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Getting a return on investment from your website

Great design and top-notch technical website development is only part of the story when it comes to your website. Like all business assets, it needs to contribute to your commercial success.

For most companies, commercial success boils down to one thing; profit. Exactly how your website contributes to this depends on a great deal, not all of it focussed on your actual website.

A website can be many things. It can inform customers about what you do, who you are and what you sell. It can offer visitors the chance to buy your products or service in a quick and convenient way. It can help answer their questions. It can provide them with aftersales care and a host of additional value-added post-sales information.

How you choose to use your website, and then how you implement this strategy, will dictate how much it contributes to your business success.

Help your web developer to help you

Being clear with your website development and design team about your aims is a great first step in getting the website you want. Conversely, it may be that you need guidance from an expert freelance website developer about what can realistically be achieved with your budget.

It’s here that business planning plays an important role. To set a budget you need to know what the broad aim for your website will be. If it’s for passing on information to your visitors then the content, and how it’s displayed, will be a really important part of the sites development goals. If you want an online shop, then the design and usability of the eCommerce solution will take the lion’s share of development time.

Many websites will be different things to different visitors and will have information, shopping and support elements. For large sites like this, the user experience needs real thought and will play a big part in the success of the site.

It’s all about the metrics

Having defined the goals for your site, you also need to work out how you’ll measure how the site performs.

Common metrics are visitor numbers, the time they spent on the page (or site), how many pages they visited, if they filled in a contact form or not, and if they bought a product. Bear in mind that individual pages can, and should, have specific goals.

The primary tool for this is Google Analytics, which I covered in a post a year or so ago, which can help you see how visitors came to your site, what they did, and what their perceptive experience was.

Working out the return on investment

Here is where it gets complicated. You can have the best website in the world but if no one visits it won’t do you any good.

How you generate that traffic will have an effect on how people react to your site. SEO, PPC, Social Media Advertising, and content marketing are all examples of ways to drive traffic to your website. The quality of this lead generation relates to how well your website will perform.

If a user arrives at your homepage then leaves 2 seconds later was it because the advert they clicked to get to your site was badly written, or because the site design was poor? If a customer fills a shopping basket on your site but leaves without checking out was it because of a poor UX or because they found it cheaper somewhere else?

Making sure your site is a powerful driver for success means answering a great number of questions and weighing up a lot of factors.

If that seems daunting, why not get a little help? As a leading Bristol freelance website developer, I’d be really happy to help make sure your site brings you business success. Get in touch to start the conversation.