16 Nov What Is the ROI of a Website?
Calculating the ROI of a website is an interesting challenge. Most small business owners look at their website as a cost of doing business. And yes, it is an expense – but it should also support your lead generation and sales and provide a robust return on investment.
A website is an expense – at first
Let’s say your website cost $15,000. You paid a professional website designer and developer to build the front and back end, properly optimize your website, and provide your copywriter with a list of keywords to include on each page.
You also hired a professional copywriter to write website content that is unique to your brand and optimized for search (gold stars for you!).
Once you bring in $15,000 worth of new business, you have broken even. Can all that new business be attributed to your website?
Well, your website is your home base on the internet. Potential clients will check you out before getting in touch. This is true whether those leads meet you at a networking event, hear about you from a client, read one of your posts on social media, listen to you on a podcast, or see you speak at an event.
They want to know who you are and what your brand is all about.
And I bet you do this when you meet someone or hear about a service or produce you need. I certainly do! In fact, right before I wrote this blog post, I looked up the websites of two fellow marketers I met at a networking event last week.
How to increase the ROI of a website
I’m going to assume that your website is up to date (technically speaking), easy to navigate, and includes your current brand messaging. In other words, when people land on it, they quickly understand how you can help them.
If you want to increase the ROI of your website, it should be generating leads for you.
Lead generation on a website happens in three ways:
- Website content is optimized for search engines.
- Your website is continually updated with valuable information.
- Your website encourages people to take action.
Let’s talk about each, shall we?
Search engine optimization helps machines – and therefore people – find you
To paraphrase Pee Wee Herman (rest in peace, Paul Rubens), there are a hundred million billion trillion websites out there. Give or take.
How are potential clients supposed to find your website?
Answer: Thorough search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO ensures Google understands what your website (and each web page) is about. This allows them to index it so it will appear in search results.
Will it appear on the first page? Probably not. Your website will build domain authority over time. The more people who visit and spend time on your website, the more valuable and authoritative your website will appear to Google. Your search ranking will improve accordingly.
In order for search engines to index your website, each page must be optimized for ONE keyword or key phrase. It might not be the most popular (bigger and more established brands already rule popular keywords), but it will be competitive enough that you will be found. (Read more about website content mistakes to avoid here.)
That keyword must appear in headlines and the actual content on the page. It must also appear in the metadata (page titles, descriptions, keywords, etc.) that help search engines understand and rank web pages.
And by the way, this means your metadata on your Home Page isn’t optimized for the word “home”. Likewise, your About Page isn’t optimized for the word “about.” Those words are meaningless to search engines.
Instead, your home page and about page metadata and copy needs to include the keywords who want to be found for.
Oh, and because keywords change, it’s a good idea to have an SEO expert audit your website every few years so you (or your copywriter) can update the metadata and copy on each page.
Fresh new content is loved by both machines and humans
Search engines love websites that are continually updated with relevant content (via a blog). It sends the signal that your website is active. And, as people spend time on your website, search engines understand that you are trusted.
These stats say it all:
- B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t.
- Featuring a blog as a key part of your website will give you a 434% better chance of being ranked highly on search engines.
- Blogs are trusted sources of information and advice say 81% of US online consumers.
- Company websites with active blogs have 97% more inbound links than websites without blogs.
- Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic can increase by up to 30%.
- Companies that blog get twice as much traffic from their email marketing than those who don’t blog.
As the third statistic in the list says, people are looking for information. By providing it, you are building trust with potential clients. Once they trust you, they will convert to a lead.
Make sure you encourage people to take action!
You have a perfectly optimized website filled with valuable content. Now you need to encourage your website visitors to take the next step and become a lead. THIS is how you turn your website into an ROI machine.
Not everyone will be ready to buy, though. Some still need time to get to know you. Therefore, you need to offer options.
For people just getting to know your brand:
- Tell them to sign up for your email newsletter – and why they’ll love reading it.
- Point them towards free downloads, which is a fantastic way to generate leads.
- Send them to your social media channels (that you keep updated with interesting content).
- If you have a podcast or YouTube channel, promote the newest episode on your home page.
- Add a simple call-to-action on your FAQ page and/or at the bottom of each blog that encourages people to reach out with questions.
For people who are almost ready to pull the trigger:
Offer free estimates, consultations, or trials. All can lead to a deeper conversation, immersion into your brand, and conversion into a sale.
So how do I calculate ROI?
Ah yes, that is our original question, isn’t it? Saying that all new business is generated by your website is a bit squish, so let’s look at how to calculate the ROI of a website.
Visit Google Analytics (GA4) at the same time every month to see how many website visitors you got in the past month.
Next, look at the number of conversions for lead generation activities: newsletter sign ups, new followers on social, downloads (of your free resources), estimates, consults, and trials.
And how many new clients did you get? What is their estimated lifetime value?
Track this from month to month. Each year, you should have a good idea of how many sales and how much profit you can attribute to your website.
But what if my website doesn’t have a way to convert leads?
Let’s talk, so you don’t miss out on any more potential clients. You can get in touch here.