We often get asked by business owners “what’s the value of my small business website?” Why should I invest time and resources into purchasing something that might not yield the results I need to grow my business? This is largely due to an attempt to devalue the initial investment and usually due to the fear that if you invest time and money into a website that it somehow won’t pay off. Many small businesses see it as a necessary evil at time even. Why is this?
Cash flow is often tight for most small businesses, and you don’t have the luxury of spending without careful consideration. When you write a check, that money is very dear to you. Most small-business owners are obviously going to be caught off guard and even shocked when they hear a realistic estimate of what a properly designed and developed website cost. Still, the only thing more important to an owner than their bank account (and his family, friends, etc.) is the future and growth of the company. A website has an ROI (return on investment) that is often hard to track but many many large companies, governments, etc… have spent millions researching this and found that it is a necessity for any size business. It is your virtual store front. It represents your brand, products, services, team, values and everything you are more than anything else. Over 94% of buyers visit the company website to learn more about it, that number is higher for larger purchases. It’s vital that your site represent you well.
Here a are view things to keep in mind when valuing your expense on a great website.
EVERYTHING IS TRACKABLE
With just a free Google Analytics account, you can track so many more metrics for a website than you can with print ads and other traditional advertising channels. This is a wonderful because you can always look at the metrics and visualize whether your investment in the website is paying dividends. And if the results are not ideal, then those metrics will tell you what to tweak to make them ideal.
YOUR IMAGE, THE WAY YOU WANT IT
A website serves as a central online destination for the whole brand. You need to know that without a website (or with one that is poorly designed or that lacks compelling content), your online image will stretch as far as Google reviews or the Better Business Bureau. That might not give potential customers enough information for them to pick up the phone, especially if a competitor is dominating local search results for home remodeling and has a website that projects a compelling, trustworthy image.
The money spent on online advertising to drive prospective clients to a website is much more manageable and trackable than money spent on traditional advertising like newspaper ads, flyers and phone book listings. Online ads and listings, SEO and web content are in a unique category of advertising. Not getting as many hits as you would like? Adjust! Change your content and experiment. Not on the first page of Google for a particular term? Optimize! Rewrite some content and change some keywords.
Spend your advertising dollars to get your website into a high-traffic area that your target audience will see. Spending as much as, if not more than, an offline budget for online advertising is a no-brainer because you get so many metrics and insights on how an online campaign is performing. You wouldn’t have such control and accuracy with your advertising if you don’t have a website.
This is probably the last thing a small-business owner expects from a website, but if properly thought out, a website can certainly enhance a small business’ overall productivity and free up time that is used for manual tasks. Take a simple contact form. More people are willing to submit a form online than to pick up the phone. It’s just easier and a lower barrier. Not only will you gain more leads, but now you have more time to research thoughtful answers than you would have had if you had gotten questions over the phone. And you can set aside a certain time of the day for written questions, which is better than being distracted by a phone call while drawing a blueprint or repairing a roof.
You Get What You Pay For
Convinced now you need a website for your small-business? Let me guess, your most pressing concern will still be the wad of cash you have to drop to pay for it, right? Even if you do view a website as an investment, investing in anything without some disposable income is still tough. At this point, you are probably thinking of ways to spend the absolute least that you can, which is most easily done by pushing you to the backburner to find someone cheaper such as a templated service like GoDaddy which is all automated, impersonal and obvious to your customers you don’t care about your website.
You will get what you pay for. Would you advise your own potential clients not to trust just anyone to do what you offer as a business; likewise, you should be willing to do the same for the online face of your business. Clients should trust experts to perform the services that they’re good at, right? Sure, you can get a free WordPress theme or use some cookie-cutter website-building service, but that’s like using duct tape and cardboard to fix a broken window. It might work, but you wouldn’t get the efficiency and beauty that a professional would provide.
Many people just like you simply don’t know what they can achieve with a website: bill payments, sales, content management, newsletter registration, customer portal, email drip campaigns, subscriptions — the list goes on. Just like your an expert at what you do, you need an expert to do your website right.
We want to be clear that we’re not just selling a list of features. We are a partner who will share in the joy of the success that your services will bring and the growth of your business. The features are only part of what you need. We take time to earn your trust and know your business on a personal level so that we can provide a quality website. This is what sets us apart. We care about you first.
The Importance Of Design
Even in a small town, where your reputation hangs almost solely on word of mouth, having a professional image is still critical. Without getting too deep into research on brand recognition, we want you to understand good design is important to any small business. Here’s a great quote from a Razorfish.
According to our findings, 65% of consumers report that a digital brand experience has changed their opinion (either positively or negatively) about a brand or the products and services a brand offers… For those brand marketers still neglecting (or underestimating) digital, it’s as if they showed up to a cocktail party in sweatpants.
A Few Statistics To Consider
If you still need some convincing on why a high-quality professional website is so important to your business, here are some statistics to consider.
94% of the consumers surveyed have gone online for local shopping purposes within the last six months. Among those surveyed, 59.5% have completed a local purchase of merchandise or services online, within the last six months.
83% of surveyed US consumers reported that having a website and using social media was a factor considered of high importance when choosing small businesses.
80% of small business owners consider the design of their logos, websites, marketing materials and other branding tools either “very important” or “important” to the success of their companies.
Social Media In The Mix
Several clients have come to me looking for the whole online package: website, Facebook page, Twitter account and branding, etc. Other clients have to be sold on social networking as an extension of their online branding and marketing. Let’s face it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc… are highly visible these days. The average client already has (or at least should have) an active Facebook page for interacting with customers and marketing to the public. So, offering a social strategy, or at the very least designing a nice profile and cover photo, is always included in our websites.
Beware of solely using Facebook or Twitter, though. Many small businesses start with Facebook as their only online presence. While it’s a cheap way to get online, clients need to understand that their social pages should ultimately drive people to their “home”: their website. Much of your image as trustworthy, professional and reliable are driven not by social media but by your website.
Now What Do I Do?
We have worked really hard to make a way for small-businesses like yours be able to have a high-quality professional website with a personal touch that’s still affordable. With our MyWebsite packages you’ll get on-going support and care from our team as well as custom website that provides your customers with all that we’ve just talked about above. On top of that in 2 of our packages we offer videos as well which are enhancers as YouTube is the second largest search engine and people are more likely to watch than read. On top of over 19 years of experience so far in serving small-large businesses with their website needs, we also have add-on services such as SEO, AdWords, and much more to help you win above and beyond. Don’t delay, getting started today is just a click away. Choose the package that best fits your business and click Order Now. We’ll walk you through the entire process and have your new website up and running in 30 days or less.