Your website is an investment in your business and as such, you would want a return on that investment. We’ll look at website ROI in this article and why it is good business sense to invest time and money into your website.
First, let’s look at ROI (return on investment).
ROI (Return on Investment)
ROI is a comparison between how much you invest, the return on your investment and how much you gain on the investment.
Take the potential increase in sales and deduct the cost of the investment. This gives you the net gained.
Now, divide the net gain by how much you invested. This gives you the ROI (return on investment).
Choosing to Invest in Your Website
Take all the investments you want to make into your business (including investing in your website) with the projected ROI on each investment. Sort the list with the items with the most ROI at the top of the list.
While making your list keep in mind that fixing up or creating a website is a one time initial investment to improve sales while hiring a salesperson and/or buying link traffic will be reoccuring expenses.
Now don’t cheap out on the budget for the website. This is an important investment in your business and just as with everything else for your business, you want to make a good first impression to help land the sale. Focus on adding features and information that enhance the website, not just glitz and glamour, to improve the website ROI.
Your website is a 24/7 salesperson and has much more potential of attracting clients than a salesperson who you pay commisison or a salary to.
What Ruins Your Website ROI
Improved ROI can be accomplished by keeping things simple and making small changes in your website plan or your existing website.
Here’s a few things that can ruin your website ROI:
- Prioritize elements and features that give the best ROI. Don’t just focus on the visual elements of the website. You need information and features your target audience are looking for.
- Check your ego at the door. The website needs to be built for your target audience if you want it to make money for you. Just because you like something, doesn’t mean your target audience does. Show others what you have in mind and be open to the feedback.
- Just because your competitor is doing something, doesn’t mean you have to copy them. Be unique. Be different. That’s what people will remember.
- Don’t let your web designer’s ego take over. A good web designer will be more concerned about what works for your target audience than forcing what’s in at the moment.
- Be sure to be clear on what you want in your website design when asking for a quote. The more homework you do ahead of time, the better price you will get and the less chance for miscommunication between you and your web designer.
Areas That Improve Website ROI
There are some specific areas to look at to improve website ROI:
- Usability – if the website is easy to use then your visitors will be happy and recommend your business to others.
- Informative – providing all the information a potential customer needs to make the decision to buy can be the crux of making a sale.
- Know your audience – I know, this is the fourth time I have mentioned your target audience in this article. Are you getting the idea that researching and knowing your target is very important yet?
- Goals – know your goals for the website. To increase sales? Reduce staffing costs? Be a source of information for your clients?
How Do I Measure My Website ROI?
To measure the success of your investment you need to compare what the website is now doing for you with what the goals were when you started.
Are you getting the targeted traffic you set out to get?
Have your sales and/or leads increased?
Are you getting any feedback from visitors on what is working and what is not then taking the negative feedback and making the necessary changes?
When you look at your website stats, is the increase in website traffic converting to an increase in sales? More traffic isn’t any help if it’s not increasing your sales and/or leads.
If you have an ecommerce website, how’s your checkout rate? Are people completing the sale or abandoning the shopping cart?
Website ROI – It is Important
As you can see from the points above, taking a serious look at your new or existing website then making the required changes and tweaks to match target audience you are going after is a smart investment in your business. Listening to feedback from visitors, analyizing the website stats and sales stats then tweaking the website can only improve your website ROI.
Recommended Reading on Improving Website ROI
web design for ROI by Lance Loveday & Sandra Niehaus is a 200 page book on “Turning Browsers in Buyers & Prospects into Leads”. This book goes into more detail about how to increase your website ROI.
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug is also a 200 page book. It’s subtitle is “A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability”. As noted above, increasing the usability of your website will in turn, increase your website ROI.
Why We Buy, “The Science of Shopping”.This book is a bit heavier read than the first 2 suggestions. It is written in a friendly style like the other recommended reading and is full of all kinds of hints on what little things can be done to increase sales for your business. It was written for brick an mortar businesses, but I got some ideas that could be implemented on the web.
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