Most small businesses fail dismally when it comes to getting their website working towards increasing sales and enquiries for their business. It’s a sad, but true situation for small business owners across the country and the situation isn’t getting any better.
You may wonder why websites aren’t working for the majority of small business owners, well let me explain. This article covers the primary factors that contribute towards websites that simply don’t work, and will steer you in the right direction if you’re looking to do things properly and make sales online.
- Your Website is Just One Part of a Larger System
- DIY Websites Do Not Work
- Cheap Websites are as bad as DIY Websites
- Business owners don’t factor their website and marketing into their ongoing expenses
Your Website is Just One Part of a Larger System
A website alone is not going to increase your sales and help you set the world on fire. Put it this way; you can have the most beautiful website in the world, but if no one can find it, it may as well not exist.
If you have zero traffic coming through to your website from various sources of marketing, you will not receive enquiries through it. In order to drive traffic to your website you MUST undertake marketing to drive the right type of people through the doors.
DIY Websites Do Not Work
Before you disagree and tell me “bob from xyz industries, makes thousands from a DIY website” the reality for most small business owners is that they don’t have the skillset, nor the time to undertake a website design and development that is actually going to produce sales for their business.
When we take into account the need for online marketing to drive users to your site, making sure the website will convert views into enquiries, making sure the website works properly on mobiles and tablets, making sure the website is secure, making sure the website loads quickly, making sure the navigation is easy to follow, making sure the user flow is optimised, making sure the right information is presented in an easily digestible manner, making sure the website builds trust with users, making sure the website design reflects the business brand, making sure the copy is written to drive sales, making sure the website is integrated with external systems such as mailchimp or CRM’s, and a long list of additional factors that are musts when building a website; It’s clear that the average business owner will not be able to build an impressive, sales producing website on their own.
In a study run by Adobe, 38% of users stated they would stop engaging with a website that was unattractive in it’s layout and imagery. In the same study 73% of users surveyed said websites “must display well on their device” or they would likely leave the website. These two statistics alone highlight the importance of a professional design in keeping users engaged and boosting the potential to convert users into enquiries.
To add some perspective let’s look at a three industries as an example where the customers can technically take a DIY approach, but in reality a professional will do a much better job and produce better results.
Hairdressers will supply a better end result
Sure, you can get your mum to buy some clippers from target and have a go at cutting your hair. The end result will be hair that is shorter than it was to begin with, however a professional hairdresser is in 99.9% of cases going to produce a haircut and style that looks better than the home job.
Trying to look the part? Your home job bowl cut may not attract the right type of attention if you catch our drift.
Accountants will save you time, keep you out of trouble, and attract a better return
Sure you can do your personal tax yourself. You can rummage through receipts, try to work out what can and can’t be claimed, try to understand what an “alienated personal services payment” is and lookup the definition of “notional income”, but in the end a professional is in near all cases going to get you a better return and is going to prevent you being flagged by the ATO for a tax audit.
A professional accountant is also going to save you hours of grief and frustration and allow you to better spend your time doing something productive like working on your business, or doing something enjoyable like spending time with loved ones.
Real Estate Agents will save you time and make you more money
Yes, it is technically possible to sell your house privately without going through a real estate agent? Would I suggest doing this? It’s a big no from me.
Selling a home privately is a task that involved many hoops to jump through and requires an extensive database and knowledge of marketing to attract a sale price you’d be happy with. Real Estate agents have enormous databases of clients looking for properties and have refined processes and procedures that make selling your home as easy as possible for the vendor.
Yes it is possible to spend weeks of your own time to sell your property and hope that someone somewhere will somehow find your property and purchase it, but why would you when you have a professional real estate agent with buyers at the ready who will likely net you a much higher sale price than what you could achieve yourself?
Cheap Websites are as bad as DIY Websites
We’ve all seen it, the “professional web designer” on Gumtree who will build you a “professional website” for just $500, no questions asked. Do these websites ever work? Take a guess.
As discussed above, there are many factors that come together to produce a website that is designed to make sales for the business that owns it and there is an associated cost involved for each step.
Think about how much time it takes to run a client through a brief, to research the target market, to develop a strategy to land sales through the website, to create a website design and then revise the design multiple times to ensure the client is happy with the look and feel.
Now take into account the amount of time it takes to actually develop / build the website. To add functionality such as forms, sliders, page transitions, click to call phone numbers, fancy sliders, the list goes on.
Next take into account the hours needed to make sure the website works on all browsers, all mobile devices and all tablets (in both portrait mode and landscape mode). Now imagine how long it takes to test the website, test contact forms, and then seek approval from the client.
Now take into account the amount of time it takes to launch the website so the public can see it online and so it can be found on Google. To setup or migrate the client’s emails, to test the email accounts and then supply logins to the client. The developer will then painstakingly go in and setup every single page to meet Google’s ranking requirements, action a large list of setup procedures and then submit the website to Google to attract the initial website ranks.
At a minimum a quality 6 to 7 page custom designed website should (will) on average take anywhere from 40 to 80 work hours dependant on the complexity of the design and the level of included functionality.
This means at best the “professional web designer” would be making roughly $12.50 per hour from his $500 website, and that’s not taking into account his various expenses such as rent, electricity, advertising costs, insurances, and so on.
Is the “professional web designer” offering $500 websites supplying everything needed to get your website making sales and working properly? Of course not. These web designers are cutting corners left right and centre to ensure the website takes as little time as possible to build leading to unsatisfactory websites that provide zero results for the client.
Unfortunately when you select your web designer on price alone, the results really do speak for themselves. The old analogy “you get what you pay for” has never been so true.
Business owners don’t factor their website and marketing into their ongoing expenses
When starting a small business many business owners look at their overheads such as rent, wages, supplies, electricity, insurances, equipment, maintenance etc and factor these into their ongoing business expenses and business plan.
Unfortunately many business owners fall victim to completely neglecting their website and marketing by leaving them out of the budget altogether.
Your website and marketing needs to be seen as a crucial aspect of your business. How are you going to get customers through the door each day? Referrals are great, but unless you are in a non competitive market or have a constant source of passing traffic coming through the door, you need your website and marketing to help your business prosper.
If no one knows you exist, no one is going to use your services or purchase your products.
The amount spent on Marketing (this includes your website, changes and maintenance) month to month will be relative to the size of the business, profit margins, how competitive the market is and how many sales you want to make in a given year. You simply need to work out what you are comfortable allocating to marketing each month and speak with a marketing agency about what sort of return on investment can be expected across various forms of marketing.
If I can leave you with one line that I would hope sticks in your mind and helps you get some perspective on how to treat your website and marketing it would be to “treat your website and marketing like hiring a salesperson for your business”.
A good salesperson is worth their weight in gold as they will pay for themselves tenfold by bringing on sales and increasing your business’s revenue. Your website and marketing does the same job. If your website and marketing aren’t making considerably more money for your business than you’re putting into it, something is seriously wrong.
The Next Steps
If you’re a business owner who isn’t happy with your website and the sales it’s producing for your business it’s time to get serious and employ the services of a team that knows what they’re doing and can get you results online.
I encourage you to get in touch so we can run you through a free website strategy session that will help you better understand what can be done to help you and what sort of return you will see on your investment. We’re committed to helping businesses grow and would love to have you on board if you’re ready to get your sales on track and to stop worrying about where your next customers are coming form.
Stay up to date with Honest
Never miss a beat. Subscribe to The Honest Agency to get regular updates on all our news, insights and ideas!