The true value of a website is difficult to quantify. While the internet has made it easy to publish and access information, someone reading your blog post doesn't always equal a sale. Similarly, simply being present online is not enough to improve your revenue.
So, why create a website in the first place? Maybe you're a legacy business that's built its customer base through referrals and word of mouth. You may be thinking that going online is unnecessary--your customers already know where to find you. Or, maybe you're a small business that believes that you don't have time to add another avenue for promotion. Why bring in traffic if you can't handle it internally, right?
Wrong. Your website is more than just a place to make sales. It's an extension of your business in the digital world and an important place to show your style and outshine your competitors.
Let's learn a bit more about the true value of a website.
Do you need a website?
If you haven't made the jump online, you may be wondering why you should. The simple answer to this question is: yes. If you're a business in the modern world, you need a website.
First off, your website connects you to new customers and gives them a place to locate or contact you. If you don't have a website, potential customers may turn to your competitors in search.
Second, it gives current and future clients a place to find out more about the products or services you offer. This can help reinforce your brand and create a positive first impression for new clients or customers.
Third, having a website allows you to collect valuable customer data that can be used to inform your procurement, advertising, and growth strategies. The more you know about your client base, the more informed you can be when making business decisions.
But that's not all. Your online presence demonstrates your ability to stay current and gives customers access to information about products or services they may not be able to find elsewhere.
As well, your site is a platform that can be used to educate potential customers about the benefits of doing business with you. You can build trust through informative content and social media engagement which will establish you as an industry expert in their eyes.
So, will any website do?
If you've read this far you're probably starting to understand the value of a website.
"Okay, fine. I need one. So, I'll start a Squarespace."
Wait right there.
Not every website is created equal. While you may think a simple landing page with your contact info will suffice, you're missing out on the benefits of having a complete website that can establish your business as an industry leader.
Like anything in business, it's always cheaper to do it right the first time. So, if you're thinking of building a website from scratch, consider building a site that will last, rather than a placeholder.
Traits of a high performing website
A high-performing website is one that can be found in the top 20 results of a Google search. It has to have good content, unique text and images, as well as targeted keywords.
These sites also tend to rank for localized, industry-specific terms like "dentist" or "locksmith near me." That means whenever a potential client is looking for local services, you'll be first in their results.
High-performing websites are also well designed. Always remember, the internet is a visual place! Hiring a graphic designer can go a long way.
Don't forget about functionality! High-performing websites should be easy to navigate and offer clear calls to action. This is important because if your website isn't user-friendly, the browser will be off finding another site in less than five seconds--which means you've instantly lost their business.
How do you quantify online traffic?
The biggest worry people have when building a new website is: "Will my investment be worth it?"
It likely will. But, how can we calculate ROI if we don't know what to look for?
More visits to your website don’t always equal more sales. In fact, most people agree that a well-optimized site should bring in 1 sale every 50-100 visitors. That's a lot of traffic!
This doesn't mean your website isn't worth investing in, but it does mean you need to narrow down what success looks like for you. Do you want to attract more warm leads? Make higher sales? Get more email signups? Drive people to your social channels?
If your goal is to drive more traffic, you need to know where that traffic is coming from. Do they find you through social media? Google search? Paid advertising campaigns? From there, figure out how you can optimize those channels for your customers to find you more quickly.
If you're looking to improve sales, then it's time to look at your website messaging. Do you clearly state why visitors should buy from you? What differentiates you from your competition? How do they know that the product is worth what they're paying for it? Redesigning your site structure or revamping your website copy can make a big difference in this case.
If your goal is to get more email signups, then you should be focusing on content. Lead magnets and blog posts can be a great way to attract new subscribers. As well, a dedicated email newsletter that links to your website can be a great way to drive traffic.
The best way to quantify online traffic is to understand what it means to you. If you can do this before you design your website, you'll be able to tailor your content to your business goals. This is the recipe for a high-performing website.
Get a website that works for your business
Not every website is right for every business. The value of a website is its role in your brand identity and its ability to create meaningful connections with your customers.
The better you understand your business goals before building your website, the better your process will be. This includes understanding how much traffic you are looking to get from different sources, what type of online business it is, and who your target audience is.
Ready to build your dream website? Brandcamp has helped dozens of businesses across North America create high-performing websites that convert. Contact us to learn more.