Blog Feature

By: Jonathan Pavoni on November 5th, 2015

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Website Worth: How Important is a High-performing Website?

What's your website worth?

As a front-end developer and designer, I am constantly asked by business owners and marketing managers what a website is really worth. Many entrepreneurs understand that the landscape has been permanently changed by the evolution of the internet, but they're often unsure how to evolve their business to keep current with these digital trends and the new buying habits of the consuming public.

In this blog post I’d like to try and answer the question of website worth once and for all, so let’s jump in...

Digital context

In today’s connected economy, analysis has shown that regardless of product or service category, consumers across all age groups and demographics are turning to search engines as their number one research source.

This concept applies across the board whether you own and operate a local bar and restaurant or if you are selling enterprise business software. The central theme is that search engines are the portal to the web and a primary economic driver for businesses large and small.

Search engines are the portal to the web and a primary economic driver for businesses large and small."

So to extrapolate from this concept, the overall takeaway is, regardless of what business that you’re in, your website is the “face” of your organization. Your website provides the first interaction that prospects have with your brand, and it will leave a lasting impact whether that impression is a positive or a negative one. 

Website worth

Traditionally, organizations have thought narrowly about their websites. They typically think a website should be a destination for visitors to find out information about the organization, read their online brochure, and potentially use it to contact the company by filling out a form on the 'contact us page'.

This limited view of the website's true lead generation (and nurturing) potential has muzzled companies of all sizes.

By taking a broader view of the website and viewing it as a key part of your sales and marketing strategy, you can dramatically increase leads for your sales team while decreasing your cost per lead your sales cycle time.

Sounds too good to be true right? It’s not though. Let me explain...

A high performing website does three things extremely well:

  1. Educates and informs visitors 

  2. Generates leads for your organization 

  3. Shortens sales cycle times

A website that educates

Today research shows that consumers perform 70% of their research online before engaging with the company. This means that consumers are using search engines, social media platforms, forums, and your website to conduct research before they engage with you and your salespeople. This upending of the sales process has put the buyer in control.

Recognizing this shift requires organizations to publish educational content on their website and blog that informs buyers. Informed companies are publishing about:

  • Their products and services
  • The answers to their customers' and prospects' questions
  • The best choice products/services for each type of buyer
  • Success stories about their happiest customers

This content allows brands to build trust with prospects before ever engaging with them. So having a high performing website means having an educational website that systematically moves buyers through the stages of the sales funnel, at a pace that the visitor is comfortable with.

A website that generates leads

One of the main problems that I encounter when confronted with a “low performing” site is a website that doesn’t generate leads for the organization. Before we jump into the reasons for that I’ll define a lead:

A lead: is a form submission, an email, or a phone call that has been generated by the website, that opens up a line of communication between the company and the prospect.  

Low performing sites typically have very few calls-to-action on their website. A typical low performing website might have one call-to-action on the contact page (a form that asks the visitor to get in touch).  

A call-to-action is a “prompt” for the visitor to take some kind of action. Actions can include next steps such as:

  • Download an ebook
  • Watch a video
  • Subscribe to a blog
  • Call for a free assessment

These calls-to-action entice the visitor to take action by giving them something of value. In return, they must provide information such as their name, email, company, and phone number to the organization.

A high performing website has numerous, diverse calls-to-action strewn about on different pages of their website and blog. A good rule of thumb is to have a least one call to action on every page of the website, however I typically recommend having more than one. If your site lacks calls to action this is probably a main reason your site isn’t performing.

A website that shortens sales cycle times

Organizations that are educating their buyers with weekly blog posts, informative webpages, and social media posts tend to have shorter sales cycles. The reason for this is simple. Buyers will be so much more educated on your products and services before they ever engage with your sales team. This “educated” buyer needs much less time on the phone or face to face with you and your salespeople to make a decision.

These buyers ask better questions and are starting much “further down” in the sales funnel than the uneducated buyers of old. This means you can close more deals in a shorter period of time with fewer salespeople than before.

Conclusion

Understanding your website worth comes down to knowing what kind of website you have.

Is your site a static, low performing brochure website? Or is it a dynamic, high performing site that educates buyers, generates leads, and shortens the sales cycle times?

Do yourself a favor and take an honest assessment of your website. Is it generating leads for your sales team? Are they qualified leads?

If you think you might need some improvements, we'd be happy to send you a personalized website analysis free of charge. Request one here.

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Image by KMR Photography via flickr, licensed under CC by 2.0