Many business owners have long wondered whether a website is really worth their investment, and if so, what their return on investment will be. This is completely understandable because launching a new website or redesigning one can be an arduous task and very expensive. After all, if you’re going to spend thousands of dollars, shouldn’t there be a reasonable expectation that you will generate it back? The honest answer is it depends.
Generating a return on investment when it comes to website design and development is based on many factors, but the truth is that if you have a great website, it will generate a quantifiable return for your business. A great website will dramatically increase your conversion rates, sales leads, visitor engagement, and online sales if it’s done right. The problem is that so many websites fall short of their potential. They simply aren’t great.
What makes a great website great?
Some of us would assume that a great website has to do with design or code. While this is partially true, these are only two small pieces of the puzzle for a greater return on investment. If you want your website to achieve more for you and your business, you need to consider the following.
Obviously it goes without saying, ugly design repels people from using your website. Your website design needs to be professional and it needs to fit your brand. Colors, fonts, graphics, and photos must all work together in harmony to bring the best results. Simplicity is also key. You don’t need a highly creative design that wins awards. You need a design that sells your services or products. Hire a professional designer who is interested in your objectives and goals and not just their own.
The way your website is developed has a tremendous impact on ROI. Your site must be up to current web standards and have proper code to function properly. If the development of your website is done by someone who is cheap or inexperienced, there’s a high probability that it will be detrimental to your online presence. Partner with a reputable and proven website developer who keeps up with current technology and standards.
Content strategy should be a huge focus for your business! Google and other search engines place the highest importance on new content whether it’s a blog post, updated pages, videos, audio, or downloadable ebooks. Great content gets people to your website and gets them to link to it … and this is critical for SEO. If you believe a static, online brochure is going to bring you results, then don’t invest in a website. Quality content is the mandatory for positive results.
How does your website work for the people who visit your site? Is it easy for them to find your resources or content? Does your website work on desktops and mobile devices? Is your font difficult to read? Can people figure out your menu system? Delivering a great user experience is critical. You can have amazing content or beautiful graphics, but if your visitor gets frustrated trying to use your website, you’ve already lost your investment.
Call to Action
This is the easiest to do, but it’s always the most neglected. If you get people to your website, you need to have a call to action. Get people to sign up for your email newsletter or purchase your product. Ask them to download your book or inquire about your services. If you don’t have a call to action, you will miss out on leads or sales because of it. Ask your visitors to do something that brings you ROI!
Website Platform or Content Management System
This is the least critical aspect for a great website but it still matters. Drupal, Concrete5, Joomla, and WordPress are all platforms that are used to manage your content. While we believe that WordPress is the best option for a CMS platform because it’s easier to use and there are more designers and developers in that community, your website platform should be simple and web friendly.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is incredibly complicated, always changing, and in-depth to discuss. There is much to know so we’ll just give you the basics. Your website needs to be SEO friendly. This is done via proper code, plugins, website platform, and your content. You have to write content that search engines value and that get incoming links. Your platform and code need to be set up to work properly for SEO requirements. If you don’t have this, you will have little chance to being found online. This is another reason why we recommend and use WordPress.
Websites That Are Great
I thought it would be extremely beneficial to share a few websites that incorporate ALL of these aspects together to make their websites great:
- CopyBlogger: Perhaps one of the best websites on the web. Notice the clean design, effective call to actions, and captivating headlines.
- Sucuri Security: A very personable and polished site . They achieve an incredible balance between form and function.
- NewYorker.com: They do an excellent job of presenting an array of content in a way that isn’t overwhelming.
- Google Ventures: Amazing! The whole User Experience is second to none and it’s an incredible display of all the right stuff together.
- Van Heusen: Beautiful photos, excellent copy and call to actions, and incredible display on mobile devices.
It’s no longer a question of whether you should have or need a website, but what type of website you will have built for your needs. There are now plenty of options available to a business owner. Unfortunately so many will choose the cheapest or quickest options, over the more expensive and proven solutions. This is why so many websites will fail and never achieve the type of results the business owner expects.
My question to you is will you pay to get a great website or will you invest in the easiest or cheapest solution? Each will bring you the results you deserve.