Oxford Dictionaries defines the term ‘investment’ as the following:
‘An act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.’ An alternative definition describes it as: ‘The action or process of investing money for profit.’
The word ‘money’ is important here, as a business will need to part with some amount of money to achieve what they need from a website – to get a ‘worthwhile result’.
A new website, whether that means the design and build of a new website from scratch or the redesign of an existing one, should be profitable and should be worthwhile. There’s little point in having a website to represent your business online if it only exists because you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that you must have one, because ‘that’s what everyone has these days’. A website must be profitable, and it must bring new business by engaging visitors to such an extent that they become valued customers or clients.
We all know the importance of maintaining an online presence, and it’s unwise to think of your website as little more than a digital business card. Your website needs to provide a faithful representation of your brand’s ethos, function effectively as a marketing tool, be analytics-friendly, be continually optimised to keep pace with the increasing sophistication of the search engines, be responsive and user-friendly when viewed from all devices, and through all of that, your website should have the power to convert visitors into customers, which in turn will increase revenue.
In short, if your website is not profitable, then it becomes a cost. If your website boosts conversions, revenue, and works wonders for your bottom line (as it should), then it is an investment. When taking the decision to restructure, redesign or build a website from scratch, you need to consider how the project should be managed to ensure that, once live, the website performs well and delivers a strong return on investment.
It is more than a shop window or a digital sales brochure. Your website is a living, breathing marketing ally and should drive your digital strategy. But it can only do this if you take control of its power.
But for your website to deliver the acquisition, conversion and retention targets you have set it in a cost-effective manner it needs regular care, attention and updating.
The main factors which can be looked at to measure the return on investment of a new website include:
Technology changes in the blink of an eye. If your website is poorly designed and coded, it will not be so adaptable. It won’t be able to adapt to the changing digital landscape easily, and will need replacing more quickly than a bespoke-build website. This will generally cost your business more money, so it’s a false economy to cut corners on a new website build or redesign.
A website should be updated regularly, be that by uploading new pages, adding new blog posts or changing images. It’s important to invest in a site which allows you to do all that in-house, which will keep the cost of maintenance down. It is also important to invest in sites which allows regular upgrades (content management systems like WordPress have regular upgrade releases which improve the security of the site).
An optimised site will help you to rank higher in the search engines, and this will have an impact on the amount of website traffic you receive. However, your marketing activities will also have an impact on the amount of website traffic you receive, and your website should be built with online marketing in mind.
A well-designed, user focused website with clear call to actions should help to increase the number of conversions. A website should not just be a glorified business card – it should work hard to convert as many visitors into prospects as possible. The more conversions, the healthier your bottom line.
A high-functioning website which achieves your business and marketing goals is crucial to seeing a return on investment. If you want to build a new website for your business, make sure you see it as an investment and plan for bigger returns.
Tags: B2B Services, Bespoke Design, Professional Services, Responsive Web Design