Statistics show that nearly half of small businesses in the United States don’t have a website. If your small business is among this crowd, you should consider taking steps to get online. While developing a custom, fully functional website takes time — as well as money — it’s well worth the investment for the six following reasons.

#1) Increases Trust and Credibility

A website can make your small business more trustworthy and credible to customers and potential customers. If a prospect is considering purchasing from your small business, he or she may search for it online. Without a website, the prospect may think twice before making a purchase, potentially choosing a competitor instead.

#2) Attracts Walk-In Traffic

Even if your small business doesn’t sell products or services online, a website may attract walk-in traffic to your business’s brick-and-mortar store or location. According to one report, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. A website can guide and direct potential customers to your local business by providing them with directions as well as your small business’s contact information.

#3) New Marketing Channel

Of course, a website offers a powerful new marketing channel on which you can promote your small business’s products or services. Once developed, your website will attract high-quality traffic from search engines, social media networks and other sources. As users visit your website, they’ll see your small business’s products or services displayed, which may compel them to make a purchase.

#4) Increases Brand Recognition

A website is an invaluable branding tool for your small business — assuming you to design is correctly. You can upload your small business’s logo, add your small business’s slogan and include other elements of your small business’s brand, all of which help you create a more recognizable brand.

#5) Announce New Products or Services

You can use your website as a platform to announce the arrival of new products or services offered by your small business. Many small businesses struggle to generate sales when launching new products or services simply because their target audience doesn’t know about them. With a website, you can inform customers and potential customers about new products or services offered by your small business.

#6) Harvest Customer Data

A little-known benefit of creating and maintaining a small business website is that it allows you to harvest customer data. You can set up a newsletter, for instance, to collect names and email addresses, and you can later use this information to send marketing emails to customers and potential customers.