How Much is Your Website Really Costing You?

There is a difference between having a website and having a well-designed website.  Today, there are hundreds of companies boasting free and cheap website services. But what do you get for free or cheap? As the saying goes, you get back what you put in, and websites are no exception.      

For small businesses, it can be very stressful deciding how to allocate a limited marketing budget and how much to spend on a website. Spending money on a poorly designed website is one of the biggest mistakes your business can make, and a free website can actually be costing you money. Learning which features are essential, and understanding some of the top mistakes that businesses make can help to put your mind at ease and help you avoid wasting your precious funds.

Poor Design: The design of your website is the first thing a customer sees. Many business owners make the mistake of trying to save money by designing their own website, and many times they end up with a site that is not only visually unappealing, but also hard to navigate and confusing for visitors. The end result? Website visitors leave the site out of frustration.

In fact, 41% of small business owners who plan on making changes to their website say that the design is the first thing they are going to update.

Poor SEO: Maybe you have a beautifully designed website, but if no one can find it, your efforts have been wasted. It is the equivalent of opening a restaurant and never telling anyone that it’s there. Search engine optimization is crucial to ensure that your website not only shows up in search results, but shows up on the top of the search results and in local listings.

Research shows that 26% of small business websites do not show up in search results because they have a Google page rank of 0 or have no page rank at all.

No Metrics: Without the proper metrics, businesses are unable to track their reach, their progress, their customers’ needs, or their habits. Having the right metrics can help you see exactly what your customers are doing on your website and whether what you are doing is working or not.

An astounding 75% of small businesses do not use metrics to measure their websites performance.

No Calls to Action: Does your website provide clear calls to action? When your customers visit your website, you want to provide them with direction. How do they know what you want them to do? A clear call to action provides a focal point to your site, direction to your customers, and a way to measure your site’s success.

The moral of the story is this: every business needs a website, but you get what you pay for. Having a poorly performing or poorly designed website can be costing you more than you think. Every time your website doesn’t show up in search results, or your poor design makes it hard to navigate, you are losing a sale. So even though you think you are saving money by choosing a cheap or free website, you are probably mistaken.

For a different perspective on the situation, instead of considering how much money you are saving by skimping on your website, consider how you can grow your revenue by investing in a well-designed website.