Investing in the performance of a website is usually the last thing most companies consider when deciding how they will invest their marketing budgets. Most companies allocate budgets to advertise their website using Google Adwords, SEO, online advertising, offline advertising and social media but few companies think about how important their website is to their overall success.
Your website is the single most important component of your online marketing strategy – it will literally make or break your success online. Here’s why…
1. Your Website Determines How Many Sales You Achieve From Your Advertising Budget
When you run advertising online, or offline for that matter, you’re driving prospects directly to your website. You might be spending $2,000 per month on advertising, or you might be spending $100,000. In either case, the number of sales you achieve from your advertising is directly related to the performance of your website.
Let’s take a quick look at the numbers… if your website converts 1% of website visitors into customers you will generate 10 new customers from 1,000 visitors. But if you can increase the performance of your website to convert 5% of website visitors, you’re generating 50 new customers from the same advertising budget, or 5x as many sales without spending a cent more on advertising.
Many companies we speak to are happy to spend $10,000 per month on advertising but baulk when we suggest investing $10,000 one-time on improving the performance of their website – this is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make… just take a look at the numbers.
2. Your Website Can Give You A Competitive Advantage
Your website’s conversion rate is one of the most powerful competitive advantages you can gain against your competition. If your website converts 5% of website visitors into sales, and your competitors are only converting 1% of website visitors into sales, you can spend 20% of your competitors’ budget and still achieve the same result.
When you look at how the majority of online advertising works these days, you’re paying a cost-per-click for prospects to visit your website. If you can convert website visitors at 5x the rate of your competition, you can pay 20% of their cost-per-click and still achieve the same cost-per-acquisition (CPA).
But that’s not what usually happens… what usually happens is that you pay 2x or 3x per click to completely outbid them online, gain maximum exposure and capture the majority of the available market share, and still pay a lower CPA than your competition.
3. Your Website Affects The Quality of Clients You Attract
The quality of the design, structure and layout of your website directly affects the quality of clients you attract – the higher the quality of your website, the higher the quality of clients you will attract.
Think about it… how many times have you visited a website and instantly made an assumption on the type of company it is, how expensive the products or services would be and whether or not you wanted to contact them, just by how it looked and felt.
I’ve often been surprised at just how much the design of a website can affect the quality of leads and sales a website receives. If you want to attract larger companies with larger budgets to your company, then you need a website that reflects what those companies expect to see from a website. On the other hand, if you’re selling cheap products or services, then you don’t want your website to look too expensive.
4. Your Website Affects How Much Facebook Traffic You Receive
Facebook is now one of the largest sources of website referral traffic after Google… and when you consider that more than 10 million Australian are on Facebook, it makes sense. But to really maximise the traffic you receive from Facebook it’s important to understand how it works.
Facebook users share content from around the web, with more than 2 billion posts ‘liked’ and commented on every day. To drive the maximum amount of traffic from Facebook your website needs to include information that people want to share with their social network. The best type of information to share is news, helpful information, photos, videos and any type of information that really adds value to the lives of the people that consume it.
By integrating Facebook sharing functionality, such as Facebook ‘Likes’ and soon-to-be-released ‘Gestures’, you will align your website with how people share content on Facebook thereby maximising the traffic you receive.
5. Your Website Directly Affects Your SEO Rankings
The better your website is optimised for SEO, the higher the rankings you will achieve. Updating the Title Tags, Meta Tags and internal linking can be implemented on any website, but gaining maximum SEO performance from a website requires developing the optimum website structure from the ground up.
The key to really maximising your SEO rankings is to create a different web page for every top level keyword you want to rank for. Doing this will mean that you have the keyword in the Title Tags, Meta Tags, URL structure, Headings and body copy… and it will be integrated naturally. You’ll also have a page for each keyword which makes it easier to rank for each keyword. And the more pages you have on your website, targeted to specific keywords, the more rankings you will achieve.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…
After reading this article my hope is that you fully understand the role that your website plays in the performance of your success online… the only thing left is making the decision not ‘if’ but ‘when’ you will invest in your website.
If you’re on a limited budget and you’re running advertising campaigns, my recommendation would be to place those advertising campaigns on hold and divert that budget to upgrading your website. When your website is ready and you reactivate your campaigns you’ll see an immediate boost in the sales and profits you earn online.
If you’ve got more of a budget to play with (but not too much) but you need your advertising to stay running, my recommendation would be to divert some (not all) of your budget to upgrading your website.
And if you can afford to keep your advertising campaigns running and still invest in your website, then do so right away.
Your website holds the keys to your online success… the better if performs, the more money you make… period.
So what are you waiting for?