Website ROI – Strategic Website Planning That Makes Digital Profitable

Every serious marketing professional or business executive must constantly strive to increase the ROI of their website. It takes more than just luck to bring millions of visitors to your website, it’s getting more challenging by the day. To boost your website’s ROI, you need proper planning, as well as the professional design and content creation that separates the best from the rest.

What goes for any other ROI goes for websites too – it is based on the costs and the results. Keep reading to find out tips and tricks our website design agency in Chicago uses to make clients’ investments in the digital sphere profitable.

Table of contents

Website ROI

Costs

Costs range from free do-it-yourself tools to hundreds of thousands for high-end digital agencies. While a freelancer may charge you as low as $1000 for a template installation, big firms charge $100,000 for advanced web development.

Since there are no material costs, the price of a site depends on the scarcity and difficulty of skills required. It is also based on the estimates of the time required for design, programming, communication, and content creation.

Major cost factors are:

  • Project management and communication – This depends on who will manage the project, and how many people will be giving feedback and approvals.
  • Design – This depends on the template that is being used, as well as whether the brand is well-established or it is being revisited.
  • Programming – The main point here is the features of the website and its functionality. You can plan for a lower programming price for somewhat standard features, and a higher price for custom ones.
  • Team – The more skilled and experienced the specialists involved are, the higher the costs.
  • Content – Redesigns often have lower costs. A lot of new writing and photography or video production adds to the price.
  • CMS platform – Although the content management system isn’t necessarily a big factor, that doesn’t mean that WordPress sites are cheap. WordPress can be used for small and inexpensive sites, but it is also used for complicated sites. Other popular platforms are Drupal and Shopify.

Results

Results vary even more, from negative ROI for websites that don’t produce results, to tens of millions of dollars in direct revenue for e-commerce sites, or in the value of leads for lead-generation websites.

Many factors affect the variation in return on investment, but these tend to affect the most:

The cost of creating the website

We have already said that web design and web development costs can vary. The hours spent during design and development multiplied by the cost of an hour are the baseline for the ROI. Learning how to choose the right web design agency can help you get the best value for the money invested in your new website. You can also opt for the “Do It Yourself” approach and use drag-n-drop website building platforms, however, keep in mind that templated websites can rarely compete with digital marketing agency websites when it comes to conversion rates.

The cost of maintaining the website

While hosting expenses are not that high unless you choose a dedicated hosting option, the time involved in content and social media marketing and potential advertising costs may be. This is why it is a good idea to build websites that are easy to update without hiring a designer or programmer. Reducing annual website costs is a simple yet powerful way to improve website ROI.

The traffic

The number of visitors on your website is the measurement of success. It is the marketing activity that has the biggest impact on traffic, and those websites that are search engine friendly are more likely to perform well.

The conversion rate

While marketing activity has the biggest impact on traffic when it comes to conversion rates, this is where your web design has a chance to shine. The percentage of visitors who take action on your website, whether becoming a lead, or making a purchase, determines the bottom-line results. Average web conversion rates across industries range between 2% and 5%.

Closing ratio

This metric is similar to conversion rates, with one big difference – it represents the percentage of leads who complete a desired action on your website. While all the website visitors are taken into account when calculating conversion rates, the closing ratio focuses exclusively on leads you gathered through specific marketing channels. We recommend using sales tracking tools to get a better insight into which channels are delivering on an expected closing ratio, so you can adjust your marketing efforts accordingly to maximize website ROI.

The website lifespan

A great website can produce results for five years or more, while a bad site will need to be redesigned within two years or less. That’s why initially large website investment can This is something to keep in mind since a site that is effective for twice as long has twice the ROI.

The most valuable marketing tool

Your website is your most valuable marketing channel and business asset that helps you expand your customer base. This is the place where your branding and marketing initiatives flow. To give your visitors a compelling experience, your website must:

  • Be strategically planned
  • Answer the important questions from your prospects and customers
  • Convey what you do and how you can help
  • Be an enjoyable and informative experience
  • Include search engine optimization best practices
  • analyze and improve it regularly 

If you have invested in a website, but the ROI numbers are far from what you expected, there is no need to feel disheartened. Beginnings are hard, and while there is no magic formula to skyrocket your ROI overnight, these are some of the steps you can take that will put you right back on the path of success.

The planning of a great website

Planning your website creation process in detail before doing any actual work can help you build a website design that better speaks to your target audience. It takes only a couple of seconds for a website visitor to decide whether to hang on or exit. In this short time, they make assessments on your website structure. Maybe they have an uneducated eye, but they know what they want, and you can’t argue with that. If you wish to keep their attention for more than just a split second, you need to take a look at your website structure. Your navigation needs to be easy and logical to people unfamiliar with your company. Also, in the short time that you have, your website needs to answer all the major questions of a visitor. If this is not the case, you will need to address the organization of your site’s content and pages, or prepare a full website redesign project. Sometimes a full redesign is a better choice than retrofitting.

Testing your website usability

If potential customers cannot find the information they need to make an informed decision or interact with your design elements the way they want, they may choose to go elsewhere. Additionally, websites that are hard to use can also damage your reputation by making you appear unprofessional. That’s why in order to improve your website ROI, it is important to enhance its usability.

Usability testing services like UsabilityHub or FullStory come in handy for recording people using your website and getting user feedback. They highlight issues and problem areas that need to be improved.

Organizing content

When creating or updating content on your website, you should start by addressing the questions that your visitors frequently ask. You need to present yourself as someone that understands your prospects’ desires and offers solutions to their problems. People coming to your website need to have a sense that you are there for them. Basing your content around the needs of your target audience is vital for establishing long-term client relationships.

The content of your website needs to be organized logically, while also avoiding web pages with long lines of continuous text whenever possible. Here are a couple of tips from our user experience design agency that can help you:

Keep headlines succinct

Writing short, attention-grabbing headlines is vital for making visitors interested in reading your content.

Use subheadings and pull quotes

Once you manage to grab visitors’ attention with a powerful headline, use subheadings and pull quotes to further guide them through your text until it is time for them to convert.

Utilize bulleted and numbered lists

Using bullets and numbered lists to better organize your text and highlight the benefits of a specific product or service can help you increase CTR and conversion rates, as your visitors will be able to follow your content more easily.

Break up the text by using relevant photos, illustrations or videos

Besides having the power to make your web pages visually attractive, high-quality photos, illustrations, and videos can also help you break long walls of text and better separate different sections of a piece of content. Establishing a logical flow within your content is essential for increasing website ROI.

Provide a call to action, or some other way for a website visitor to take the next step

Your visitors should always know what next step they are supposed to take in order to get what they desire. Writing a clear call to action and including it across your web page will help you convert more visitors into customers and therefore improve website ROI.

Creating a compelling and reflective website design

As we have already said, you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of the user. If you miss that window, the opportunity is gone, and that visitor is likely not coming back. As you walk towards the high website ROI, the steps we outlined are milestones to making your website your most powerful marketing weapon in the advertising arena.

The design of your website will help display your content, as well as captivate visitors. This is why it is important to keep the design, colors, and fonts that you use on your website consistent with your company’s branding. You want your users to have no confusion as to where they came once they enter your site. Your web designer can utilize your brand guidelines to make sure the colors on the website are consistent with all of your other branded marketing communications. Also, following the latest UX trends is advisable, as it will allow you to make your website design more fresh and captivating. Improving user experience is a proven way to increase website ROI.

Optimizing for search engines

Most businesses make a mistake when planning website redesign projects. Their main focus is usually on the look of the website and what it says to people visiting it, often overlooking a very important thing – search engine optimization. Your website’s code structure is extremely important, as additional text and content need to work behind the scenes as well. The structure of your headlines, sub-headlines, lists, images, and much more, is critical for your site to be optimally indexed and categorized by search engines. The text referred to as meta data needs to be thoughtfully prepared, as this serves as a brief overview description of the content on web pages.

Investing money into unique website features can be a waste of time unless you conduct an extensive SEO campaign. Ranking your website high in search engines will help you increase its traffic and therefore make more sales, naturally increasing the ROI website generates. To avoid additional costs website redesign projects bring, you need to make sure your website is built on solid SEO ground right from the beginning. If you don’t have SEO and web design experts on your team, we recommend hiring a web development firm with web industry experience.

Using Google Analytics to improve your website ROI

Google Analytics is a free service that records plenty of data about your website visitors and their actions. By accessing Google Analytics you can learn:

  • How much time people spend on your website
  • Where visitors are coming from
  • Which keywords visitors search
  • How advertising efforts are paying off
  • Your most valuable pages
  • Landing pages conversion rates

Your website is an investment that requires ongoing attention to maximize its potential. Setting goals in Google Analytics and reviewing it regularly will lead to future improvements that may be necessary to get the most website ROI possible.

Things to avoid when trying to improve website ROI

Many business owners see improving the ROI website produces, yet very few think about the practices they should avoid when designing and managing a website. To increase website ROI, stop doing the following:

Prioritizing wrong web design elements

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a flashy website will automatically result in increased traffic and revenue. Too many features not only can slow down your website speed but also confuse potential customers.  Instead, focus on its functionality and targeted messaging. Prioritizing the elements that your target audience is most likely to interact with will allow you to capture visitors’ attention and hold it until they perform the desired action. If you make people feel great while exploring your website, you’ll increase the chances of them coming back for more, therefore improving website ROI.

Too many pop-ups and third-party ads

While finding the right dose of pop-ups can help you generate more sales, crossing the line usually proves to be harmful. This is because ads and pop-ups can be intrusive and annoying. They can slow down your website and divert your visitors from the content on your page, ruining user experience and making visitors bounce back to the search engine results page.

Overspending in PPC advertising

When doing your website return on investment calculation, don’t forget about your pay-per-click advertising spending. While PPC campaigns can be a powerful way for increasing the average revenue growth rate for your business – if you invest extra dollars in bidding on the wrong keywords, you will be essentially paying for clicks that may not convert into leads or sales. To avoid negative website ROI, you should constantly monitor your campaigns and adjust your bidding strategy accordingly. This will save you a lot of time and money long term.

Final thoughts

In the business world, the end goal is connecting with your target market and making a profit. Websites can be incredible tools to support your business. Investing in web design that meets the expectations and demands of today’s market will help attract and engage your audience, which is the first step towards conversion. New businesses lack the resources that larger and more established businesses have. This means they need to carefully consider each investment. But, when it comes to investments that maximize ROI, there is none more effective than professional web development.

Brian Djordjevic
About The Author

Brian Dordevic

Brian is Marketing Strategic Planner with a passion for all things digital. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or schedule a consultation call with him.

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