If one asked about the value of a website to a business a few years ago, it may have been considered merely a marketing ploy or at least a novelty. Today, the website is simply invaluable.
While there are methods for valuating high traffic and e-commerce websites, it’s a little more challenging to boil down a business website to the economic advantage it offers to that business. After all, website visits and click-throughs don’t necessarily pay the bills directly. But let’s face it: Things are a lot different from when your dad was running a business, and at a time when 87 percent of Americans are on the Internet and 61 percent of them research products or services online before buying offline, marketing your business through a well-developed website is pretty much essential.
Let’s look at some of the values that a website can bring to a business. Bear in mind that any business, based on their size, costs, and other factors, will see a different return on investment (ROI) in a website, but this is where the value is added.
“Google” Is a Verb – When people consider a purchase of whatever product or service you have to offer, the first place that most of them go is online to do a search on it. If you don’t have a web presence optimized for search engines, chances of you ever being found are bleak. Today’s market just doesn’t use the Yellow Pages anymore.
Master of Your Domain – A business’ website is often where the seeds of the relationship with a customer are planted. In the eyes of today’s consumer, businesses with a well-developed website appear to be more trustworthy, more professional, and more stable. Your website is a platform where you can anticipate your potential clients’ questions and provide them with the answers they seek before they even ask, saving you time and building your credibility. A stellar website gives you authority and inspires confidence that money just can’t buy.
Accessibility Is Critical – By having a website, your business is now open 24/7. Google published a Mobile Movement Study back in 2011, when only one-third of Americans owned smart phones, compared to the two-thirds that own one today. Even early on in the “mobile movement,” when smartphone owners used them to search for a local business, 88 percent called or visited that business within 24 hours. And according to Search Engine Watch, half of the searches on mobile devices are aimed at finding a local business, while 61 percent of them result in a purchase.
Conversions, Both Macro and Micro – The most immediate way you’re going to be able to measure ROI are your direct “macro” conversions, when people purchase your product or call to make an appointment. But if you’re using your website to its full potential, the “micro” conversions — when someone reads your blog, signs up for a newsletter, watches one of your videos, or simply visits and browses your site — each get them one step closer to making a purchase decision. A web presence empowers you like never before with an ability to cultivate relationships throughout a customer’s decision-making process.
Every Page Is a Portal – For every webpage describing the people, products, and services that comprise the businesses; for every blog post sharing your business success or offering valuable information — these serve as links to all of your other pages. This creates immense opportunities to expand your outreach by targeting your customers by what they want to know. Through a search engine optimized website, you have the ability to reach your clients where they are, and guide them to where you want them to be.
Given the immense opportunities that a well-designed website can provide for a business and the value-added potential that they offer, ask yourself this: What kind of value does your website bring to your business today?