesting idea.

When you like something but can’t find any records about it on the web, you may stop taking it seriously. For a new startup or small business, it’s essential to create brand awareness and generate a solid reputation.

A website reflects your business intentions, attitude towards clients, mission, and approach. To gain credibility and trust, it’s not enough to have only a corporate page on social networks, it may be a good addition, but that’s all.

7. Stay ahead of competitors

The last merit in the advantages of a website for business concerns your chances to beat the competition.

In the world where almost everyone possesses an online presence, it is very hard to stand out, but we know how to do it. Pillars of optimal user experience is a sophisticated architecture, intuitive navigation, UI/UX design, and engaging content.

The right combination of all these factors will help you satisfy even the most demanding customer.

Needless to say, that your web resource should be mobile-friendly and function flawlessly across all the existing gadgets.

Just remember that by 2022, 63.4% of all mobile phone users will access the Internet from their mobile phone.

Another vital thing concerns the layout of your website and whether or not the navigation mechanism is intuitive. Remember that people always appreciate simplicity.

One more tip is to optimise the loading speed of your web pages. According to the web statistics, a 1-second delay in page loading speed can cost you 7% of your e-commerce conversions.

All these factors influence the way people perceive your online presence and determine your place among the competitors.

Good Websites for Startups

Though the importance of a website for startups is clear, it must be remembered that a website needs to also be well-made. A basic one-page website may have worked a few years ago, but with digital advances and even small companies having professionally created websites it is key that you are not left behind. All websites for startups should be:

  • Responsive so they can easily be viewed on mobile phones and tablets.
  • Fully branded with your business logo and colours.
  • Informative, engaging and creative.
  • Frequently updated with news, updates and promotional offers.
  • Accurate; consumers will want accurate product information and full details of your services, without which they may take their business elsewhere.
  • Personal. Startups need to stand out from others and bit of personality throughout the website is a good way to achieve this.
  • Created with the business in mind; an overly corporate website will send the wrong message for a fun and young startup, and similarly a playful and skittish website will send the wrong message for a white-collar company.

Additionally, all websites should have a contact form and call to action buttons. This is especially important for new businesses and startups as it is likely that people will want to find out more about you before committing to parting with money and the easiest way to do this is via email or by picking up the phone.

A website is one of the most important things a startup requires to give it the best chance of business success. Websites are the future and with more and more people heading online, it is important that even the smallest and newest businesses keep up with the bigger players. Digital marketing is similar to building a house; a website is the foundation of all digital marketing and the other elements are the bricks, building upon an existing platform to create a strong and sturdy digital marketing strategy.


Sandile Shabangu

151 Startup Blog posts